Fashion - To Hat or Not to Hat? That is the Question.
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British hats play so prominent a role in our heritage that we believe they deserve more attention than just a fashion fancying after thought. Here's a little heritage on four of our most favourite hats...
The trilby acquired its name from the 1894 novel ‘Trilby’ where the hat was first illustrated. After the novel was published trilby mania hit both British and
American culture alike.
Often labelled the rich mans favourite, trilbies are narrow-brimmed, indented at the crown, angled down at the front, lifted at the back and originally made of rabbit hair felt. Cousin to the trilby is the slightly wider brimmed fedora, popularly seen in gangster films and donned by many a fancy dresser.
Available at The Hat Box, Angel Gate, Guildford, GU1 4AE
The Flat Cap
An emblem of British culture, the flat cap can be traced back to the 14th century.
In 1571, at a time when the wool trade was paramount to British economy, an Act of Parliament decreed that all males over 6, unless of noble birth, must wear a wool flat cap on Sundays and holidays. After this was revoked in 1597 the flat cap became widely known as the workingman’s hat and today can be dressed up or down to suit many a social occasion.
Available at D7, 42 Bridge Street, Godalming, GU7 1HL (along many a charity shop)
The Top Hat
In 1797 a hatter appeared on the streets of London wearing a silk plush coated top hat. The flamboyance of this new design led to the man’s arrest. His charges: disturbing public order. Originally associated with the 18th century Dandies and a mark of sophistication, the initial top hat design has been adapted and produced in many variations. The top hat has stood the test of time - jolly good thing too.
Available to hire from Anthony Hireware, 23 Church Street, Godalming, GU7 1EL
Who can picture Charlie Chaplin without his classic bowler hat?
Another emblem of our great British heritage, the bowler dates back to the 1800s where it was first created for a game warden as a protective hat to wear whilst he rode his trusty steed in search of poachers. Through the ages the bowler has been seen atop highborn and working class heads alike and is known as the ‘everyman’ hat.
This seems the trickiest hat to find in our leafy suburbs but both The Hat Box and D7 can order them in on request.
So, wear your hat with pride in the knowledge that a little British heritage rests atop your head. We like the outlandish style of the trilby.