Bowler Hats Definition - Definitions for the Clothing & Textile Industry

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The bowler hat is a hard felt hat originally created for an English James Coke in 1850. It was designed to be hard to protect the head but evolved with its popularity in both England and the USA. As it peaked in popularity towards the end of the 1800s, offered a midway between the formality of the top hat associated with the upper classes and the casual nature of soft felt hats worn by the lower middle classes. It was the traditional headwear of London city 'gents' and has become something of a British cultural icon. However British men stopped wearing hats as a matter of course in the 1960s, and most young British people in the 21st century have never seen a bowler hat worn as part of normal dress. It was traditionally also worn by members of the Orange Order in Northern Ireland during their 12th July annual parades, though usage has declined.

In the United States, this hat is also known as a derby hat

Famous uses

  • Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, the slapstick comedy duo Laurel and Hardy of the 1920s and 30s.
  • Charlie Chaplin, another comedian from the early 1900s.
  • Benito Mussolini, fascist Italian dictator.
  • The movie A Clockwork Orange.
  • The paintings of Belgian Surrealist artist Ren
  • In Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, the only description of costume is that all four major characters wear them.
  • John Steed, of Avengers fame wears this hat.
  • Clarinetist Acker Bilk wears this hat also.
  • In the 1986 film Pretty in Pink, Duckie wears this style.

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The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia   5/15/05

Bowler Hat
Photographer: Paul Strand  Photo: (Untitled) 
Year: 1916 

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