Menswear History: The Best Hats for Men

T

hroughout the decades’ hats have been a must in every man’s daily wear. In recent years men’s head-wear is experiencing a bit of a falling out in the daily wardrobe of men. Yet there are numerous guys and gals still wearing hats and keeping the headgear culture alive.

Deciding on complimenting your outfit with a hat can make or ruin your outfit. In order to avoid looking bland, you have to make sure that you are wearing the best possible hat for your outfit. Knowing how to do that requires certain ability and knowledge on men’s hats and overall – headwear.

A Brief History Of Men’s Hats

A brief history of hats
A very stylish outfit from the 1920’s.

Hats have been with men for hundreds of years. Depending on the purpose they served, some saved lives, while others determined such.
 
The ancient Romans lived in a much different society back then. They didn’t wear hats. Still, Romans wore metal fillets over their head to signify their status.
 
In Northern Europe hats were a much more common headgear, as people have found headgear 2,000 years old!
 
Not long after Christianity became the prominent religion in Europe, the hood became pretty much a part of every man’s’ outfit. Until 1066, a hood complemented by a long beard was in fashion.
After 1066, people began adopting shorter hairstyles and clean-shaven faces. This resulted in an era where close fitting hats (namely coifs) came into fashion. Not the most stylish time for menswear.
 
The years after introduced flamboyant hats to the world. People wore them purely for showing how rich they were. Many hats had gold plaques, brooches and swan feathers. Nothing practical, but a great sign of prosperity.
 
Eventually, all of that flamboyancy evolved into a somewhat more known type of hat for us – the top hat.
The top hat changed the way headwear was build. People used calico to structure the hat. The following couple of decades the world became familiar with types of hats that we still wear today, and are featured in this very article.


What Part Hats Played In Menswear in the Past?

Through the years men substituted hats with wigs and helmets, but those trends never held up. Sure, the protection of the helmet is much greater than that of a hat, however, people simply didn’t have the need for helmets.
 
In the 19th century hats became more prominent in menswear as different styles of hats started to appear. People could finally choose what is their perfect style of hat.


When Did Hats Began to Fall Out of Fashion?

Although for headgear enthusiasts hats never fell out of fashion, the common man avoids incorporating anything more of a baseball cap in their outfits. It has become something like an unwritten rule for men to never wear headgear with suits, which is a shame, as hats can make the looks of a suit more stylish.
 
Luckily streetwear enthusiasts are keeping hats alive. If you look around today you can see numerous people wear hats, and rocking them like no other. Streetwear has become synonymous with beanies, snapbacks and baseball caps.


How Can a Nice Hat Elevate Your Outfit?

Whenever you opt out for a hat, you will need to own the look that you are going for.
 
A nice headwear can make your outfit stand out, or be the finishing touch of one. There is nothing wrong to inspire yourself from other outfits on Instagram or Pinterest as long as you stay true to your own look.

What Hat to Wear For Each Season

Knowing how to wear a hat properly is very important. After all, it’s pretty hard to pull off a winter hat in the summer, and vice versa.
Because all of us want to look as best as possible, it’s good for all menswear enthusiasts to know which hat is suitable for which season.

Suitable Hats for Fall & Winter

The colder weather seasons see most hat wearers on the streets. That’s completely normal, as most people wear it out of practicality, not because they want to. Because of that, it’s nice to know which hat is meant for winter.


The Stocking Cap

The very warm and nice stocking cap is everyone’s favourite. What is little known is that the stocking cap has quite a history behind it.

The stocking cap comes all the way from the 16th century. However, back then it was called a toque and it has seen quite a lot of change since its beginning. In modern days, the stocking cap is a great way to keep warm while dressing casually. It covers the years and your head overall.

Because it’s a knit cap it will hold trough fairly cold weather. We suggest that you stick to basic colours such as grey and black. But experimenting is encouraged so you can try all types of crazy colour variations and see which one works best for you.


The Beanie

Close to the stocking cap, the beanie is a knit headwear as well. The only difference is that the beanie hat doesn’t fit as closely to the head.

The structure of a beanie hat is fairly simple. Six sides of the fabric are joined together at the top with a button. This makes for the loose form of the hat.
When looking for the perfect beanie, you can get also one that has a visor. Though knitted caps are amazing to keep warm, and do look stylish when done right, they don’t make your head any favours to your hair. Be prepared for having to do wonders to your head after taking it off!


The Ushanka

The Ushanka hat is an amazing headwear introduced to the world by the Russians. The cold weather made Russians develop interesting ways to fight the cold. If the place where you live often drops below -10 degrees Celsius, or you want to look great next time you are going to the mountain then an ushanka may be a good choice for you.  


Flat Caps

The Peaky Blinders favourite hats are still in fashion. The British look that is so synonymous with cabbies, is the perfect solution to keeping your head warm and look stylish at the same time.

We suggest taking a look at woven flat caps for the best look and optimal warm. Depending on your daily style, you may have to adjust flat cap styles and the materials that they are made of.


Stormy Kromer Hat

Often avoided, we think that the Stormy Kromer hat can give a really cool rugged look to any casual outfit.
Our suggestion is that you stick to the casual style, and don’t try to dress it up. It looks best combined with flannels and jeans.


Suitable Hats for Autumn & Summer

Summer is a great season for hats as well. Instead of wearing them to keep your head warm, the idea is to wear a hat in order to shade your head from the harmful rays of the sun.


The Panama Hat

The Panama hat is one of those iconic hats that are recognisable at first sight. Because of their lightness and breathability, Panama hats are the perfect headwear for hot and sunny weather.

The hat is very versatile, suiting all outfits from dressier to casual. We suggest you experiment with your outfits and see what best suits you.


Snapbacks

Coming from baseball, snapbacks are great casual caps that can suit any sporty style. They look great when worn to the gym, on a hike or just on a quick jog.

If you want to take your street style on to the next level, we suggest that you try around different hats made out of different materials like suede and leather.


Fedoras

Fedoras’ are a bit of a hard style to pull off. Let’s just say that fedora hats aren’t in their best years.
Still, some stylish people pull them off very well. Just like most brimmed hats, in order to look good, fedoras’ need to suit your face.


Accessorizing your head with the best headwear out there can complement your style amazingly well. It all boils down to trying and seeing what works for your style and your face shape.

Evgeni Asenov

For the last 4 years I've been enthusiastic about men's style, lifestyle and fashion. Trough trial and error I've learned some things in this area and now I'm here to share with everyone who might be interested.

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