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A curious thing, bow to the left and tilting of hats

Silver-Wolf

One of the Regulars
Messages
190
Location
South Australia
I've always found the history of things as interesting as the here now and future science fiction. Sayings and the reason odd things and practices have become common place over time.

What's your thoughts on why a hat has it's bow on the left and a hat gets tilted in that direction?

I was brought up with the thought there was actual reason to this, it goes way back in time to when people fought hand to hand and with swords. It's why feathers or plumes are placed to the left, bows and tilting of a hat.

I was told the reasoning or thinking of it was based on this:

Most people are right handed and back in the day of yesteryear everyone wore a hat and often adorned it with things such a feathers and plumes. Ribbons were added as a way to hold such feathers and all kinds of oddities to the hat. The reason things were placed to the left and tilted that way was so when fighting by sword in close combat and keeping in mind being right handed, so your hat, plumes etc didn't get ion the way as you swung and fought. Images of the 3 musketeers and their large feathered plumes come to mind.

So come to more modern day times and I was lead to believe the tilting of a hat still happened to mean or indicate your confident 'n game, ready to fight, play or just have a bit O' fun.


Whats everyone else taught or thought/think?

Did you also know they had to bring in laws protecting birds and animals because it got so crazy at one time it became a business in itself of the killing of birds to adorn hats. You were only allowed feathers, not portions of the birds such as wings or whole birds even o_O. That was against the law I believe lol, how crazy.
 
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daizawaguy

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,661
Location
Tokyo
I think they got it wrong - in a right-handed selfie I miss my ribbon!

Breast pockets are on left for right handed people....maybe thats a reason.

But I think as the maker faced the hat front in front so to speak, they found it easier to do this on the left? Or is that me getting too restricted in my imagination....

Frankly not sure!
 

mark balen

Familiar Face
Messages
53
My great aunt always said the reason they didn't put the front in the back was that the hat would be backwards. But that could be plain old tom foolery. Her sister always said that the reason that the bows were on the left was so that the men wouldn't be able to fiddle with the bows during church. Her mother said the reason that women's hat pins were placed on the right side of the hat was so that a provocateur could be more quickly dispatched when the pin could be rapldly withdrawn and used as required. I don't know about all of this, I just try to keep the front of the hat in the front.
 

Sir Tom

New in Town
Messages
18
Location
Heart of Dixie
o-vic10a.jpg


In the flintlock musket days, "shoulder arms/shoulder firelocks" was always on the left shoulder. Thus on a slouch or a riflemen's hat, the brim was turned up on the left.
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,540
Location
New Forest
Silver-Wolf, your comment about hand to hand sword fighting does have some grain of historical truth. Horse riders kept to the left, passing another rider coming in the opposite direction right side to right side, in case there was a need to draw swords, as you said, most people were right handed. It is speculated that the riding on the left is the reason why the UK, Australia and elsewhere, drive on the left today.
 

Lean'n'mean

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,079
Location
Cloud-cuckoo-land
Ribbons & bows are a relatively new thing on hats (or least worring about them) & very much a feminine decoration. Women tended to wear the bow on the right side, why? who knows & when fellas noticed how pretty a ribbon & bow can be, they wanted to copy it but not wanting to look girlish, they persuaded themselves that a bow on the left was more in keeping with their masculinity. The left/right divide also extends to other types of clothing such as coat/jacket butttons & trouser flies.
The pinning up of the side of a hat, usually the left, sort of evolved at the same time as firearms, when soldiers carried their muskets up agaisnt the left shoulde & a downed brim got in the way. Slouch hats today still have that function..
As for tilting, I don't think it serves any other purpose other than style or panache & whether someone tilts left or right is merely down to personal preference & not dependant on which side the bow is on..
 
