HAT STYLES DEFINED

While there are not many official records of hats before 3,000 BC, they probably were commonplace before that time. One of the earliest known hats is that worn by a bronze age man (nicknamed Ötzi) whose body (including his hat) was found frozen in a mountain between Austria and Italy. He is thought to have lived around 3,300 BC. His hat was a bearskin cap with a chin strap, made of several hides stitched together, essentially resembling a Russian fur hat without the flaps.

Hats have become a staple in men’s fashion; It’s easy to jazz up an outfit with a porkpie or fedora. Not sure which hat can help to define your style? Read on to learn about some of my personal favourites….

BOWLER

The bowler hat, also known as a bob hat, derby (US), billycock or bombín, is a hard felt hat with a rounded crown originally created in 1849 for theBritish soldier and politician Edward Coke, the younger brother of the 2nd Earl of Leicester. The bowler hat was popular with the working class during the Victorian era, and later on with the middle and upper classes in the United Kingdom and the eastern United States.

bowler

FEDORA

The word fedora comes from the title of an 1882 play by dramatist Victorien Sardou,Fédora being written for Sarah Bernhardt. The hat was fashionable for women, and the women’s rights movement adopted it as a symbol. After Prince Edward of Britain started wearing them in 1924, it became popular among men for its stylishness and its ability to protect the wearer’s head from the wind and weather. Fedoras have become widely associated with gangsters and Prohibition, which coincided with the height of the hat’s popularity in the 1920s to early 1950s.

fedora

PANAMA

Beginning in the early to mid-1600’s hat weaving evolved as a cottage industry all along the Ecuadorian coast. Hat weaving and wearing grew steadily in Ecuador through the 17th and 18th centuries. Even then, the best quality hats were being made in what is now the province of Manabí. Straw hats woven in Ecuador, like many other 19th and early 20th century South American goods, were shipped first to the Isthmus of Panama before sailing for their destinations in Asia, the rest of the Americas and Europe, subsequently acquiring a name that reflected their point of international sale, “Panama hats“, rather than their place of domestic origin.

Panama

PORK PIE

The first hat to be called a pork pie was a hat worn primarily by American and English women beginning around 1830 and lasting through the American Civil War. It consisted of a small round hat with a narrow curled-up brim, a low flat or slightly domed crown with a crease running around the inside top edge, and usually with a ribbon or hatband fastened around the shoulder where the crown joined the brim. It was often worn with a small feather or two attached to a bow on one side of the hat. Such hats might be made of any number of materials (straw, felt, cotton canvas covered in silk, etc.)—what made them “pork pies” was the shape and crease of the crown and the narrowness of the brim.

Porkpie

FLAT CAP

The style can be traced back to the 14th century in Northern England and parts of Southern Italy when it was more likely to be called a “bonnet”, which term was replaced by “cap” before about 1700, except in Scotland, where it continues to be referred to as a “bunnet”.

In the United States the caps were worn from the 1890s. The cap grew in popularity at the turn of the 20th century and was at the time standard boys’ wear. They were worn to school, for casual wear, and with suits. Flat caps were almost always worn with knicker suits in the 1910s and 20s. Both flat caps and knickerbockers declined in popularity during the 1930s.

Flatcap