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Strayed into obsolesence?

Pat_H

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The bowler thread brings this up.

For whatever reason, in modern times, mens hats that have come up in the last 150 years or so are generally modern, or at least quite a few of those types of hats are still in use. Cowboy hats, fedoras, berets, . . . and yes the baseball hat, have all stuck around and are still worn.

But some styles have gone from general use to almost costume or specialized use.

Taking those that have been worn since 1900, I wonder what has wondered off into that category? Opinions.

To start with, I'd note bowlers. They're still around, but they've gone from general use to very specialized and limited use.

I'd add boaters too (or at least I think that's the name). Those former summertime hats that now are worn only during political campaigns, it seems.

Others?
 

Lefty

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I'd say that you're being far too generous to fedoras. Aside from hipsters, music/movie types, and the bunch of odd-balls on this site, myself included, putting the fedora in the same class of popular acceptability as caps or cowboy hats is quite a stretch.
 

Pat_H

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Lefty said:
I'd say that you're being far too generous to fedoras. Aside from hipsters, music/movie types, and the bunch of odd-balls on this site, myself included, putting the fedora in the same class of popular acceptability as caps or cowboy hats is quite a stretch.

I'd agree. But they're not as distinctly obsolete, say, as the boater.

Fedoras hang on (and I hope they'll come back). They're not common, but not obsolete. In some ways, although not to the same extent, that's true of the newsboy too.
 

donCarlos

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I thought about this a lot recently, especially about bowlers and top hats. I think they were more popular in europe during the 20´s and 30´s, I can just guess why. I think they would look cool now, but not with appropriate clothes.

Somebody wrote to one of my topics that he wears a top hat with leather jacket - I can imagine that. The pictures from the thread with bowler and casual clothes are great too. But it would look really silly nowadays when worn with the era-appropriate clothes.
 

Panache

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Lefty said:
I'd say that you're being far too generous to fedoras. Aside from hipsters, music/movie types, and the bunch of odd-balls on this site, myself included, putting the fedora in the same class of popular acceptability as caps or cowboy hats is quite a stretch.

If we are talking about the quality hats sported by quite a few of the gentlemen here, I would say you are correct.

However, when I go to Target (which is a pretty middle of the road store for most Americans) I keep seeing various fedora style hats, caps, and other headwear that I have never noticed available before. (They also seem to be offering several styles of vest as well, but that is a different thread).

Now these hats may be a far cry for the quality ones that were sported by the majority of American men "back in the day", yet there seems to be an interest here. Better yet, this is an interest that is happening among the younger generation. I hope it grows and we see a resurgence of dapper hats once again.

I am an optimist

Cheers

Jamie
 

MadelienneBlack

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107
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Pennsylvania
Panache said:
If we are talking about the quality hats sported by quite a few of the gentlemen here, I would say you are correct.

However, when I go to Target (which is a pretty middle of the road store for most Americans) I keep seeing various fedora style hats, caps, and other headwear that I have never noticed available before. (They also seem to be offering several styles of vest as well, but that is a different thread).

Now these hats may be a far cry for the quality ones that were sported by the majority of American men "back in the day", yet there seems to be an interest here.

I agree completely. While authentic fedoras may be harder to come by these days, all anyone has to do is walk into Target, WalMart, KMart, or any department store and you can pick up a "fedora" for about $20. The look's coming back in a more modern, young, hip sort of fashion.

I'm sure some of the gents on here would argue that it's doing the hat injustice, but I beg to differ. I think it's updating a classic style and maybe even saving it from the realms of the bowlers and tophats.
 

Pat_H

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Introduction to hats & Cheap Hats of Antiquity.

MadelienneBlack said:
I agree completely. While authentic fedoras may be harder to come by these days, all anyone has to do is walk into Target, WalMart, KMart, or any department store and you can pick up a "fedora" for about $20. The look's coming back in a more modern, young, hip sort of fashion.

I'm sure some of the gents on here would argue that it's doing the hat injustice, but I beg to differ. I think it's updating a classic style and maybe even saving it from the realms of the bowlers and tophats.


On department store hats, two thoughts.

1. A cheap bad hat is often the introduction to a desire to get a good one.

Works that way with a lot of other things too, I might note.

