Hat Styles - Top Hat

Top HatAlso known as a “High Hat” or simply “topper, the Top Hat’s popularity began in the late 1700s (when it began to replace the Tricorne …) and early 1800s.  Well-worn by all social classes, made of either beaver or rabbit fur felt. The Top Hat style peaked in the 1840s and 1850s, being worn as a part of many uniforms and taking many forms itself in terms of height, shape, brim size, etc…  The collapsible Top Hat, patented in 1837, was designed to be worn to events such as the opera, where it could be flattened for storage under the seat .. thus earning it the name “opera hat”.

The middle and lower classes began a rebellion against the Top Hat around the 1850s, favouring more “common man” styles such as the Bowler and Fedora. Thus began the Top Hat’s slide into obscurity, where it became satirized and ridiculed as the symbol of capitalism and the elite.

Today the Top Hat is worn once again by many, be it at horse races or graduations, by rock stars, magicians or just anyone who happens to love the style! 

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