The Bowler Hat Guy from “Meet the Robinsons” is one of the most recent villains to sport the stylish bowler hat. He’s evil, hateful and downright mean–and that can give this once formal and iconic hat a less-than-savory aura.
But throughout history, the bowler or derby hat has had nothing but a stellar reputation. It was the symbolic hat of the gentry in England, and in America, it was the most popular hat in the west while it was being settled–easily outranking the cowboy hat and others as the chosen way to cover your head.
Since then is has donned a villainous style, at least in Hollywood movie culture. Bowler hats have crowned the evil Oddjob in the James Bond film “Goldfinger,” The Riddler from “Batman” and the creepy Alex DeLarge in “A Clockwork Orange.” But in reality, are all people who wear bowler hats evil? We think not.
The Bowler Hat Guy Uses it as More Than An Accessory
In the 2007 film “Meet the Robinsons”, the bowler hat guy has a bowler hat that is also a scheming robot named Doris. Perhaps this is a commentary on the hat’s function throughout history. Hats have become synonymous with different style niches. Baseball hats adorn sporty types, and floppy hats are worn by beachgoers and Kentucky Derby fans. A man in bowler hat is dapper and a bit enigmatic.
However, don’t hats serve a greater function? Doris knows that they do. When she joins forces with Bowler Hat Guy Meet the Robinsons, she’s cunning, resourceful and wily. She has a mission that goes beyond protecting human heads.
The Story Behind the Bowler Hat Guy
The story revolves around Lewis, a budding inventor with a penchant for time travel. He is also an orphan. As a child, Lewis is obsessed with his inventions, which often scare away potential parents at the orphanage. His passion for inventing grows as he becomes an adult.
In his 40s, Lewis has changed his name to Cornelius Robinson, and he is a kindhearted inventor with a mission to help people. His successful creations change lives. However, his failed gadgets are scrapped and ignored. Doris was one of those devices.
Initially created as the Helping Hat, Doris wasn’t able to fulfill her wildest dreams. Instead of sticking to the menial tasks that she was created to perform, she took control over the wearer. If you’re a bowler hat, this is no way to behave.
After Cornelius shuts Doris down, she swears that she’ll get revenge. She goes on to meet Mike Yagoobian, realizing that someone else shares her fondness of evil and hatred for Cornelius Robinson. Just like that, Meet the Robinsons Bowler Hat Guy is born.
This partnership doesn’t make the man in the bowler hat more stylish. However, it does impart a sinister air to his style. The bowler hat man also finds a sense of power in the accessory. For what reason, nobofy knows. It can simply be a case of Hollywood designers mimicking each other. Or, maybe it is that the hat has some sort of sinister appeal. Whatver it is, we are sure that today the Bowler hat is just as stylish and classy an accessory as it ever has been. However, it is only for those who want to stand apart from the crowd and have the ability to appreciate the real history of this hat! For some the bowler is the perfect accessory to complete an authentic look.
Can You Wear a Bowler Hat Today?
In real life, the rounded bowler hat makes a bold statement. As it was the preferred topper for English gentlemen–and american gents settling this great continent, it is not for those who just want to blend in. It’s much more suitable for the man or woman who walks a different beat–and has their own unique style. Whether that style is going to be seen as “evil” or different is of no concern because they know the style is uniquely theirs and theirs alone. That’s really the essential element that defines this hat today.
Today, bowlers are worn by men that often exude a bit of mystery, and yes this can be scary and therefore perceived as evil by some, especially those that like to follow the herd. But you have to decide is following everyone else’s perception of style is something you want to do. That’s no way to live a life for some.
So, no, you don’t have to be a villain to wear a bowler hat, but you’ll find that you gain a little power when you put it on. And you’ll also find a bit of self-assurance in who you are and a little more well-defined style!