2. I wonder how many hats, "back in the day", weren't all that good. We'd expect the bad ones to have been used up and tossed out, with the survivors likely to be good examples.
 

mineral

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136
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Boston, MA
donCarlos said:
I thought about this a lot recently, especially about bowlers and top hats. I think they were more popular in europe during the 20´s and 30´s, I can just guess why. I think they would look cool now, but not with appropriate clothes.

I think you have it exactly right. A lot of the hats just aren't compatible with modern fashion. Unless one wears a suit/sports jacket (or at least a proper button-down shirt), a bowler simply wouldn't work. The same goes for the homburg, which while obtaining its fair share of attention in this forum also seems in the outside world to be "obsolete" in comparison to the fedora.

I think another factor might be that modern (American) fashion thinking fancies hats brim down. (Take the baseball cap, for instance, where a buyer of a cap with a flat brim would immediately roll it up.) Homburgs, bowlers, and boaters just don't fit the bill.
 

Lefty

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O-HI-O
Panache said:
Better yet, this is an interest that is happening among the younger generation. I hope it grows and we see a resurgence of dapper hats once again.

This can cut both ways. It may inspire many to wear them and look further into hats, or it may just be a trend that leads to bad fedoras in landfills. Time will tell.
 

Pat_H

A-List Customer
Messages
442
Location
Wyoming
Panache said:
If we are talking about the quality hats sported by quite a few of the gentlemen here, I would say you are correct.

However, when I go to Target (which is a pretty middle of the road store for most Americans) I keep seeing various fedora style hats, caps, and other headwear that I have never noticed available before. (They also seem to be offering several styles of vest as well, but that is a different thread).

Now these hats may be a far cry for the quality ones that were sported by the majority of American men "back in the day", yet there seems to be an interest here. Better yet, this is an interest that is happening among the younger generation. I hope it grows and we see a resurgence of dapper hats once again.

I am an optimist

Cheers

Jamie

On the Target point, another area where I see a lot of quasi Fedoras, or milk toast newsboys, is in catalogs.

A lot of catalogs that feature clothing, to include sporting catalogs, have hats that are sort of Fedoras, or sort of touring caps, or sort of newsboys. Occasionally they'll have the genuine article.

It's encouraging in that these styles obviously retain some appeal. Its discouraging in that these hats and caps seem to have been blanded down for some odd reason, so they recall a bolder style, but don't quite make it. It's like they're afraid of being what they purport recall, or that the wearers are a bit afraid to wear the genuine style
 

deanglen

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Fenton, Michigan, USA
Tricorn hats started off the 1800s, but by the end of the century were turning up in fraternities and lodges almost exclusively. I guess it's some form of hat natural selection process, some types just go the way of the Dodo.




dean
 

Woodfluter

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Georgia
I totally agree that a resurgence of interest in hats in general, even shoddy ones from a department store, could lead to an interest in hats of better quality. Doesn't have to, but can.

I presently have an inordinate collection of various instruments, including too many acoustic, resonator and electric guitars to list here. Good quality musical instruments. It all started with a Yamaha FG (for "folk guitar") bought at a regional equivalent to Target many years ago. It helped me find out what I liked and didn't in a guitar. We have to start somewhere. I too am an optimist.

Oh yeah, there was a comment about tricorn hats originating in the 1800's but turning up in fraternities and lodges by the end of the century? Sorry to quibble, but to my knowledge, tricorns started with some early 18th century (1700's) gentlemen turning up their hat brims here and there, leading to various patterns of turning the brim up in three places - a more equilateral English style and a flatter-backed French style, although they weren't at all strictly national in distribution. I don't know anything about fraternities and lodges, but these and other semi-obsolescent fashions such as knee-breeches were retained in the habits of "retainers" and servants long after they had left common usage in the early 1800's.

- Bill
 

deanglen

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My comment on tricorns regarding the 1800s should have been more carefully worded to say that they were very common going into the 1800s, clearly originating much earlier in the previous century.



dean
 

Dinerman

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They may not be worn as much anymore, but they're certainly still good hats. I get more compliments when I wear a derby than almost any other hat.

Then again, most everything worn by people here has strayed into obsolescence, it is a vintage clothing website after all. Out of fashion for half a century or more doesn't seem to stop anyone here, though.
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