Mens hats are slowly becoming a staple accessory when it comes to menswear. Finding the one may not be easy as it is said. This defers some people from even trying to find it. Some men will never try it again if they get humiliated once with an ill fitting choice.
They are not to blame since the amount of options available are endless and selecting one that fits is going to be a tricky process. Especially for an amateur. Now fear not, in this article we dedicate our time to make your mens hat selecting process much easier by giving you some basic tips and tricks. Just get down the basics and then try finding the style that suits you.
A mens hat by definition is the head covering that can be worn for various reasons be it for providing protection against weather conditions, for ceremonial reasons like graduations or just as a fashion accessory. At present times mens hats are not prevalent much except for baseball caps and hoodies which does not actually count as one. But this isn't the first time that the mens hats are having a dry period. In the history of the headwear though there is no official evidence of its usage before 3000 BC some 27000 old figurine depicts a woman wearing a woven mens hat. This historic piece once lost its stance when wigs replaced them in the 18th century. But its importance bounced back in 19th century which became a golden era for the style with evolution of some designs that is still followed in present times. Then again the post war ideologies and modern infrastructure made the style to fade away. This fluctuating history of mens hats keeps on and keeping this in mind it may be safe to say that the style may definitely bounce back in importance in future times.
Mens hats were once accessories that defined the man's social status. The militaries had different styles that denoted the branch of service, their rank or regiments they are in. Romans lived in hat less ages, but they used metal fillets that they wore above their brows. With the advent of Christianity in Europe, the church demanded its followers to cover their body with hooded cloaks. This was the origin of hooded robes. The first proper mens hats were worn by field workers to shield themselves from sun and dust. This strawed hats soon evolved with different materials and styles to the present varieties that we have today.
There are some famous styles of mens hat that have long been in fashion and some that you could wear without the fear of being outdated given that you wear it properly with the appropriate outfits.
Before that let us discuss what are the constituents that make a good mens hat. Classic mens hats are the kinds of mens hats that our previous generation and one before that wore. These styles are not consistent, but they go in and out of fashion with time. When we say a classic style of mens hats don't get hung upon the details just taking it in a broader sense. They are the ones that are stiff sided, structured styles that were the most popular in the mid 20th century. While the details may vary the felt material, circular brim, stiff crown and the band around the base of the crown are the constants that remains the same in all styles when it comes to mens hats. While the changes in the sizes and shapes of the brim and crown are the basic details that vary some other basic changes also occur like in soft flat caps.
Fedora is a classic mens hat style that is the most popular among other styles. Fedora in history was considered a basic accessory for men who went out in public in formal and business attire. This mens hat which once was seen as a mainstream style, is now being considered as a trendsetter. The word Fedora comes from a Greek word which means 'a gift from God' but the style has lost its importance since the late 19th century. This classic style then soon became the trademark look of the Hollywood gangsters while now it is seen as a style that is favored by men who like classic styles and loves creative wears.
Fedoras are usually soft in texture and are mostly made of felt. They have lengthwise crease down the crown and are pinched on both sides. This gives the mens hat a wedge like shape that can be adjusted as per the wearer's taste. This classic style may be the one that is most replicated by many manufacturers till date. This obviously results in reduction in the quality of the style. Some low grade manufacturers may call anything with a brim and a fixed crown, a fedora so it is important to get a quality design.
Fedora's wide, flexible brim is one of the largest benefits of this design which makes them widely popular among other styles. These brims are flat and with the absence of constructed edge it can be shaped according to the taste of the wearer. The flexible brim of the fedora gives them the added advantage of versatility when compared with the stiffer styles.
While they obviously cannot be paired with your casual outfits like jeans and t-shirts it is the most appropriate accessory for dressier outfits. When paired with classic suits they give you a mysterious manly look that is a rare blend of style, class and confidence. The flexible brim allows you to tilt down thus covering your eyes aiding the subtle look if that is what you are aiming for but you can also angle it slightly upward so that you can keep a more open profile.
This style worn by Jude law as young Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts movie has a great fan following for its own. But that does not mean that it is only good for handsome actors in historic movies. It is one of the best style that can instantly add some old school charm to any contemporary look. Just make sure to buy one that actually fits you. To get it to sit down properly on your crown get one that is one size smaller. You can wear this classic style with a Cuban collar shirt and tailored trousers or with a tailored suit to get a cool look.
