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History of Men's Hats

Several years from now and still counting, there will be a new fashion trend that will undoubtedly impact society. While the latest trendy clothes are there for us to follow...

Several years from now and still counting, there will be a new fashion trend that will undoubtedly impact society. While the latest trendy clothes are there for us to follow and enjoy, we can never forget the classic styles that remain momentous ’til now.

The hats back in the day were more than pieces of clothing. Instead, the people wore them for significant reasons. Thus it influenced the history of men’s hats. The change was so substantial that it made the other comebacks not as impactful as others.

But what happened to those hats in the past? Why do they keep coming back? We’re no time travelers, but here’s a quick flashback to the history of men’s hats to resolve your interest.

The First Hat in History

Since no machines or sewers would process the hats before, the old caps worn by people came from a big leaf or leather wrapped around their heads. We know that for sure because of the first painting in the tomb somewhere in Thebes, which depicts a man wearing a conical straw hat.

The hats before were a simple skull cap called “pileus.” The first hat with a brim is called “petasos,” and the other is a Phrygian cap, given to the slaves as a sign of being free from the chains of slavery. In the French revolution, the French people called the Phrygian caps “Liberty caps.”

Ancient Material of Hat Making

Since the people back then were very resourceful, they used the leaves and animal skin for their primary material of making hats. But ever since the Egyptians discovered felt, they fell in love with the material. Mainly it is because of its texture coming from the camel hair that becomes firm from the exerted pressure and moist when they molded it together.

But several types of hats emerged in other countries as well.

The Metal Fillets of the Romans

Even though Ancient Romans did not like wearing hats before, hats became shows their status by wearing metal fillets on top of their brows. They also use military helmets and leather caps, but chin straps are attached to these hats to keep them from falling.

Because the empires were still growing, they tried to influence how others dressed. Leather caps were used in Northern European tribes long before the Romans attempted to conquer other nations.

One of the caps, as mentioned above, was over 2,000 years old. The eight-section leather cap is now housed in Copenhagen’s National Museum, preserving the most aged surviving men’s hat in history.

Bardocucullus of the Europeans

The bardocucullus was the hooded cloak used by the Europeans in the past. The people have to carry out the orders of the Christianity propagators, so they have themselves covered up with a beard and cloaks.

But change happened as the French demanded that their dress be clean and away from the messy hair they kept. The hairstyles were shorter than before, and instead of wearing hoods, they used hats. The wearers tied the hats like the former caps under their clean-shaven chins.

The Hats Evolution

Since the start, the hats stating the status of a person by the way they dress with it. The fedora and bowler hats came a long way in the history of men’s hats before the 21st-century caps that we know of now.

Medieval Period Hats

For example, in the medieval period, people wore capes with neckpieces or metal chain-mail hoods for the knights. Doctors, on the other hand, are sporting a round skullcap.

In contrast to the professionals, the laborers use straw hats with brims. They use straw hats to protect their eyes from the harsh rays of the sun and the rain in the field since working there has to deal with weather changes.

As the thirteenth century passes, the brimmed hats are getting their popularity like the chapeau a bec. The hat points in the front with its beak shape that earned the attention of young men.

One of the new hats occurred, and it has been called Chapeau de fer . Replacing the chain-mail hoods certainly gives protection. The cap has a closed metal helmet, protecting the person with the chinstrap and cap.

In the 14th century, several hats seemed strange, but many used them like the liripipes. Liripipes have a long tail that hangs on the back of the hood that comes in medieval dresses.

On the other hand, Chaperon is the overall combination of the coif, gorget, and liripipes. The trendsetters and musicians in the medieval setting dress up like this. It usually depends on how they want to make their clothing different from the others.

The 15th century carried on the legacy of the hoods and gorgets but lived with a different style. There are times that the gorget got replaced by houppelande. As for the coif, it became the nightcap called cappeline, cuffie, or benducci without chinstraps.

Since people are experiencing difficulty keeping the hats clean and away from grease, they also added velour or plush hats in their wardrobe selection.

It is a custom to take off your hat in greetings as a sign of respect. Taking the liripipes does not come off quickly, so they have to perform a specific motion. The gesture “Riverenza di Cappuccino” is shown by raising the liripipes with two fingers while bowing to the person you’re giving your greetings for.

The Emergence of the Next to Modern Hats

King Henry VIII made a new hat that was far from medieval fashion. In the sixteenth century, the hats worn starting from his era were shorter and flat. These hats were called “bonetes,” worn straight with six or eight-sided brims underneath.

These hats boast the elegance they can afford as they have more flamboyant styles trimmed with fur felt. Aside from that, they also used golden plaques and crests with plumes of swan feathers and ornamental brooches to adorn the hats.

Caul ousted the famous coif as men can wear it inside the house or under a hat. Merchants at the time wore cushion hats while the older men would choose the flat birettas with a bright red hue which is usually higher than the others.

