Hats In The 19th Century

1262 Words6 Pages
Hats are now worn for many reasons: cold? Wear a stalking. Crazy hair day? Throw on a baseball cap. Need a cute accessory? Hat it is! But did you ever think that hats could actually define who you are? Well hats in certain areas in the 19th century sure did. We can’t necessarily assume that hats today are too different from the past. For instance, specific baseball hats could represent a community. This is because the logo on the hat shows what team you support. However, in the 19th century, hats defined a different sort of community. Although the time era has changed, wearing this article of clothing has not changed too much. Most hats may propose a way of communication. What differs is the communication and purpose of the hats. Meaning…show more content…
For example, “The top hat, which appeared in England at the beginning of the nineteenth century, was worn first by the middle and upper classes.” (Crane) These hats were worn by male adults who had identified themselves as successful. During the century, it spread downward, possibly because it was adopted by coachmen in the 1820s and for policemen 's uniforms in the same period. Another example could be the bowler hat. “This hat was invented in England in 1850 as an occupational hat for gamekeepers and hunters, but was rapidly adopted by the upper class for sports.” (Crane) Once again, the age for people wearing these hats were middle aged adults, because they had defined their career, and social economic status. Not only did the hat itself define a person, but so did the time the hat was being worn. In pre-French Revolutionary Europe, there were so many rules relating to social hierarchy. I will also preface this by observing that Americans, especially in the first half of the 19th Century, were notorious for their rough manners, and the presence of hats on men in theaters, homes and the floor of the US Senate, was commented upon unfavorably by foreigners. “Generally, for the 19th Century man, the hat remained on outdoors, and in fact, a man outdoors without a hat would be a subject of comment. However, once indoors, the topic gets a little muddier. The decider seemed to be the public/private nature of the space. In a public space like a train station, hotel lobby, a saloon or a public dance hall, the hat usually remained on. However, in more respectable spaces like restaurants the hats would be removed before taking one 's seat. Proper sorts of establishments provided convenient pegs upon which hats and other impedimenta could be hung. However, in private spaces, the rules were different. When entering a home a hat was generally removed
Open Document