Another popular style is the trilby that was once viewed as a style that was favored largely by upper class people and was widely seen at horse races. This style got its name from a novel called Trilby. In this novel's stage adaptation in London this type of style was worn and soon came to be known as Trilby mens hats. The traditional styles were made from rabbit hair felts but also are made from straw, cotton, tweed and wool blends. This style reached the height of its popularity by 1960s but then when cars became a popular mode of transportation the usage of mens hats soon faded due to the low head clearance height in the automobile.
This style is similar to fedora but is a little more shortened and with angle. In earlier times they were called as crumpled fedora. The shape of the crown is similar to that of fedora but the backside is shorter than the front thus creating an angle. Trilbys are usually worn with the brim of the mens hat tipped downward in front and the upward tilt in the back. This creates an impression of narrow angle at the back of the mens hat. The brim of the Trilby is smaller than that of Fedora, and they are usually an inch or two wider than the previous style. While the style faded away with all the other mens hat styles they again are gaining revival in 21st century among the younger generation especially in the music culture.
Homburg is a style that is considered a dressier version of the Fedora. They are best to be paired with any formal business attire. They have a similar build as fedora with creased crown but without the pinches at the sides as in fedora. The brim of the homburg is stiffer than the previous style and the lip is slightly upturned all the way around. Because of this the mens hats cannot be molded or snapped down like in fedora mens hats. They may have accented with a hatband in which a feather may be kept stuck. This was a famous style among businessmen, politicians and the diplomats of the 20th century. This style picked up widely when it was seen in the film The Godfather. Also favored by musicians like Tupac and Snoop Dog they gained a distinctly cool gangster flavor.
The Panama hat is one of the traditional style that is as opposed from its name is of Ecuadorian origin. These are of similar shape as trilby with curled up back and down in the front, the proportions are more similar to the classic fedora. They have a central dent with pinched front and the brim is usually small with the edges turned up. This style was traditionally made from plaited leaves of a palm like plant. A quality design that is rare is made of 1600 to 2500 weaves per square inch. This famous style if the popular rumor about it is true can hold water and when rolled can even pass through the hole of the wedding ring.
These Panama mens hats were traditionally only available in a bleached off white color with a black ribbon tied around the crown but nowadays they are available in all shapes and colors. This style is the best for summer due to its favorable characteristics like weightlessness and breathable qualities.
As for styling the Panama hats it is not as easy as it is said. You will have to find the right build that suits your face shape. If you have a round face then it is better to go with larger brim while men with smaller faces must go with smaller brim. Panama mens hats naturally has a cool feel to it that makes them a common wear for summer. They can be worn with casual suits and even with separates. They can be worn to casual events and looks especially good with light colored suits for casual summer weddings. While they can be paired with Oxford shirts and suede jackets it is better to avoid all white outfits. This classic style is facing a dwindling market with only a few weavers remaining of those who can make quality weaves. This may be due to the economic problems and imitations from the Chinese markets.
There are many more styles like the boater, wide flat brim, bowlers and pork pie that are famous for their dressy fashion. Some other casual styles like beanies, newsboy style, bucket hats and many other styles are also famous among younger generations.
Now with all the famous styles known it is time for you select one that suits your taste. While they may need some level of confidence for a new wearer when tried give you an effortlessly cool and manly look. One of the person who greatly favored wearing mens hats to express different attitudes is Frank Sinatra. When he wears his mens hat pushed back it gave out an open and accessible aura. You can wear your mens hat tilted to seem mysterious and intimidating. Also wearing the mens hat tilted slightly from straight means business.
Now if you decide on wearing a mens hat there are some etiquette you will have to follow. You may have seen some in the various adaptations of historic films in Hollywood . You should never wear your mens hat during meals and should promptly remove it when entering the elevator, restaurant or anyone's home. It is a proper manner to touch your mens hat lightly when you greet a person. Slightly raise your mens hat by holding it at the crown when you meet a female friend in public. Lastly it is important to remove the mens hat and place it over your heart when the national anthem is being played.