Captains emerged in Queen Elizabeth’s era. The hats got replaced with high crowns and brims, decorated with gold and silver braids. Interestingly, back then, it became obligatory that all men wear the cap at six to make the hats extremely popular and profitable.

Lavishness in the Seventeenth Century

And as if the prior hat models were not expensive and extravagant enough, the seventeenth century upped their game. The hats revitalize into luxurious hats. The new ones had broader brims, adorned with ostrich feathers studded with diamonds that drops over the edge.

Many paintings have portraits of men with hats. Every man who wants to be the talk of the town or the Cassanova has it on top of their head. That became the fashion statement as they emit timeless elegance in their look.

In addition, they also carried out a new hat called tricorn with different decorations like cockades or feather fringes that sit on top of their wigs.

The Hatless Period: Wigs and Aristocracy

The Eighteenth-century is adamant about hair and wigs. They still used the tricorn hats outdoors. However, they got replaced by wigs with different styles. The powdered wigs are the most known type, but some prefer to wear the parted curls with pigtails on the back.

The tricorn hat is still part of the clothing, but it changed its main form by being pinched and flattened at the front. Still, fur remains the primary material for the hats.

And because people knew that before, the aristocrats got the highest privilege, they were slowly stripped down of their titles. They felt it most especially in the French Revolution.

The revolution sparked the minds of the workers. Not only have they started that, but they also have been shaping the fashion industry with the new hats that loomed. The small-brimmed felt hats that have a round crown and come in a lighter color were one of the products of their uproar.

Western Hats

19th-century booms with the industry and the hats still used ’till now are necessary as gentlemen go outdoors. It also gave way to the class division as there have been several hats that mark the professionals and the rich from the workers.

The hats such as Top hats, bowlers, derbies, boaters, fedoras, Panamas, and all the other exceeding hat types have been given birth during the twentieth century. Ever wonder who comes on the list first?

Top Hats

Tall, dark, and precisely carved hat. The top hat came from its french roots and was formerly known as “chapeau haut de forme.” It received harsh disapproval coming from the London people because they thought the hat itself was frightening. But sooner, it became a formalwear among men.

Bowler Hats

Even though the top hats became famous back then, the bowler hat earned its reputation as one of the beloved hats of people who often go to the annual derby.

The hat originated in the brilliant hatters from the Lock&Co, which earned the name of the hat. The people knew the hat because of the strength and durability that the prior hat lacked.

The hat also had several notable wearers. It ends up being still culturally relatable. Charlie Chaplin was known for his skits and well-dressed self, topping his outfit with a famous bowler hat. It also makes its appearance in several plays and films, such as Waiting for Godot, Threepenny Opera, and even the Clockwork Orange.

Homburg Hat

And just like every other hat, the bowlers were replaced by the Homburg hat. The hat looks like the bowler hat, but it has a higher and little dent in the crown with a broader brim. King Edward and Winston Churchill were wearing the hat.

Fedora and Trilby Hat

Fedora and Trilby Hat has been the child of the homburg hat. They have softer materials than the prior three hats that use mercury in their crown. The discussion of the difference between the Fedora and Trilby hats before mostly has different origins.

Fedora is a more formal kind of hat from America, while Trilbies came from the English. Many notable people sported these hats in their prime. They are even associated with different professions like mafia bosses or reporters.

Straw Hats

If you’re thinking about Monkey D’Luffy’s straw hat (he came from the anime called One Piece), that hat is excellent. Still, Panama and Boater Hats could go with any style that you’re looking for.

One of the hats that emerged as a summer hat was the Panama hat made in Ecuador. They are handwoven with the most delicate straws, which appropriate the formal occasions in the summertime.

Another one that goes in a notable history of men’s hats is the straw boater hats, which people used in sailing and other activities. The hat had a straw hat day celebration, a commemoration for the Straw Hat Riot in 1922.

Stetson Hat

The Stetson hat originated in Philadelphia, which means that the hat has a true American heritage. American cowboys love to wear the caps, and since then, John Batterson Stetson has made his brand.

Stetson Hat lived since the 1880s, and the hat earned its reputation as the hat was made with the great effort in making the hats. So it was then hailed as an enormous empire of hats in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why are Fedora hats now widespread in the 21st century?

The fedora hats are very flexible in any fashion outfit, as well as the occasion. One could never go wrong with pairing it with jeans and a shirt or their business casual attire.

Why do Bowler Hats replace top hats?

Top hats were indeed popular before bowler hats existed. However, it becomes a nuance as the cap is easily blown away by the wind.

What happened in the straw hat incident in 1922?

The young men were engaged in the riot back then. Other men were still wearing straw boater hats, which is a significant fashion flaw for other people. That’s why they decided to confiscate them and throw them on the ground, inciting more riots.

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