Thursday, January 7, 2021

Top Hat

Top Hat    

A top hat (also called a high hat, a cylinder hat, or a topper) is a tall, flat-crowned hat for men traditionally associated with formal wear in Western dress codes, meaning white tie, morning dress, or frock coat. Traditionally made of black silk or sometimes grey, the top hat emerged in Western fashion by the end of 18th century. Although it declined by the time of the counterculture of the 1960s, it remains a formal fashion accessory. A collapsible variant of a top hat, developed in the 19th century, is known as an opera hat.

Perhaps inspired by the Early Modern era capotain, higher crowned dark felt hats with wide brims emerged as a country leisurewear fashion along with the Age of Revolution around the 1770s. Around the 1780s, the justaucorps was replaced by the previously casual frocks and dress coats. At the same time, the tricorne and bicorne hats were replaced by what became known as the top hat. By the 1790s, the directoire style dress coat with top hat was widely introduced as citywear for the upper and middle classes in all urban areas of the Western world. 

The justaucorps was replaced in all but the most formal court affairs. Around the turn of the 19th century, although for a few decades beaver hats were popular, black silk became the standard, sometimes varied by grey ones. While the dress coats were replaced by the frock coat from the 1840s as conventional formal daywear, top hats continued to be worn with frock coats as well as with what became known as formal evening wear white tie. Towards the end of the 19th century, whereas the white tie with black dress coat remained fixed, frock coats were gradually replaced by morning dress, along with top hats.





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