While there is no denying that men devised hats to protect their heads from the blazing sun, cold weather, and injury on the battlefield, they have also evolved into fashion statements for discerning gentlemen. Even though the fashion of wearing hats has ebbed considerably from its heydays in the early years of the previous century, it is not unusual to find gentlemen making their mark in business and social circles with a well-chosen hat. A handy guide on various aspects of hats and an overview of the top hat styles for Fashion Quotient:
A Hat Defined and Deconstructed- Fashion Quotient
A hat is a covering for your head, typically possessing a crown with a defined shape and brim. The most common use for a hat is to protect the head from the element and as a fashion accessory. In many cases, a hat indicates rank and status, especially for those in uniform. Hats with brims have a few common parts. The crown is the top part of the hat that sits on the head, and its highest point is the tip. Usually, the crown will also have indentations that add to its looks. You may also have a band around the crown to decorate the hat.
The brim is the edge of the hat. It usually protrudes from the lower part of the crown from the sides. It prevents the sun and rain from getting into the eyes of the wearer. In some hats, the brim is only at the front and is called a bill. As far as the inside of a hat goes, it is simple with only a sweatband and an inner lining. The sweatband goes around the base of the crown inside the hat to give the wearer a better and more snug fit. It also absorbs the sweat dripping from the brow that would otherwise get into the eyes. The inner lining makes the hat more comfortable to wear. An overview of the three most popular men’s hats styles and why you should consider wearing them:
The Fedora- Fashion Quotient
The fedora is arguably one of the most iconic men’s hats. While nowadays it exemplifies the classic man, it started as a hat favored by the ladies after the resounding success of a French play called Fedora. Sarah Bernhardt, the lead actor, played Princess Fédora Romanov, the play’s main character. After symbolizing the women’s rights movement for years, the turning point came in 1924 when Prince Edward started wearing them. The fedora’s popularity with men zoomed, and it became the number one headgear for gentlemen.
The fedora is traditionally made of felt though versions in fur and wool also abound for use in cool weather. The straw fedora is popular for use in the summer or places with warm weather that makes wearing felt hats uncomfortable. Regardless of the material, the fedora has a distinctive crown of around 4.5 inches and a brim going all around it that is at least 2.5 inches wide. Usually, a decorative band wrapped around the crown, at its base where it meets the brim, gives it flair.
The fedora hat works best among mens hats for those who want a conservative and classic look. It goes very well with suits, dress shirts, ties, and lace-up shoes. However, more and more people are also teaming it up with casual wear like chinos and jeans with vests or even blazers.
The Panama hat- Fashion Quotient
Many people will not know it, but the iconic Panama hat is a kind of fedora. However, unlike other fedoras you can get in various materials, the Panama hat exclusively uses straws. According to Gentleman’s Gazette, the natives of Ecuador produced the original hats with straw derived from the leaves of the Toquilla palm. The weave was so fine and tight that the Spanish conquistadors believed the material to be the skin of vampires. The hat got its name when the people working on the Panama Canal started to wear the large-brim hat to shelter them from the fierce sun. Since then, many celebrities have made it popular. While many Panama hats are nowadays machine-made to make them affordable, the high-quality ones with fine fibers and uniformity of color are still hand-made by the Ecuadorian craftspeople and are very expensive.
The Panama hat is the number one choice for people across the world to wear during summer. The shape of the crown and width of the brim do an excellent job of keeping the sunshine out. You get to keep your head cool because the straw material permits excellent ventilation.
The Baseball Cap- Fashion Quotient
The baseball cap is unarguably one of the most popular hats in the world, especially in America. The cap came into existence in the 1860s when the Brooklyn Excelsiors, used it and established the hat’s association with the game. Since the cap lacked structure, the inside of the cap was coated with rubber by the 1940s and became the cap we know today. It features a structured round crown, usually with a button at the top and an elongated bill at the front. Mainly used on casual occasions, you can choose several variants like the trucker cap, the dad cap, or the snapback, considered the most fashionable among the lot.
The baseball cap is for the young at heart, which is why it is worn by teenagers and the middle-aged both. It is the only cap you can think of that you can wear backward when you want to look cool though some people ascribe it to the need to keep the brim out of the line of vision when playing a game.
The fedora, Panama, and the baseball cap represent the three most popular hat styles every well-dressed and fashionable man would like to have in his wardrobe. While the fedora comes mainly in use for formal occasions and business environments, many people are also pairing it with casual ensembles to sport a cool and trendy look. A Panama hat is a wardrobe essential for those who spend a lot of time outdoors in summer and want to look good. The baseball cap is the firm favorite of the young and not so young and is ideally suited for casual use.