The cut, the style and, always, the distinctive silhouette are key ingredients in any classic. Creating a singular look, these elements coalesce to form excellence, making it readily apparent that a particular design is unlike any other. In a classic hat, these qualities easily supersede the whims of fashion and the impediments of age and era to set a timeless standard of their own. It requires no explanation of its purpose nor any reason for its presence. In short, a classic hat has stature. As such, this hat also has swagger. So does the man who selects one.
You see, a classic hat’s singular look epitomizes the personality, the charm, even the lifestyle of the man who wears it. More than a mere hat, it is a definitive accessory that complements the man, an act that he reciprocates. After all, not just any man wears a cowboy hat, for instance. Nor does every man select a fedora or a homburg hat. Each a uniquely different style, suited to a specific kind of man, these classics — just a few among many — are intricately linked with the wearer, often becoming a signature element of his style. Indeed, while a man may own more than one hat style, reflecting his multifaceted life and the many aspects of who he is, he wears only one classic.
Underscoring this close relationship between men and their classic hats, we present several types of men who just happen to align with specific hat styles. Since this is worth considering the next time you are in a hat store, which classic are you?
Vintage ClassicsWith an affinity for the time-honored styles of a bygone era — from the pattern of their ties to the pocket watch that so aptly replaces a wristwatch — some men are just naturally drawn to vintage hats in classic styles as well. It’s an appreciation for a look not found today but which perfectly conveys the essence of the man that compels this sort of classic man to select a hat whose style clearly reflects another period.
For winter, it may well be a wool design with the flat crown and small, upturned brim of a pork pie hat, for example, or the hard, rounded crown and curled brim of a bowler hat. Meanwhile, summer may provoke the selection of a yesteryear straw style such as a boater hat, as complementary to a suit in the city as to a nautical wear.
Gentleman ClassicsThere’s just something about a well-tailored a suit, a French-cuffed shirt, highly polished shoes that, together, convey the elegance of a true gentlemen. For this man, one for whom courtliness, chivalry and integrity are intrinsic to who he is, the right hat only enhances the overall presentation.
Of course, his classic hat of choice is one of the standard bearers among the classics such as the unmitigated panache of a fedora or its smaller version, the trilby, both of which, whether in winter wool or summer straw, bespeak the gallantry of the wearer. Likewise, a traditional straw Panama hat likely graces his summer wardrobe while a black top hat is the crowning accessory for his formal attire year around.
Rugged ClassicsMuch like the quintessential cowboy, the man who enjoys the ruggedness of the outdoors wears a no-nonsense hat. Not overlooking the classic good looks of his chosen hat, his focus is on its functionality, whether it is a western hat like the Bat Masterson or the traditional cowboy hat, shading him from the sun and protecting him from the elements.
Similarly, he may choose a newsboy hat, the preferred choice of professional drivers as well as golfers. For this outdoorsman, a man for whom a handshake affirms a commitment that he always honors, this sort of classic hat is simply what a hardworking man wears.
Eclectic ClassicsSometimes a hat is an extension of a man’s personality. Quirky, individualistic, even playful, his hat is a classic simply because it is never out of style yet also is definitively his style. Take the Mad Hatter, for instance. With its high, flat crown and curled brim, it’s a variation on a top hat that an eclectic man may well wear with an everyday suit or a vintage jacket and jeans. That’s originality. It’s also quite eclectic.
Whichever hat style beckons to you, your classic hat is sure to imbue you with a bit of swagger, becoming your signature style for life.