Mad as a Hatter


I used to think that I couldn’t really wear a fedora. I was wrong. It was simply a question of finding one with the right width brim and height to the crown. I got lucky with this Stetson and didn’t have to go bespoke. (I’m saving that for a Lord’s hat, stay tuned.) So, hat in hand, or rakishly tilted on the head, I now turn to the burning question of wearing hats with other articles of outerwear.

Do you wear caps? Not baseball caps, but the proper tweed sort like the one on the fellow speaking with Mr. Gabin here (himself in a splendid Homburg.)

Call me crazy, but I find that I wear my cap only with shorter jackets, like my Barbour or a leather jacket, tweedy outwear like a steamer coat or with a Harris Tweed sportcoat. Somehow it makes sense to me as the cap is sporty, casual and rugged. It is a fine cap for driving as the flat crown doesn’t brush up against the headliner in the car. My Basque boina and French beret work the same way (although I’ve worn both with my polo coat.)

But my fedoras and trilbys I leave for more serious topcoats, trench coats and suits (including my dinner jacket) although there is no rule about wearing them with sportcoats and odd trousers. The trick is to find a hat that suits your face and follows the same lines as your lapels and collar. Stingy brims seem to go nicely with the narrower lapel; at least in my opinion.

You’ll know your hat when you find it. It’ll look good on you. To find your size take a tape measure and measure around your head, about one inch above your ears. Try not to tilt the tape forward or back or cock it one side. Even if you wear your hat that way.

What about you? Do you have any hard and fast rules about the clothing with which you wear your hat?

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