Hats through History

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Hatsare used primarily as a head covering, but they have played very important role in human history. Through the ages, hats have been worn for two reasons: as a fashion statement and for functional reasons (safety, warmth and religious requirements). They have represented different cultures and professions dating back from the ancient people until today. We find hats as a very interesting, unique and recognizable fashion details.

Here’s the short history of hats that begins in the early 1800s.

Top, Bowler

The Top Hat

When? Early 1800s

Who? Abraham Lincoln

The top hat was worn during the Victorian era for all kinds of occasions. Everyone wore it, from the poorest class, all the way up to the royal families. Abraham Lincoln used this hat to carry notes, letters, even bills! He called it “stovepipe” because of its excessively high crown. Today, top hats are rarely worn. Proper use of this model of hat is reserved for events like opera or banquets. 

The Bowler Hat

When?Mid 1800s

Who?Charlie Chaplin

This is one of the most recognizable hat models in history. It was first made by Thomas and William Bowler for a man called William Coke, who requested a hat that was low crowned, which he could wear while riding a horse. This style has many nicknames, like “Bowler”, “Coke”, “Bombetta” (in Italy), “Bombin” (in Peru) and “Derby” (in USA).

Boater, Homburg

The Boater Hat

When? Late 1800s

Who? Barbershop quartets, sailors, bakers

This hat was traditionally worn by Vietnam gondoliers. It is a classic summertime hat, made of straw, which makes it lightweight and comfortable. This hat has also been the fashion statement of barbershop quartets.

The Homburg

When? 1900 – 1950’s

Who? Winston Churchill, King Edward VII

While the Bowler served as a hat for the masses, this hat has been worn by royalty and world leaders. It is characterized by a single dent running down the center of the crown. The Homburg hat gained popularity after the “Godfather” film, when it was given the nickname “The godfather hat”.

The Fedora

When? 1920 – 1960’s

Who? Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones, Michael Jackson

This kind of hat was made to be multipurpose, for almost any occasion. Fedora was popular in early part of the twentieth century and it was sometimes associated with gangsters and detectives. Maybe that’s because characters who played “tough guy” roles in Hollywood movies of the 1940s, often wore fedora. Fedora appeared in modern pop culture, including Indiana Jones with Harrison Ford and Michael Jackson, who wore it in 1990s.

Women and hats

During the 1800s Bonnets dominated women’s fashion. The bonnet, made from linen to straw, silk and cotton, was crafted to cover a woman’s head and usually shield her face from the sun. They were usually trimmed with lots of feathers and tulle. Sometimes they were decorated with ribbons and artificial flowers. The most common kind of bonnet worn today is a soft head covering for babies. In 1900s Cloche hats became popular. Cloche got its name by the French word Cloche, which means “bell”, probably because of its shape. During the early twentieth century, the popularity and influence of cloche hats was at its peak. 

Boater, Homburg

The popularity of hats has dropped in the 1960s. Up until the 1950s men were rarely seen out without a hat. No one knows why, but since then, wearing of hats has slowly decreased.  

If you wish to own some of these hats we wrote about, we found for you a couple of web sites where you can buy hats. If you wish to have hand-made hat, choose The Penman hat co. and if you are searching for a more types of fedoras, find them at Fedoras.com. There are also Hats in the Belfry, Village Hat Shop, Del Monico Hatter, Hats.com. All of these web sites bring you a great choice of hats! 

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Love from Stackry team!

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