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Hat History – Modern Hats and Where They Came From

Hat history is something you don’t think about every day. That fedora on your head, it had to come from somewhere, but how or why? We’ve gathered a collection of the most popular hat fashions today, and placed them in order from oldest to newest. So without further adieu, we present to you the history of hats:

HAT HISTORY – CHRONOLOGICAL TIMELINE

Hat history - flat cap

FLAT CAP

Year in hat history: 1300s
Why: Originated in England, were a flat cap was called a bonnet. The term “cap” wasn’t introduced until 1700.
Height of use: 19th and early 20th centuries.
Notable pop-culture: Peaky Blinders, BBC television series.

 

Hat history - top hatTOP HAT

Year in hat history: 1793
Why: Top hats descended from sugarloaf hats and replaced popularity of the tricorne hat.
Height of use: Worn by men from the latter part of the 18th to the middle of the 20th century.
Notable pop-culture: Uncle Sam, a symbol of the United States.

 

 

Hat history - pork piePORK PIE HAT

Year in hat history: 1830
Why: A pork pie was originally worn by a woman. The trend lasted through the Civil War.
Height of use: 1930s and 1940s
Notable pop-culture: Breaking Bad, AMC television series

 

 

Hat history - panamaPANAMA HAT

Year in hat history: 1834
Why: Straw Panama hats woven in Ecuador were shipped first to the Panama before sailing for their destinations in the rest of the world.
Height of use: Larger demand during the California Gold Rush.
Notable pop-culture: Theodore Roosevelt, U.S. President.

 

Hat history - bowlerBOWLER

Year in hat history: 1849
Why: Bowlers protected horseback riders from low hanging branches. Originally the top hat was worn by gamekeepers.
Height of use: British and American blue-collar workers during the 19th century.
Notable pop-culture: Charlie Chaplin, comic actor.

 

 

Hat history - cowboy hatCOWBOY HAT

Year in hat history: 1865
Why: Stetson made the first “Boss of the Plains” cowboy hat and remains synonymous with the Old West.
Height of use: 19th and 20th century.
Notable pop-culture: John Wayne, actor.

 

 

Hat history - homburgHOMBURG

Year in hat history: 1882
Why: King Edward VII is credited as the first homburg wearer, after retrieving the style from Bad Homburg in Hesse, Germany.
Height of use: Once called “the Eden” on Savile Row as former Prime Minster Anthony Eden made the homburg trendy in the 1930s.
Notable pop-culture: Al Pacino, actor The Godfather.

 

Hat history - fedoraFEDORA

Year in hat history: 1891
Why: The word fedora comes from the play titled Fédora. Was fashionable for women and became a symbol for the women’s rights movement.
Height of use: In 1924 Edward, Prince of Wales, wore the fedora and men soon favored the hat.
Notable pop-culture: Frank Sinatra, singer.

 

 

Hat history - trilbyTRILBY

Year in hat history: 1894
Why: George du Maurier’s novel titled Trilby, became a stage play featuring the trilby hat.
Height of use: In the 1960s the hat became most popular.
Notable pop-culture: James Bond, movie character.

 

 

 

New to these Hats? Read our Guide to Get you Started

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