Getting Ahead In Hat Style

Hats. They're stylish, they keep the sun off your face, and they make Pharrell look oddly cool. Here's how to get them right.

The Fedora

Immortalised by gangsters, Prohibition bootleggers and fashionable celebrities over the decades, the fedora is one of the most iconic hats a man can place upon his head. 

Identified by its wide brim, front pinch and indented, creased crown, fedoras are just cool. Look for something made of felt with a teardrop crown and in a colour that accents your outfit - a dark brown is perfect for a white suit and brown shoes, navy or grey with denim and white with a white jacket.

Don't be afraid of everyday wear, either. The fedora's appropriateness for each occasion depends more on the formality of your outfit as a whole than the style of your hat.

The Trilby

The trilby is a more informal choice of headwear for a gentleman stepping out into the sun. Still easily matched with most outfits, the trilby is better suited for warmer occasions and active affairs.

Featuring a narrower brim than the fedora that is normally angled down at the front and up at the rear, the Trilby is also identified by a much shorter crown. Despite traditionally being made of rabbit hair felt, you'll find them in tweed, straw and wool blends, allowing for greater versatility in wear.

More suited for cooler climates with less sun (because of its narrow brim), the trilby's neat look makes it a perfect adornment for a smarter, business look or a smart-casual outfit at the racetrack.

The Boater

If you are struggling to imagine a boater hat, think swing jazz, the roaring 20s, Gatsby and the first true sports cars roaring down the streets of a young Manhattan metropolis. 

You should be thinking of the stiff, woven straw, flat-topped formal summer hat that finished off the outfits of so many dapper gents at the turn of the century. They feature an inflexible brim and a wide, grosgrain band that matches its colour with the formality of the hat.

Best worn formally with a blazer, the boater can even be so daringly pushed into cocktail wear and meet the strict etiquette of black tie.   

The Panama

And then there's the panama - the only hat to wear in the tropics. Traditionally Ecuadorian, this narrow-brimmed, woven palm headdress looks like a fedora-sized trilby, with a wider brim that turns down at its front and up at its back.

Drawing from its lightweight construction and paler colouring, the panama is perfect for summer style. Match it with linen, lightweight wools and cottons, and embrace its ability to be dressed up or down.

The Flat Cap

Also known as the driving cap and the Ivy cap, the flat cap is one of the least formal hats for the modern stylish man. Traditionally southern Italian and British, its construction varies from cotton to tweed, linen and wool.

Easily worn casually, it needs no coat beneath it, and can even make your swimming shorts and a tee look a little more stylish. However, don't overwear it - if the weather is rather cold, or your outfit somewhat formal, look to a more substantial and hat.  

Author: Simon Paul / Date: 18-01-2018 08:46 AM

Category:  Style

Tags:  #boater#hat style#trilby#how to wear#flat cap#hats#driving cap#fedora