Vintage Hat Styles for Fall
By Adeline J. Wells
As society shifts towards the new autumn season, we can always count on fashion to make its shift as well. Sunglasses and boat shoes are changed out for scarves and oxfords, a telltale sign that cooler weather is imminent. While hats remain a staple throughout the duration of the year, fall tends to spark the resurgence of timeless vintage hat shapes in place of summer’s typical trends. Here are a few distinctive silhouettes whose classic looks always remain stylish, and of course pair well with a quality pair of Belvedere Shoes.
Still one of the most favored hat styles today, the fedora was first created and popularized as a women’s hat. French author Victorien Sardou released his play “Fédora” in the late 19th Century, in which the title princess wore the iconic shape, featuring an indented, creased crown and a soft brim. The fedora gained permanence in fashion afterwards, affectionately named after Princess Fédora. After becoming commonly worn amongst gentlemen in the 1920’s, the fedora was often associated with Prohibition-era gangsters, including the notorious Al Capone.
Reminiscent of the fedora, the homburg hat is another pointed hat style yet designed with a higher crown. Originally crafted in Bad Homburg, the hat was commonly worn throughout the German Empire by hunters. After Britain’s King Edward VII favored the silhouette on a visit, the hombug gained widespread popularity in the greater fashion world as well, which endured through the turn of the 20th Century. Generally crafted from felt, the homburg is characterized by a sole dent running the length of the crown’s center, and a flat brim with a “pencil curl” shape.
Named for a pair of London hatmaking brothers, the bowler hat has remained a favorite since its creation in 1849. The bowler is generally made of rigid felt with a low, rounded crown often paired with a thick ribbon. Also called the derby hat, it was originally designed to protect the head from branches while horseback riding. Well-loved by many, its rounded form allowed for the bowler to remain on the head even when matched with strong winds, making it a practical favorite of latter-day cowboys and railroad workers in the American West.
With a circular brim and a short, flat crown, the pork pie hat is a shape that still encapsulates a truly vintage feel. The hat was designed in the mid-19th Century, named for its odd resemblance to a traditional English meat pie. After gaining widespread popularity during the Great Depression, the style was associated with the iconic zoot suit, commonly worn in the blues and jazz scenes of the 1940’s. The pork pie is most often associated with saxophonist Lester “Prez” Young, who nearly always performed with the short-crowned hat atop his head.