History of the European Hat

Hat is not only a decoration, hat is also a social status symbol according to aristocratic tradition. The history of Britain can be told by hats of many Britain’s most famous figures. Like Mr Churchill, a former British prime minister, he can always wear two hats between the roles of soldiers and politicians to show personal taste.

We always say that mixed fashion can not just superficial stay on the surface, we need to go deep into it, to understand, to analyze.

In the 16th century, people did not have the ability to make fancy hats, so they wrapped their heads with cloth towels. The court once issued a decree requiring people to cover their hair, and a number of simple hats began to emerge.Before the Middle Ages ,  Wimple, a hat similar to scarf , were very popular, it worn by women when they went out or took part in religious activities.

At the peak of the Gothic fashion in the 15th century , Hennin,a tall and tapered hat with a long yarn attached to its top, had appeared.

University professors in the 16th century wore black tweed hats made from mausoleum and became prototypes of modern college students’ quadrangles, and Catholics wore a hat called Biretta, which turned out to be a beret hat.

Later, the hat took on more class significance: the citizen wore a dark hat, the yellow hat represented the bankrupt, the prisoner wore a paper hat, the king wore a gold crown, and so on. At the same time, people on top of the height, began to have an unusually exaggerated worship. Baotou hats of all shapes became popular, and the British Triangle hat became popular throughout Europe. But with the French Revolution, the double-angle cap gradually replaced the triangle hats.

In addition to the love of tall hats, the royal family also advocated hair weaving and wigs in the 18th century. It is said that professional hair workers would first build hair ladders according to the needs of the owners, and then weave them along the bamboo ladder before designing appropriate hats and decorations on them after making up. Something such as a basket of vegetables, fruit, or a sailboat. Most are caps, and Calash made of flax or silk has become popular,that a lady can wear.

In 1840s, the size of the hat suddenly began to be more modest, so it was silent for several years. Up till now, hats were heavily worn, and only the most important occasions, such as the annual jockey races between the British aristocrats, came by chance with more exaggerated hats.

The most representative hat for men in the 19th century was Top Silk hat. It was also known as coke hatchet followed by a bowler in the shape of a modern Zhongshan hat, one of the longest-loved hats. And in this period, the brim of female hat becomes wider, ornate adornment begins to apply extensively.

In the mid-and late 19th century, women hats grew smaller and their faces were clearly exposed. Hats related to Eugenie, the queen of Napoleon III, were in vogue.

By the end of the 19th century, women who did not wear hats seemed ill-bred and even be regarded as “unscrupulous women.”in the west. Silk, with its lustrous texture, full of tenderness and ornate aristocrat, also became the preferred accessory to a beret hat, and the silk bow became a VIP on the lady’s hat in that period of time.

Before and after World War I, CLOCHE hats became popular with short hair. The bell-shaped hat is the most classic thing of the 1920s. It is shown in the hit film “the Great Gatsby” and “changing the clouds of doubt”. Hollywood’s Golden Age actresses deduce the subtle charm of the bell hat. This is the most retro and elegant style! The bell-shaped cap is a bell-shaped female hat popular in the United States from 1920s to 1933s.

Invented in 1908 by French designer Caroline Reboux. Its name comes from the French word “Cloche,” It means “clock”.

From the early 1930s to the second World War, military Look-style became popular. New look published by Christian Dior had a great influence on dress culture in 1947, and people wore hat with large brims. Small berets also appeared during this period.



A Short History of the Fedora

A fedora is a hat with a soft brim and indented crown. It is typically creased lengthwise down the crown and “pinched” near the front on both sides. Fedoras can also be creased with teardrop crowns, diamond crowns, center dents, and others, and the positioning of pinches can vary. The typical crown height is 4.5 inches (11cm).

The brim is usually approximately 2.5 inches (6.4cm) wide, but may be wider, can be left “raw edged” (left as cut), finished with a sewn overwelt or underwelt, or bound with a trim-ribbon. “Stitched edge” means that there is one, two or more rows of stitching radiating inward toward the crown. The “Cavanagh Edge” is a welted edge with invisible stitching to hold it in place and is a very expensive treatment that can no longer be performed by modern hat factories.

