Costume parties, masquerade balls, Halloween celebrations, premieres of beloved science fiction films — opportunities abound for those who enjoy dressing in costumes, portraying favorite characters. While the initial image of a costume may well be something ghoulish or terrifying, the fact is that costumes take a wide variety of forms, many of which simply employ items of apparel that have a vintage look. Among those are costume hats.
Hats of ProfessionsAmong the most engaging characters often portrayed in costumes accented by hats are those who have been movie heroes. Take the cowboy, for instance. As an icon of the west and frequently an emblem of the entire United States, no self-respecting cowboy is ever without a cowboy hat. It’s merely a question of what kind. From leather versions like Stetson’s Roxbury hat, with its studded band encircling the crown, to Walrus Hats’ Shetland, designed in wool felt with a twisted leather band, cowboy hats resonate with machismo, making them the quintessential element of a cowboy costume.
Likewise, depicting a detective is seemingly incomplete without the inclusion of a Sherlock Holmes hat like the Fox & Hound by Walrus Hats. A distinctive round cap with a small bill and earflaps affixed to the top with a ribbon, it says detective without words. Of course, that is unless the detective you have in mind is Dick Tracy. In that case, nothing else but a fedora will do, preferably one with a contrasting black band like the Temple, Stetson’s wool felt design.
Hats of CelebritiesWhether it’s a beloved star of the silent screen or a group of singers who provoke audiences to swoon, the chosen hats can become inextricably linked with their public image. As those who choose to embody the actor Charlie Chaplin know, a bowler hat costume — specifically a black bowler like the Scala version in wool felt — is as essential as a dark suit and a short mustache. Similarly, a group of friends opting to attend a costumed affair dressed as the Beatles would don black bowler hat costumes as well, evoking that yesteryear appeal.
Hats of PrototypesBeyond specific people, the goal of some costumes is to represent a certain image, to create an aura. Such is the case when top hat costumes are selected. Tightly intertwined with wealth and formal occasions, a top hat coordinated with a tuxedo is a costume in itself, reminiscent of films and photos that delineate high society. From the very high crown of a Mad Hatter, a Victorian top hat like the one created by Walrus Hats, to the sophisticated style of the Sir Winston or the even lower crown of the Deadman, top hat costumes bespeak cosmopolitan chic.
Next time an occasion calls for a costume, remember to include a costume hat. It‘s the ultimate element of authenticity for a costume.