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Social History

Clothing, Costume & Fashion Accessories

Top hat with hat box

Description:

The top hat is a tall, flat-crowned hat that was first created by Middlesex-based hatter George Dunnage in 1793. Over the next few decades, gentlemen gradually began to replace their tricorne hats with top hats, and it became a popular style of hat for men across the class divide. 

 

Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert began to wear top hats in 1850, and as a result, the style moved away from functioning as a mere fashion accessory to a statement of urban respectability.

 

Towards WWI, they moved to be less popular as considerations for practicality and expense became more important, and softer hats thus rose in popularity. After WWII, top hats were a relative rarity, and now are generally only worn in very formal situations, such as weddings.

Place of Production:
Rowans, Glasgow & Birmingham
Source:
The Dick Institute
Digital Number:
RI_DI_0074684
Copyright:
East Ayrshire Council