The term fedora was in use as early as 1891.Its popularity soared, and eventually it eclipsed the similar-looking homburg.

The word fedora comes from the title of an 1882 play by dramatist Victorien Sardou, Fédora, which was written for Sarah Bernhardt. The play was first performed in the United States in 1889. Bernhardt played Princess Fédora Romazov, the heroine of the play. During the play, Bernhardt – a noted cross-dresser – wore a center-creased, soft brimmed hat. The hat was fashionable for women, and the women’s rights movement adopted it as a symbol. After Edward, Prince of Wales started wearing them in 1924, it became popular among men for its stylishness and its ability to protect the wearer’s head from the wind and weather. Since the early part of the 20th century, many Haredi and other Orthodox Jews have made black fedoras normal to their daily wear.

Fedoras became widely associated with gangsters and Prohibition, a connection coinciding with the height of the hat’s popularity between the 1920s and the early 1950s. In the second half of the 1950s, the fedora fell out of favor in a shift towards more informal clothing styles, though Greasers wore the hats with their leather jackets and jeans.

A Brief History of the Panama Hat


You’ve probably heard the old saying that the three most important factors in retail success are location, location, and location. Now imagine your location is Ecuador in the mid-1800’s.

You have straw hats you want to sell. It doesn’t take long to notice that Ecuador is not a very busy corner. Not much walk-by traffic. Even today, Ecuador is not a major tourist or commercial destination. Nor does it have a lot of people passing through on their way to somewhere else.

So you scratch your head and try to figure out how you’re going to find customers for your hats. You look at a map and notice that just a few hundred miles north, a relatively short boat trip away, is Panama. In the 1800’s Panama was part of what is now Colombia. Then, Colombia was called New Granada. Unlike Ecuador, Panama is a very busy corner, with lots of walk-by traffic. Panama is the narrowest point of land separating the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans anywhere from the Arctic Circle to the southern tip of South America.

Before air travel, anyone on the East Coast of Canada or the U.S. who wanted to go to the West Coast (or vice verse) had three choices: (1) travel overland, (2) take a ship around the tip of South America, (3) take a ship to Panama, cut across the isthmus, and get another ship on the other side. Option number three was the fastest, and probably the least hazardous, of the choices.

So, clever businessperson that you are, you take your hats to Panama to sell them. People like your hats. There is a reasonable amount of traffic. Business is good. Then gold is discovered in California and the number of people passing through Panama explodes exponentially.

You say the 1849 equivalent of “Woo-hoo!” Business is very good.

Your strong, lightweight, attractive, straw hats are much in demand. They are perfect for deflecting the tropical sun of Panama, just the thing for those long days many are about to spend outdoors in sunny California getting rich panning for gold, and they’re even nice to have on a summer day in Philadelphia or Boston.

People on their way to the gold fields buy your hats. People returning home from the gold fields buy your hats. And when your customers arrive at their destinations, an oft-heard comment is “Nice hat. Where’d you get it?” The response is, of course, “Panama.” You neglected to put Made in Ecuador stickers inside all the hats, so the inevitable result is that the hats are called Panama hats.

Great. Ecuador’s most famous export is called a “Panama” hat. People in Ecuador hate that.

A second major contributor to the misnomer was the Panama Canal. Canal workers often wore the hats, which showed up pretty well in black-and-white news photos of the day. One photo, made on November 16, 1906, is often credited as the origin of both the name and the fashion.


The photograph showed President Theodore Roosevelt wearing a black-banded straw hat as he sat at the controls of a ninety-five-ton Bucyrus steam shovel during a three-day inspection tour of the Panama Canal excavation. The picture was widely published in the U.S., and around the world, prompting much comment on the President’s Panama hat.

Other accounts give part of the credit to ship passengers going through the canal, a love affair, and a revolution. Which is the “true” explanation? They are all true. And no doubt each is at least partly why a hat from Ecuador is called a Panama hat.