Some fashion accessories tend to be so complete by themselves that they can run the entire style show on your behalf. It is relevant for choices like top hats. These elegant, simple hats with a high crown and small turned-up brim have stood for their classic appeal since 1797. People preferred them for their ability to complement any formal dressing in a snap. Today, you find them in multiple styles, from ornate steampunk hats to tall Victorian hats. No matter what you select, each hat type has something unique to offer. Before you make these hats a part of your wardrobe, it is necessary to understand their background and where you can wear them without any hesitation.
The history of top hats in a glimpse
The top hat trend started back in the 1800s, and by the 19th century, almost every man wore them. These were popular across all occasions, days, and classes. So it was easy to identify them by their look. Typically, the mens top hats were narrow brimmed tall hats with silk material. They boasted flat tops and straight crowns. Since these were dramatic, influential, and formal, most 18th to 19th generations found them suitable for their needs. It suited their wealthy, traditional, and elegant manners. However, their heights and shapes underwent considerable transformations from one century to another.
During the late 18th and early 19th century, countries like America, France, England, and Germany witnessed the Romantic Movement. It had a profound impact on the importance of art, literature, and clothing. At this time, top hat designs stood out for matching the flamboyant vibe of the era with tall crowns, wide tops, and curved brims. These became so tall that Antoine Gibus (a Frenchman) came with the concept of a collapsible top hat in 1823. You could fold them while entering the theater. The collapsible counterparts were famous as opera hats. The next twenty years saw extraordinarily tall and straight top hat structures. Due to this, they earned the name stovepipes.
If you don’t trust it, you can check the records from 1837–1913. You may find the pictures of J. P. Morgan, an American millionaire, who drove in a limousine with a high roof to be able to wear his hat in the car. Gradually, women also made it a part of their fashion, pairing top hats with riding clothes. Their top hats came with a veil. Things became less formal during the 1900s, and as a consequence, top hats also lost their fame. Shorter versions of derbies and bowlers usurped its position. One could see top hats strictly during formal functions.
The Present Scenario of Top Hats
As you may understand, top hats have changed in terms of contour and height with time. When crowns became bigger, ingenious ideas made them more comfortable and applicable. A collapsible cylinder hat is a classic example of this. Today, the high hats get due attention and respect because of Fred Astaire, who featured in the 1930’s Hollywood musicals adorning black silk top hats. Men started emulating his style to exhibit their taste for class, and top hats became instrumental in this. Since then, top hats have been a mark of gentlemen. They are the typical formal hat you can wear at weddings, horse races, and grand balls.
If you plan to buy one for a grand ball, you can choose something glamorous and fashionable. Pair it with a formal black tie or white tie. Make sure your hat features a smooth leather look with exciting details. It will be a perfect match for your traditional dressing. For some fun and vibrant tone, you can get something with different elements. For example, think about prints like little reaper, howling wolf, dragon face, and others. These can make the right choice for Halloween parties, fancy dress themes, etc. Or, if you attend a horse race, you can settle down with a simple design to maintain the formal tone.
More precisely, the new top hats are not all about sophistication. These have become more fun and bold. That’s why you can mix and match them with any wardrobe of your choice to create the desired appearance. Make sure you accessorize them right, if you will. Else, some printed versions tend to be enough by themselves. Still, you may want to get creative based on the theme of your party or other events. Hence, keeping this factor in mind is crucial.
Since top hats come in many shapes and sizes with impressive intricacies, you would want to explore all of them once before buying anything. No matter what you choose, don’t forget about the size. It should fit your head well. Otherwise, it can spoil all your efforts and fashionable getup too. With trusted hat makers, you don’t have to worry about the quality of the material and its durability.