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Proper hat with a tuxedo (dinner jacket)?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Tango Yankee, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Is a top hat the only proper hat to wear with a tuxedo, or would a bowler do in a pinch? I've got a very nice bowler, but haven't been able to land a top hat yet.

    I'm sure I can count on Topper to weigh in here!

  2. Davidson

    Davidson One of the Regulars

    Can't help on the hat question but

    There is another line to your .sig:

    To do is to be - Descartes;
    To be is to do - Voltaire;
    Do be do be do - Frank Sinatra;
    Be a do bee - Romper Room (a TV show for preschoolers)

    "Do bees are cheerful and coooperative. Don't bees are grumpy and unhelpful. Don't be a don't bee. Be a do bee." :)
  3. For what it's worth (and it may be worth nothing), tradition says that top hats go with morning coats and evening tails, while homburgs go with tuxedo suits.

  4. We've discussed this before.
    Any hat goes with a tux... even a ballcap. Tuxedos are indoor wear and not for the out of doors, so any coat or hat is workable with a tux.
  5. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

    A ballcap with a tux?

    Matt. Either you threw that one to the wind to see who would notice, or you've been on that Jack Daniels again - naughtey!!

    A ballcap with a tux? [huh] Not in my club sir (show him the door James). You've given me nightmares now with that image :( HORRIBLE!!
  6. Maybe for prom night? Jacket and shirt unbottoned, tie undone, and the hat backwards. Party till it hurts.
  7. Topper

    Topper Vendor

    With true Black tie event:
    Black Homburg, or "Formal/Square Bowler" ( not city bowler)* if not available the possibly a Black Trilby or Fedora. Unless the Balck Tie is Highland wear, then a Balmoral or Glengarry hat should be used.

    Event in Temperate Climate:
    White Bombay Bowler or Straw Panama. (with Cream Dinner Jacket & Black Tie)

    With White Tie at a Ball:
    Black Silk Plush Topper

    With White Tie at the Opera/ Theatre:
    Black Silk Gibus

    * Formal Bowler is a flat sided flat topped bowler, with curved top edge (which is actually called "The Square".... so The Square is being cruved !) of the crown ( think hats worn by Odd-Job from James Bond, also Sir Winston Churchill was also famous for wearing the same style). A normal city rounded bowler would not suit as evening wear, as is moreso day wear.

    Agree with Matt, what coat will you wear with you hat? A Black Tie Event one wears a "Jacket" (Tux as called in the US) rather than a "Coat" ( Tailcoats go with High Hats/ Toppers). As such when wearing a black dinner jacket for balck tie one should also consider it is usuallly worn with overcoat. Then the hat and overcoat is taken off upon arriving at an event as well as depositing one's umbella with the butler ;)
  8. I've worn a light pearl gray homburg with a black ribbon and that worked well. A black homburg or bowler would probably look even more formal.
    I like the look of a straw boater with a black ribbon with a tuxedo, but that may seem too much like a vaudeville squire more than for real wear.
    Tophats aren't really made to be worn with dinner jackets. The only way they'd look right is when they are balanced by the longer tailcoat.
  9. beaucaillou

    beaucaillou A-List Customer

    I had no idea.
    So tuxedos are like the ros?© champagne of men's attire!?!
    Very cool. I'll let my brother know his White Sox cap won't clash one bit. He'll be ecstatic, assuming he doesn't already know.
  10. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member


    See Costranovo, Classic Style, Volume 1, Issue 1.
  11. Topper

    Topper Vendor

    Should be:

    A "hat" goes with your coat if it is a overcoat then Bowler, homburg, Trilby, Formal Bowler ok. If the overcoat ( or cape) is over a tailcoat or frockcoat then a topper can be worn. Coats are considered to be outerwear with the exception of a tail/frockcoats, which can be both in and outerwear.

    A black-tie "jacket" rather than a "coat" be it in black or cream ( white is for waiters) is nearly always worn inside, and as such has no "Hat" to be associated with it. UNLESS - in hotter climate when a Hat ( such as Straw/Pith) can be worn with a Jacket openly outside without a coat.

    A "cap" is only worn by the military or schoolboys or members of sporting clubs and can be worn with sporting-jackets (e.g. Blazer). Never with civilian formal wear.

    Caps (or hats) are not traditionally worn indoors ( plesae read the whole different threads on etiquette) except at home with smoking cap and smoking jacket, but it is a exception as not a hat, just a cap!
  12. Topper

    Topper Vendor

    Who, what, where is Costranovo?
  13. Flitcraft

    Flitcraft One Too Many

    I'd stick with the Homburg- preferably black or midnight blue.
  14. Years ago, at a San Marino estate sale, I purchased a formal (flat-topped) bowler hat owned by U.S. president Herbert Hoover. Made by Battersea, it was in perfect condition. From the 'teens. Size 7 5/8 U.S. (Herbert Hoover had a big square head.) Stupidly, I sold it.

  15. He's a Noo Yawker of Italian descent who is penning a mid-century cocktail disaster novel. (Don't ask.) ;)

  16. Preferably a straw panama homburg.

    1920s "Wales - Stambler" Montecristi panama homburg from Buenos Aires.

  17. Topper

    Topper Vendor

    Yes, but you didnt sell it to ME :rage:

    lol lol lol
  18. Nope. I sold it to Joel, a Harley-Davidson mechanic. Fit his head, I can't deny it.

  19. dnjan

    dnjan One Too Many

    Ah yes ... the Men's Cape. (a real cape, and not some Dracula costume)
    Can be even harder to find than a decent beaver tophat!
  20. Thanks for the comments and info!

    As usual, what seems like a simple question isn't. :p

    For what it's worth, this particular event is my step-daughter's wedding. It will be held outside (weather permitting) at 4:00 PM in late May.

    I hadn't given any thought to the tuxedo being considered "indoor" wear as in warmer months one would not be able to wear a coat over it--at least, not comfortably. We're hoping for pleasant weather in May without extremes. Although I had not necessarily planned to wear the hat during the ceremony I was considering it for the other times when outside.

    Interesting comment about having a top hat balance out tails... I can see that now that it's been pointed out to me. :D But, at the end of the day, no one in the crowd that'll be there will have any idea I'm committing a faux pas by wearing a hat as long as it looks nice. In fact, many would probably agree that a baseball cap would work!

    What I'll probably do on the day is try one a couple of hats after dressing to see if any "work." If not, then I'll go without.


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