Discover the top three hats we highly recommend you add to your hat collection. The Trilby, Homburg, and the Pork pie.
The Trilby Hat
Also referred to as a sloucher or slouch hat and named for the heroine of an 1894 novel by George Du Maurier. The trilby is sort of a little brother to the standard fedora. Like the fedora, the trilby also features a creased tapered crown with a front pinch but it’s slightly more streamlined with a shorter snap brim which usually features a simple sewn edge and sometimes a very narrow band across the bottom of the crown.
Originally associated primarily with the trench coat, the trilby evolved in the 1920s to a softer hat worn often in the English countryside and also at the racetrack. For these reasons, it’s typically seen as a slightly more informal hat than the standard fedora but not by much. In recent years, small trilbies with very narrow brims often printed in loud patterns across the hat and made from synthetic materials became a popular fashion item, however, these types of trilbies also quickly developed something of an unsavory reputation and brought the standard fedora down with them to a certain extent.
However, if you stick to wearing a classically styled trilby, as I do for most of my own personal hats, you’ll be able to overcome this stigma. Also, they do look particularly good on men with strong facial features so take that into consideration as well.
The Homburg Hat
Next to the top hat, the Homburg is the most formal of all men’s hats. It’s named from the German spa and resort town where it was first seen and also where it was popularized by King Edward the seventh when he was then still Prince of Wales, on vacation in the 1890s. Proper for both day and evening wear, the black or dark blue Homburg is worn with a dark business suit, stroller suit, or tuxedo depending on the occasion and also pairs well with a Chesterfield overcoat in winter in other various colors.
The Homburg is constructed with much more stiffness than the fedora and features a brim with a slight curl around the edge that’s also typically faced in the same sort of ribbon that you’ll find around the crown. Speaking of the crown, the homburg’s crown is typically very tall and also features a center dent. A favorite hat of diplomats and politicians like Winston Churchill and also featured prominently in The Godfather film series, the Homburg typically looks best on old and more distinguished gentlemen as well as men with defined facial features. You can still wear a Homburg if you have a rounder face, however, just try to find one with a slightly lower crown and a bit of a wider brim to balance things out.
The Pork Pie Hat
Also called the English pastry hat, the pork pie got its name from its telescoped crown which features a slight lip around the upper edge of the crown and therefore looks similar to a traditional English meat pie. Normally featuring a snap brim, pork pies flourished among college students in the 1930s and were also popularized by Hollywood stars like Fred Astaire and Cary Grant as well as jazz musicians like saxophonist Lester Young who was elegized by his contemporary bassist Charles Mingus in the 1959 song goodbye pork pie hat.
Pork pies also have a strong and storied association with sporting events particularly horse-racing furthermore, the golfer Sam Snead was often known to wear pork pies made from straw often in coconut and featuring bands with colorful patterns like Madras. Pork pies are definitely on the more casual end of the spectrum as full brimmed hats go and they can tend to give the wearer a slightly squat appearance. As such, shorter men and men with rounder faces should exercise caution when wishing to wear a pork pie.
There’s a basic overview of these three different styles. We’ve given you a few general tips already on how to wear each of them but here are a few more pieces of advice on how to wear all of these types of full brimmed hats with confidence.
Tips To Wearing Hats With Confidence:
Many men are hesitant to wear traditional full brimmed hats for one primary reason, they’ll look out of place or dated. It should be said that this fear isn’t necessarily completely without merit. If the hat doesn’t match the rest of the outfit in terms of formality, is not being worn with the proper detail like snapping the brim down for example, or doesn’t correspond well to the wearer’s face shape, it will look out of place.
Confidence is key, however, and if you pair that confidence with the following tips, you’ll be sure to be able to wear any of these styles with relative ease.
- As these hats all have sizeable and styled crowns, they’re generally well suited to shorter men or men with a stockier build. As they elongate the face, draw the eye upwards, and overall, give a more vertical appearance.
- As far as the brim is concerned, remember that this is the feature of the hat that should most directly correspond to your own specific face shape. In general, though wider brims typically complement long oval faces whereas narrower brims pair well with shorter rounder faces and as you may have picked up on earlier, men with strong and chiseled facial features are lucky in that they can get away with wearing pretty much any style of these hats.
- In terms of pairing these hats with your outfits, you can’t go wrong and coupling them with traditional coat and tie ensembles whether that be a full suit or a combination of sport coat and odd trousers.
- Because of the sporting heritage of trilbies and pork pies, they go well with more rustically styled outfits especially ones featuring tweed or layered with a sweater.
- Color-wise, brown is a very safe bet for both trilbies and pork pies whereas the more formal Homburg will typically look best in black or very dark blue.