Donegal Robbie Hat

Discussion in 'Hats' started by wyogems, May 4, 2021.

  1. wyogems

    wyogems New in Town

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    How old would you guess this hat is? Would you call it a Trilby or Fedora or both and any other ideas. I was thinking it has an Alpine vibe. It sure is beautiful and I can't seem to find many if any out there. DSCF9150.JPG DSCF9161.JPG
     
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  2. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    There's a lot to be said about hat nomenclature and how we refer to brimmed hats, although I think some things have been settled, at least for the non-purists.

    In essence, you have "Stiff Felts" and "Soft Felts." Most Soft Felts are what most of us call Fedoras, as opposed to something like a Derby/Bowler, which would be a Stiff Felt.

    So (these are my definitions, mind you), under Soft Felts we have Fedoras, then under Fedoras we have various styles, including Alpine, Trilby, Westerns, and Homburgs. I know I'll get pushback regarding the Westerns, but again, these are how I look at it (YMMV).

    So the answr to the question to me, is it's both a Fedora and a Trilby, as I define a Trilby as a short-brimmed, tapered Fedora. An Alpine has some other characteristics, such as the ribbon or outer band style, a certain taper, maybe some other accoutrements such as feather decoration, etc.
     
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  3. wyogems

    wyogems New in Town

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    Would you also say it is Alpine?
     
  4. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    You may have opened the proverbial "can o' worms". This hat to me is a hybrid (Donegal wool, sewn crown insert etc)....cap/trilby. Not quite a trilby, not quite a wool cap but it does fit the bill of a walking hat for inclement UK weather. It could be anywhere from a few years old to something from the 1960's and you can find them on Ebay for $20 or so.
     
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  5. it’s not a style many here collect. Mostly, we tend to go for felt hat over woven textiles for brimmed hats. In recent decades most all wool hats (as distinguished from caps) have been of lower quality and sold at a correspondingly lower price then felted fur hats.

    I’d call it a woven wool trilby myself, but there is a lot of subjectivity built into such nomenclature. It doesn’t really have much of an alpine vibe to me, but it adorned differently I could see it. You’re in luck if you like the style as they are relatively plentiful and can be had for real bargains if you take your time.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  6. AbbaDatDeHat

    AbbaDatDeHat I'll Lock Up

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    ^^^i just call them Tweed hats and leave it at that.
    B
     
  7. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    No, to me that's a whole different animal.

    Oh, yeah, I realize I might need to don my Internet Body Armor for that post, but that's how I personally classify these things. Personally, I wouldn't call it a cap because it has a 360 deg brim, as opposed to a Newsboy or a Deerstalker (the Push-me-pull-you of hats).

    Well, I would call it a "Leave-it-on-the-shelf-and-buy-something-else" hat, but that's just me. :p
     
  8. AbbaDatDeHat

    AbbaDatDeHat I'll Lock Up

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    Lol
    I had one. Just one. It was my first “STETSON”. (Imagine puffy chest).
    I found it in the restroom of the hospital i worked at in the late 70’s. Think one of the Shumaker heart surgeon brothers left it. Being a d**k i kept it. I told people i was invisible when i wore it.
    Noteworthy because it reminds me of about the only humorous thing my dad ever said to me.

    Me: How do you like my hat? (Stupid question).
    Dad: Let me see it. I wish i had two of these.
    Me: Why? (another stupid question).
    Dad: One so i could take a s**t in and one to cover it up.
    Me: thinking...guess he’s not a “STETSON” man.
    B
     
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  9. AbbaDatDeHat

    AbbaDatDeHat I'll Lock Up

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    7,349
    Ps: to the OP...the Robbie is a nice invisible hat.
    B
     
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  10. Upstate NY Cap Fan

    Upstate NY Cap Fan New in Town

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    Not sure what it's called, but my father wore that style all through the 1970s. I'd pick one up if I had the chance, just for the nostalgia factor.
     