Messages
19,301
Location
Funkytown, USA
Ribbons & bows are a relatively new thing on hats (or least worring about them) & very much a feminine decoration. Women tended to wear the bow on the right side, why? who knows & when fellas noticed how pretty a ribbon & bow can be, they wanted to copy it but not wanting to look girlish, they persuaded themselves that a bow on the left was more in keeping with their masculinity. The left/right divide also extends to other types of clothing such as coat/jacket butttons & trouser flies.
The pinning up of the side of a hat, usually the left, sort of evolved at the same time as firearms, when soldiers carried their muskets up agaisnt the left shoulde & a downed brim got in the way. Slouch hats today still have that function..
As for tilting, I don't think it serves any other purpose other than style or panache & whether someone tilts left or right is merely down to personal preference & not dependant on which side the bow is on..

Yes, I see plenty of folks on here and in historical photos with their hats tilted to the left, right, and various other combinations.

And don't forget the ribbon/bow serve a purpose: it covers up the sweatband stitching.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,903
Location
London, UK
Ribbons & bows are a relatively new thing on hats (or least worring about them) & very much a feminine decoration. Women tended to wear the bow on the right side, why? who knows & when fellas noticed how pretty a ribbon & bow can be, they wanted to copy it but not wanting to look girlish, they persuaded themselves that a bow on the left was more in keeping with their masculinity. The left/right divide also extends to other types of clothing such as coat/jacket butttons & trouser flies.
The pinning up of the side of a hat, usually the left, sort of evolved at the same time as firearms, when soldiers carried their muskets up agaisnt the left shoulde & a downed brim got in the way. Slouch hats today still have that function..
As for tilting, I don't think it serves any other purpose other than style or panache & whether someone tilts left or right is merely down to personal preference & not dependant on which side the bow is on..

There was also the cowboy notion (and some brim treatments specific to it), which carried over later to the mobsters (in legend, though some of them had a much less accurate shooting style with a Chicago typewriter), of tilting your hat (or shaping the brim that way) to keep it out of the way of your gun when sighting. I tend to wear my hats slanted down at the right, as much a comfort thing, being sinister as anything else. My left eye would be my shooting eye, but I don't carry a gun, so it's merely a comfort thing for me. Really is just a style thing otherwise.

AS memory serves, there might be something in the notion of "feminising" touches like bows, as both the trilby and the fedora - very similar soft felt hats - started out as women's hats. IIRC, both were given those popular appellations after characters who wore them in stage productions.
 
Yes, I see plenty of folks on here and in historical photos with their hats tilted to the left, right, and various other combinations.

And don't forget the ribbon/bow serve a purpose: it covers up the sweatband stitching.

And the initial sweat staining of the felt...........that is until it bleeds through to the ribbon.....
 
AS memory serves, there might be something in the notion of "feminising" touches like bows, as both the trilby and the fedora - very similar soft felt hats - started out as women's hats. IIRC, both were given those popular appellations after characters who wore them in stage productions.

In the play, "Fedora" the lead was wearing a soft felt hat such as was common at the time for country wear, ( and artisans and poets wanting to look "special"), and was worn by a woman, BUT, it was NOT a woman's hat.....
people forget, the "Fedora" was worn when that same female lead, was disguising herself as a MAN when following the suspected killer in the play!!:eek:;)

EDIT: There are contemporary ads from Men's shops advertising the "new" and "latest" European hat fashion a "fedora" as worn in the play.....published while the play was still showing.....some are even posted here in another thread I cannot find just now.
 
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GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,540
Location
New Forest
Not very accommodating of we southpaws, these traditions - but then I guess I should just be grateful they no longer burn us at the stake!
You have probably just established why there a much fewer left handers than right. In order to prevent being cooked to a crisp those left handers would insist that they are not the southpaw but are genuine right handers. To demonstrate their right hand status they would ride on the left. Sadly, being the actual left handers that they were, they were still struggling with the sword and scabbard as their opponent skewered them. So, those who weren't already cooked would become kebabs, resulting in far fewer left hand genes being carried forward for future generations.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,903
Location
London, UK
It is actually an establish statistic that we southpaws die, on average. six to seven years earlier than right handed people. Supposedly it's down to a higher rate of accidents when trying to work around a world where everything is designed for the convenience of the right-handed.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,903
Location
London, UK
In the play, "Fedora" the lead was wearing a soft felt hat such as was common at the time for country wear, ( and artisans and poets wanting to look "special"), and was worn by a woman, BUT, it was NOT a woman's hat.....
people forget, the "Fedora" was worn when that same female lead, was disguising herself as a MAN when following the suspected killer in the play!!:eek:;)

