Why Do British People Wear Bowler Hats?

Or why did British people wear bowler hats? that would be the correct question...

In the minds of many North Americans and other foreigners exist the image of the British gent heading off to work or galavanting around dressed in his bowler hat, pinstripe suit and carrying an umbrella.

It was a fashion that was firmly being phased out by the 1960s, but before then it was hard to find a head in London without one.

And before the bowler hat, one of the very things that noticeably separated the classes in society were the hats they wore. The upper classes would wear top hats and the working classes flat caps.

So when the bowler hat came along it was fitting to say the bowler hat was for the middle classes.

John Cleese Bowler Hat

So Where The Hell Did The Bowler Hat Come From?

Well, firstly the bowler hat was made by Britains oldest milliner James Lock of Lock & Co., in the 1840's as a form of protective headgear. 

A British soldier and politician named Edward Coke wanted a hat design for gamekeepers that would deflect low hanging branches and not be easily knocked off.

So Lock & Co. commissioned the design to Thomas and William Bowler, and that is how the bowler hat was born and named.

 

 


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