“Cock your hat – angles are attitudes.”

Now the fashion season has kicked off again with menswear shows in the major fashion cities, we look at an object that has nearly disappeared from men’s fashion. While once a prerequisite for every self-respecting man, the hat is now only worn for formal occasions or by those who dare to wear one. We selected some hats from the history of menswear.

“Cock your hat – angles are attitudes.” – Frank Sinatra

Men have been wearing hats since the 10th century and hats have always an indicator of the social status of the wearer. Men wore hats outside, to church, but also inside. The styles were dictated by fashion, changing hairstyles, developments in technology or even practical reasons. Hats went out of fashion in the 1950s, as hairstyles grew more voluminous and the car protected wearers from rain and sunshine instead. Hats are now worn for formal occasions, such as weddings, or by those would dare to stand out.


house cap centraal museum utrecht birth europeana fashion men's costume

This house cap was worn by a male from the upper classes in the 17th century. The upper classed loved wearing wigs at the time, so having short hair made the fashion more practical. To keep warm though, men wore house caps. This house cap is a special one as it was worn to celebrate the birth of a child. It was a common tradition to wear the cap for nine days. House cap, 1725/1750. Centraal Museum Utrecht. Copyright: Centraal Museum/Ernst Moritz. http://bit.ly/1kqtSSX


victoria and albert museum men house cap 18th century europeana fashion

Dodin, plaque depicting man with house cap (left), 1754-65. © Victoria & Albert Museum, London. http://bit.ly/1cYw1zt


MoMu modemuseum antwerpen top hat hoge hoed europeana fashion

The top hat came into fashion in the early 19th century. It is said to have been debuted by the English milliner John Hetherington. His appearance with the new hat initially caused him to be fined, but the top hat grew immensely popular throughout the 19th century. Nowadays, men still wear the top hat for formal occasions. Top hat, 1880-1920. Collection MoMu - Fashion Museum Province of Antwerp. http://bit.ly/1iTreDB


gustave caillebot paris street rainy day europeana fashion

Gustave Caillebotte, "Rue de Paris, temps de pluie", 1877. Art Institute of Chicago. Artwork in Public Domain. http://bit.ly/1cOMYrR


boater canotier momu europeana fashion

The boater or canotier was popular in the summers of the early 20th century. Initially, the boater was worn by rowing enthusiasts in the late 19th century, but it became a fashionable choice for casual Parisians during the Belle Epoque. It could be seen everywhere, even combined with more formal wear. Canotier, 1900-1930. MoMu - Fashion Museum Province of Antwerp. http://bit.ly/1fcTDnf


boater canotier deauville europeana fashion men hat

Man wearing canotier in Deauville, 1919. From the French National Library. Photograph in the Public Domain. http://bit.ly/K5iTNV

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