EDIT: There are contemporary ads from Men's shops advertising the "new" and "latest" European hat fashion a "fedora" as worn in the play.....published while the play was still showing.....some are even posted here in another thread I cannot find just now.

Aha!

I wonder what the plot involving 'Trilby' was? I must look that up...
 

johnnycanuck

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,008
Location
Alberta
I've always found the history of things as interesting as the here now and future science fiction. Sayings and the reason odd things and practices have become common place over time.

What's your thoughts on why a hat has it's bow on the left and a hat gets tilted in that direction?

I was brought up with the thought there was actual reason to this, it goes way back in time to when people fought hand to hand and with swords. It's why feathers or plumes are placed to the left, bows and tilting of a hat.

I was told the reasoning or thinking of it was based on this:

Most people are right handed and back in the day of yesteryear everyone wore a hat and often adorned it with things such a feathers and plumes. Ribbons were added as a way to hold such feathers and all kinds of oddities to the hat. The reason things were placed to the left and tilted that way was so when fighting by sword in close combat and keeping in mind being right handed, so your hat, plumes etc didn't get ion the way as you swung and fought. Images of the 3 musketeers and their large feathered plumes come to mind.

So come to more modern day times and I was lead to believe the tilting of a hat still happened to mean or indicate your confident 'n game, ready to fight, play or just have a bit O' fun.


Whats everyone else taught or thought/think?

Did you also know they had to bring in laws protecting birds and animals because it got so crazy at one time it became a business in itself of the killing of birds to adorn hats. You were only allowed feathers, not portions of the birds such as wings or whole birds even o_O. That was against the law I believe lol, how crazy.
The law to protect birds is still in effect. In Alberta I think you can’t commercially sell feathers from non indigenous birds. The funny thing about that is if you have pet birds they shed feathers often enough you could make a little extra money if it wasn’t illegal. I have a bag of ring neck, cockatiel and budgie feathers. All beautiful and I use then on my hats. If I loose one, oh well, get another from the bag I have been collecting. But I understand some would just kill a bird for $100 worth of feathers rather then wait for the moult.
Johnny
 

Silver-Wolf

One of the Regulars
Messages
190
Location
South Australia
The law to protect birds is still in effect. In Alberta I think you can’t commercially sell feathers from non indigenous birds. The funny thing about that is if you have pet birds they shed feathers often enough you could make a little extra money if it wasn’t illegal. I have a bag of ring neck, cockatiel and budgie feathers. All beautiful and I use then on my hats. If I loose one, oh well, get another from the bag I have been collecting. But I understand some would just kill a bird for $100 worth of feathers rather then wait for the moult.
Johnny

All native species of bird are still protected here in Australia also, including their feathers. There are some ways around being able to keep and use protected species and their feathers but you have to be a trained and authorized as well as have all your specialist and/or basic government permits paid for that type of animal.

And you then get paperwork for that actual individual animal or any part there of it, I was one of the few people here in Australia that had all the specialist permits as I used to work with, treat and train animals and all birds of prey (Raptors was my specialty, worked in wildlife sanctuaries, trained vets and did animal training for movies) and I still wasn't allowed to hunt or kill, I could harvest from the birds that had died though. I still was not allowed to sell the feathers without getting special permissions. I never did but I have thousands of Eagle, hawks, all types of owls and falcons ( The real reason for collecting so many was I use them to treat and repair broken feather on living birds so they can be released, saves waiting for a molt when you can implant and replace feathers.)
 

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