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  11. johnnycanuck

    johnnycanuck Call Me a Cab

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    Similar to the style Indiana Jones father wore. Or Uncle Buck. Goes by many names - bucket, Elgin, grouse, Trilby, Eske, Highgrove, Irish hill walking hat and fisherman's. lots on variations of a common theme. If you live it, wear it.
    Johnny
     
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  12. Rmccamey

    Rmccamey My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Hereabouts we sometimes refer to those as Landry hats, as in Tom Landry.

    98045ad4cc36ca663f62f5e8c211d5fa.jpg
     
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  13. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    The hat Connery wore looks somewhat less structured to me, but that could well be little more than the effect of having been worn for quite some time:

    [​IMG]

    Certainly, if the brim were stiffer and kinked up at the back, Connery's would have been close to the one in the OP.

    It's a style of hat that has been around a long time. You don't see them quite as often in Ireland now in urban areas, but they're still common enough in more rural areas. I believe they have been around since the early 20th century, at least to the best of my knowledge. The original would of course have been of the less structured variety. What I've seen leads me to believe they were very much a working class man's hat, albeit one that would be later adopted for country pursuits by the gentry. Not unlike the transition of the bowler itself. In popular culture since the 70s, they're something you might see depicted as being worn by a retired, older man of working class origin who wanted something other than a flat ca p - see, for example, the character of Victor McDade in Scottish sitcom, Still Game:

    [​IMG]

    Not at all atypical to how a man in his middle 70s in Glasgow in the last decade might still dress today. Belfast not dissimilar.

    My own supposition is that they enjoyed a level of popularity as a brimmed hat that, being made from the same textiles as the typical flat caps, was more affordable than a furfelt for the average, working man - though that's purely projection. As I say, in decades since, probably as a result of them being often worn by gardeners, beaters and the likes on the big estates in Scotland, they have gone a bit more upmarket. In construction, they vary a little from the Ghillie hat:

    upload_2021-5-5_11-36-35.jpeg

    The Ghillie differs primarily in terms of the crown construction. It's not dissimilar to the distinction between an eight panel cap and a flat cap. The Ghillie would of course require more labour in construction, so most likely this tweed trilby (the most common nomenclature I ever encountered for it, though there's no, single definitive term) evolved as a simpler, cheaper alternative.

    They're not a hat I've seen greatly prized among 'modern' hat people, even if they are commonly sold as Oirish gifts for the diaspora. That said, I'd be quite happy with one if I found one I liked; to my eye, they're a challenge to pull off unless you're deliberately going for the Jack McDade / Henry Jones Senior look. The chief difference between those two is that in Jones' day they were a practical, sensible hat for a grown man, even if not the most fashionable or stylish. By the era of Still Game (early 21st century) they were considered more of a generational signifier. You're certainly unlikely to see anyone much under 70 wearing one habitually in Glasgow or Belfast. I think they get a bad rap because of the cheap, textile (of all sorts) versions that have been more fashionable here and there in recent years, which are typically viewed as a poor imitation of a 'proper' felt hat, but that's a different evolution, imo.

    While they may not receive much love round these parts, they are of course perfectly 'legitimate' as part of a vintage look if that's the appeal. In certain social circles in the UK they would be perceived as "country wear only" because tweed, but in reality outside a particular 'U' set, for most people such 'rules' never applied. Even some style-conscious Parisiennes adopted them at a time, or so Peter Sellers led me to believe...

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    Or if suitably ugly enough, the Bear Bryant.

    Bryant.jpg
     
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  15. Bamaboots

    Bamaboots

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    There will be no more of that!
     
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  16. I read he went into a bar one time (or maybe it was a Pizza Hut) & put one of his hats down on the table, drank a couple beers & when it was time to go home he couldn't find it.
     
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  17. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    it's just a tweed trilby, there are millions of 'em in the UK. Donegal is the type of tweed.
    Along with cloth caps, they were originally created to use up the small scrap pieces of cloth from the wool mills back when the UK had a flourishing wool cloth manufacturing industry.
     
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  18. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    ...and, presumably, pre 1922 if Donegal Tweed was a common original cloth for them. ;)
     
  19. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    HAHAHAHA!
     
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