Hats of the 20's

Discussion in 'Hats' started by jswindle2, May 13, 2011.

  1. jswindle2

    jswindle2 One of the Regulars

    I've noticed when looking at photos and films of the 1920's that many men were not wearing the standard fedora, but more like a homburg. Where the hats actually homburgs,snap brims or am I just missing something.
  2. My impression is that indeed, homburgs were more popular in the 20's, however, I think many of those hats you see in photos are fedoras with the brim up.
  3. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    Chicago, IL
    Well jswindle2 , there isn't an easy answer to this question. There has been LOTS of discussion in many different threads about early hats and such. I collect anything pre-1940 and can tell you that a fair percentage of the hats back then were worn brim up and the brim had a slight curl to it. A fair percentage of the hats had shorter brims with taller crowns, but just just like anything else, there were exceptions. Also many hats back then had a higher flange to the brim. If you want to see some examples of period 20's hats then I would check out the "Pre-1940s dress hats" & "Pre 1940s Stetson dress hats" threads.
  4. Woodfluter

    Woodfluter Practically Family

    You could (and can!) of course wear a fedora-ish hat with the brim snapped down in front, or up all around. Or as in some pictures, a mix sort of like what's now called "Hollywood brim" or like the iconic Al Capone picture...but also seen in ads etc.

    Seems like in the 1920s and earlier, it was most common to wear brim up. But styles changed...there's one picture of a huge crowd watching results from the 1912 World Series in NYC, with about half wearing derbys, but you can spot boaters with the front snapped down, low telescope-crown hats with the front snapped, also side dent fedoras with front snapped. More commonly up all around as appears to be the case a decade later. But I think it was always an individual matter regardless of fashion plates and ads.

    To me, the thing that made a Homburg distinct was the bound edge brim with sharper break, rather like a derby (bowler) but more nearly 90 degrees, not with the sharper inward bend seen in some earlier examples of the latter...plus a somewhat tapered crown (more fedoras were straighter sided early on, with exceptions).

    I'm going mostly by ad and other images I've collected, so others here more knowledgeable may correct my errors.

    - Bill
    Last edited: May 14, 2011
  5. danofarlington

    danofarlington My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Arlington, Virginia
    Styles changing I think is the most interesting dynamic of observing and collecting vintage hats. Hats then were in the forefront of a man's costume, and customers seem to have been highly conscious of what is this year's style, and what was last year's style. Brim up, brim down. High crown, low crown. Wide ribbon, narrow ribbon. Colors changed. All the characteristics that pertain to fashion changes nowadays were at work then. This is why I think that hats to some degree can be dated by style--men were so conscious of what is "in" this year and "out", and they didn't want to be caught with old fashions. This attitude would be modified according to how many hats one could afford over time--poor folks probably didn't change their hats often. But style change is a given, and we can use it to to roughly guess dates.

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