The fashion scene has witnessed the arrival of several hats! However, there was never a more dominating or sophisticated hat than the famous top hat. Back in 1798, when John Hetherington, the haberdasher, had worn the hat first, it led to a riot. If we are to believe a newspaper account, then the sight had panicked people. Several children screamed, women fainted, and an errand boy’s arm got broken because he got trampled by the mob. Soon, Hetherington had to go to the court to wear this tall hat with a shiny body that scared the timid people. Here is the detailed guide to the top hat.
One can say that Hetherington had designed a somewhat modified riding hat that lengthened the top space and widened the brim. Back in 1823, one saw Antoine Gibus, who modified it even more and made it a collapsible opera hat. That way, the top hat becomes easy to travel with, and during the opera performance, one could store it flat, beneath the seat. Also, it wasn’t till the 1850s that the top hat made it to the primary fashion scene. It started becoming popular when Prince Albert started to sport it in public. Then it was in vogue. One could see that the Victorian top hats were making fashion statements. According to many gentlemen, it was a classy and essential part of any attire.
The modern scene
Today, several hat enthusiasts might want to sport a top hat! For them, it is necessary to get the correct fit. You can have the best top hat, but the wrong fit will spoil your look. Hence, it is essential to get the fit right by adhering to a step-by-step guide for measuring the top hat and attaining the correct fit.
- Get a soft measuring tape and place it around your head. Make sure that it’s half-inch atop the ears and is straight.
- Ensure to measure in inches and centimeters and use it to know your hat size.
When you have the hat in the correct fit, it should comfortably rest half an inch atop the ears and sit straight. It shouldn’t get tilted on the back or towards the side.
Why should you style a top hat?
The height and shape of the antique silk top hats underwent a drastic change across the years. One could see that the crowns had become tall, and the brims got narrower. Also, the standard shape of these hats is in a “bell shape” that has curved sides. However, one can also come across the “stovepipe” examples that are especially tall with straight sides.
You can choose a shape depending on your personal choice. For instance, if you have a small head, you can select a crown with a lesser height that keeps it all in proportion. You can apply the same for the hat’s height. There is a short top for a 5.5″ or a 6″ walking topper.
The difference between modern and antique top hats
Today, the antique top hats in silk are a conventional option made from high-end silk and have a long nap. It provides a stunning polished look. The fabric looms don’t exist, and the overall production has gone down.
The new-age counterparts comprise of the silk imitation top hats that get made from Melusine. It is a unique fur felt with long hairs which come close to the silk originals. It provides that hat with a beautiful finish and has a classy profile. The other alternative that is available today is a Melton wool hat that gets lined with white satin.
The essential dos and don’ts
There are a few important dos and don’ts when it comes to the top hats. The crucial ones include the following:
- Don’t customize the top hat from a generic hat maker. Today, there are specialized hat makers online to customize the best top hats for you. They can make you the best grey or black top hat minus any adornments such as colored ribbons.
- Don’t place it on its head and when placing it on a flat surface. It would be best if you placed the hat upright so that the brim rests on the table. That way, you will not damage the crown, which is a vulnerable part of the hat.
- Don’t dry the hat on the radiator. If it rains and the top hat gets wet, allow it to dry generally in an airy environment. It would help if you didn’t direct heat on the hat as it might distort the shape of the hat.
- Do keep the hat shining. When you’ve bought a silk top hat, you have to buff it timely so that there is a polished appearance. You can make use of a velvet pad and sweep on the surface to maintain the external shine.
These are a few pointers that help to form some essential guidelines about the top hat. Once you know it, you can opt-in for one or get a customized from an ace online hat maker.