Updated: Jul 28, 2021
by Zanna Linskaia
When I decided to organize a seniors’ luncheon with parade
of hats, it was thought about freedom after pandemic. To
wear summer, fancy hats instead of masks we had on our
faces almost one and a half years, to talk, smile and laugh, as
we used to do before. And to tell the history of hats as it was
with “Liberty hat “- symbol of freedom during French
First hat in human history was probably a big leaf or a piece
of leather. One of the ways that man tried to adapt to nature
and protect himself. But with time it has developed into
something more and gained a character.
Britain is a nation of hat wearers, without doubt. Here hats
have almost significant power in their ability to underline
class, gender, occupation, and others stations. Hats have
interesting stories to tell. For example:
Flat cap can be traced back to medieval England when in
1571 Parliament issued a law that all males over 6 years old
(except nobles), had to wear a wool cap on Sundays and
holidays with a penalty if they refused. The flat cap became
an icon of working class culture in the 19th -20th centuries.
Bowler hat was invented in 1849 as a hat for gamekeepers by
Edward Coke, British soldier and politician. It was made from
hard felt, has narrow brim and low crown and stayed popular
until 1960s. This hat was a trade mark of Charlie Chaplin.
Stetson is a brand of hats made by John Stetson Co. First
“Boss of planes” was waterproof, made in 1865 and popular
in the West.
Sombrero is hat with a very wide brim and a conical crown
that originated from Mexico: its brim is so wide that covers
neck, head and shoulders. That is why name comes from
Spanish word “sombo”- shadow, and now is a part of
Fedora was invented in 1882. It got name from the title of the
play written by Victorien Sardou, in which main character
princess Fedora Romanoff, played by Jewish actress Sarah
Bernhardt, who wears the same hat. It was made from felt,
had a soft brim and was creased in center.
Hard hat was patented in 1919 by E.Bullard. It was made from
steel and its role was to protect workers from injuries on
constructive sites. Now hard hats are made from high-
density polyethylene and have more strength against impact.
Hat is also a type of headgears – element of wardrobe
fashion. There are different reasons for wearing headgears –
protection, fashion, entertainment, religion, medicine,
decoration, disguise or distinction. Some of the headgears
objects are: bonnets, caps, kepis, crowns, fillets, hair covers,
helmets, hoods, masks, turbans, veils, head wraps and wigs.
The champion of wearing fancy, elegant and royal hats is our
Queen Elizabeth II. And the most popular campaign hat is a
red cap of President Donald Trump.