To Top Hat or Not to Top Hat? That is the Question!

hattast-ique perfectlytoppedoff

We love to be perfectly topped off here at Hattast-ique.  For each person that means something different.  The top hat can be an extension of who you are and can provide that unique sense of style.    

Today the top hat can be seen in various settings and is still wore by the UK for special events.  Steampunk cosplay is one of the top things that comes to mind, however the top hat can be worn in many other settings.  Weddings, special events, an evening out, the possibilities are endless as are the hats for each of those events.  It is like bringing a piece of history back to the present.  We see the top hat in popular movies such as Alice In Wonderland and Wild Wild West.  In Britain the top hat is still seen as a staple in church weddings, certain formal uniforms of British institutions, and the Royal Family dons them depending on the occasion.  Let’s take a look back in time at history of the top hat.

The top hat is defined as a tall, flat crowned, broad brimmed hat.  The most prominent reign of the top hat was between the 18th Century and 20th Century.  I am thinking dark cobblestone alleys of the Victorian era when I hear of the top hat reign.  Maybe I have too much of an imagination, because when I wear my top hat I feel like walking on the set of Penny Dreadful or walking through a mirror to Wonderland.  That is the beauty of my top hat, it makes me feel like the world is wide open and my imagination from when I was a child can be set free.  For you it might just be a hat that allows you to strut down the street in confidence or sets your inner self on a quest of adventure, whatever the beauty of your top hat, it is unique to you!

At first most top hats were made of felted beaver fur, later silk top hats seem to be more dominant.  In the 19th Century this fashion item became a symbol of urban respectability when Prince Albert wore it in 1850.  Until WWI the top hat was a standard item of formal wear for the upper class for both day and night wear.  The top hat was an item that would be seen topping off those in politics and international diplomacy.  Can you imagine all the history those hats saw? After WWII it became rarer and was mostly worn at specific or special events.  One example is U.S. Inaugurations, the last top hat was worn by John Fitzgerald Kennedy in the 1961 Inauguration.

Thanks for traveling back in time to explore the uses and traditions of the top hat.  I hope you had fun and enjoyed learning a bit of the history of the top hat!

Charity Malabad

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