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Formality Scale of Hats

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Dragon, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. Dragon

    Dragon Distinguished Member

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    I am new to hats, and am currently thinking of purchasing my first real hat. I am looking at several summer straw type hats that look like they would go well with suits or sportcoats.

    As a newbie, I am wondering if there is a formality scale for hats (like peak lapel is more formal than notch lapel for suits). For example, is a larger brim more casual than a smaller? or is it OK to wear any shape/type of hat with suits or sportcoats?
     


  2. LabelKing

    LabelKing Stylish Dinosaur

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    For summer hats, a Panama is very versatile for casual sorts of outfits to even formalwear.
     


  3. dressed2kill

    dressed2kill Senior Member

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    On a straw or furfelt fedora "usually" The wider the fedora's brim is, the taller the crown, and the higher the band is the more formal it is. Many say the teardrop crown is more formal than the center dent, that is open to interpretation, but to me the teardrop is much more nostalgic and classic of the 30's and 40's. Wide tight, front and center pinches are also very classic, such as the tight front and center pinch Bogart had in Casblanca. On other hats such as derbies, homburgs ect... the rules are different.
     


  4. dressed2kill

    dressed2kill Senior Member

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    Also, if you are really want a great lightweight fur felt hat other than a straw for the summer go with the "featherweight" bodies, very smooth and lighter than many straws

    for magnificent fur felts at a magnificent price
    http://www.vintagesilhouettes.com/

    also great fur felts from what I've heard
    http://www.vis-pro.com/custom_hatter/hatter.html
    http://www.adventurebilthats.com/

    for great straws at a great price http://www.panamas.biz/hats.html

    for exquisite hats at a price
    http://www.optimohats.com
    http://www.optimohatworks.com
     


  5. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Distinguished Member

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    I'll limit myself to fur felts, most formal first:

    Top hat
    Homburg
    Derby
    Fedora
    Porkpie
     


  6. Anthony Jordan

    Anthony Jordan Senior Member

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    I'll limit myself to fur felts, most formal first:

    Top hat
    Homburg
    Derby
    Fedora
    Porkpie


    Interesting; I would have reversed (2) and (3), although noting that derbies/bowlers are not normally worn with black tie, as homburgs can be.

    In terms of straw hats, a boater is possibly technically more formal than a panama but would be hard to carry off. Of straw hats, I would propose the following order:

    Optimo crown
    Trilby panama
    Planter panama

    You might find that the fineness and quality of the weave also help drive up the formality (although there is nothing to stop you wearign a very fine panama with a casual outfit).

    Today I wore a medium-quality trilby panama to the office with a fairly lightweight blue s/b chalkstripe suit.
     


  7. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Distinguished Member

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    Also, to be very vague, a summer hat goes with a summer suit and a cool-weather hat goes with a heavier suit. Color often will guide the way with that, i.e., colors such as tan usually are for summer.
     


  8. acidboy

    acidboy Stylish Dinosaur

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    i'm not sure what are on top of the scale with hats. but here is the bottom-dweller [​IMG]
     


  9. stach

    stach Senior Member

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    Top hats and derbies (in the U.S) are pretty much extinct. In my lifetime I have only seen conservative Jews still wearing hombergs, which leaves you with the fedoras, panamas and porkpies.
     


  10. GBR

    GBR Distinguished Member

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    I'll limit myself to fur felts, most formal first:

    Top hat
    Homburg
    Derby
    Fedora
    Porkpie



    Bowler?
     




  11. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Distinguished Member

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    In my lifetime I have only seen conservative Jews still wearing hombergs, which leaves you with the fedoras, panamas and porkpies.

    Although not of the Jewish faith, I wear homburgs about once a week in the fall/winter.
     


  12. Lino

    Lino Senior Member

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    Top hats and derbies (in the U.S) are pretty much extinct. In my lifetime I have only seen conservative Jews still wearing hombergs, which leaves you with the fedoras, panamas and porkpies.

    I saw a guy in a bowler and a suit about three weeks ago, and a gent in a pork pie with a very retro suit shopping at Whole Foods with a young woman who was wearing a lovely red and whte retro summer dress.

    A few months ago I saw a man in a blue blaze, very light pants (I can not recall if they were chinos or not), smart sunglass and a straw hat (saddly, I could not id the type of hat, but I know it was not a panama, it was on the smaller side, and also a bit retro)"”it was a great look and I wish I could recall more details.
     


  13. stach

    stach Senior Member

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    All I'm saying is, it's best to think twice when something starts to look costumey.
     


  14. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Distinguished Member

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    A few months ago I saw a man in a blue blaze, very light pants (I can not recall if they were chinos or not), smart sunglass and a straw hat (saddly, I could not id the type of hat, but I know it was not a panama, it was on the smaller side, and also a bit retro)
    Perhaps it was a Milan straw--not as elegant as a Panama, but not without its own charms.
     


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