Hat History - Modern Hats and Where They Came From

  • , by Alex Torres
  • 3 min reading time

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 - 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 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 pie


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 - panama


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 - bowler


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 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 - homburg


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 - fedora


Year in hat history: 1891
Why: The word fedora comes from the play titled Fedora. 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 - trilby


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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