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Donegal Robbie Hat

Aidan

New in Town
Messages
7
Location
Dublin
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:

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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:

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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:

View attachment 332303

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...

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Aidan

New in Town
Messages
7
Location
Dublin
ah yes there are walking hats that deemed more 'crushable' than others. The hanna hats ones for sure are nice and are made from donegal tweed, or equally the Jonathan Richard Irish walking hats are more rigid. I always get confused all the names they go by. when i found this one it was referred to as the 'liffey hat' (after the river liffey in dublin..?). they said its not so 'crushable' because you'd bend it out of shape. so its not ideal for when youre travelling but its ok when out for a walk.
 

johnnycanuck

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,008
Location
Alberta
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Every time I see these posts I think I should buy one. Then I wonder if I could pull it off. Thanks guys. Now I will have to stop and watch Uncle Buck again.
Johnny
 

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