While it is true that men started to wear hats to protect them from sunshine, dust, wind, and rain, they did not take much time to evolve into fashion statements, particularly in the cities. The first hat believed to have been used in ancient Greece; the Petasos was made of felt or straw and used by horsemen mainly. A few thousand years later, the hat has evolved a lot, and you can choose from an array of virtually every conceivable shape, style, and material. Some of the more popular hat styles for men include:
An iconic hat, the Fedora epitomized the modern man but is started as a hat worn by women who also made it a symbol for the women’s rights movement. It got its name from an 1882 French stage production where the main character was a woman by the same name. However, men took a fancy to it, following the example set by Prince Edward of Britain who first wore it in 1924. Since then, both men and women wear the Fedora but it is more popular with men. Traditionally made of felt, it features a crown with indentations on the top and both sides of the front. The crown is around 4.5 inches in height and encircled by a band. The brim is at least 2.5 inches wide. Because of its classic status, you should wear Fedora if you want to sport a conventional style, which means you should wear formal outfits like suits, dress shirts, formal shoes. It also pairs very well with blazers and sports coats.
Many people confuse the Trilby with the Fedora because they look similar, but a close look will reveal that the Trilby has a narrower brim, often less than an inch. The Trilby hat also has its roots in dramatics; it got its name from the 1984 stage production of George du Maurier’s novel of the same name. With the British aristocracy taking a fancy to it, the Trilby hat soon became popular in the horse racing circles, where gents loved to dress up in a tweed suit topped off with a brown felt Trilby. Since then, Trilby’s fashion quotient has waxed and waned and in recent times even become controversial because of its association with disheveled neck-bearded men. Also, as far as mens hats go, more people favor the Fedora over the Trilby since its short brim does not give much protection from the sun and is purely decorative. However, if you have a small frame, a Trilby can help you look smarter than if you wore Fedora.
The Panama Hat
It may surprise many people that the ever-popular Panama hat is a Fedora. A Fedora is a Panama when it is made of straw. The original Panama hats were worn by the natives of Ecuador, who painstaking wove it from the straw derived from the leaves of the Toquilla palm that grew in abundance in the rainforests there. However, the hat got its name because most people encountered it in Panama where the laborers wore them to protect themselves from the sun, according to Esquire. The Panama hat shot into the limelight when the media splashed photos of President Roosevelt wearing it during his inspection of the Panama Canal in 1906. The tightness of the weave defines the quality of a Panama hat. Its price depends on the time and effort put into its manufacture. Some of the best Panama hats can take up to eight months to make. Panama hats make a great style statement in the summer. These hats do a good job of keeping the sun out to keep your head and neck cool as the material is breathable. Their low weight also makes them very comfortable.
The Boater Hat
Inspired by the canotier straw hats worn by the gondoliers of Venice, the Boater hat first started to be worn in the 1880s and soon became the staple for formal summer wear. Because of their historical association with boating and sailing, they are more commonly seen at such sporting events even today. It is a unisex hat; however, women use hatpins to secure them. The original boater hat shape keeps fading out of fashion and coming back, but there seems to be resurgence in recent times, especially among women. A summer hat, the Boater is made from a type of straw called sennit. Just like the Bowler and the Homburg, it is a semi-formal hat; you can wear it with a blazer or a smart lounge suit. It has a distinctive flat and slightly oval crown with a striped or solid color ribbon going around it. The Boater hat’s brim is also flat.
There are many other kinds of hats that men can wear on casual or formal occasions like the Pork Pie, the Flat Cap, the Bowler, etc. You need to find a style that suits your face and personality.