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Why hats went out of fashion?

Bagheera

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Why did men stop wearing hats?

The decline of male headwear

By Matt Pomroy15 May 2020



The above picture from the 1923 English FA Cup Final (between West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers) shows all but one man wearing a hat. And the hatless man had probably just removed his to scratch his head as the photo was being taken. So why did the vast majority of men stop wearing hats whenever they were outdoors?

Hat-wearing was at its peak from the late 19th Century until the end of the 1920s, when the practise began to decline. Nobody, however, has pinpointed one sole reason why this happened, but there are several key things are that are strongly believed to have contributed.

The most popular attributed cause is the rise of closed cars and other transportation. As covered cars became more popular, the necessity for a hat diminished. With low roofs meaning you couldn’t wear a hat while driving and generally had no need to cover your head anyway, personal transport often negated the need for headwear.

Looking at US figures, in 1920 less than one percent of the population owned a car. By 1940, that rose to around one-in-four people. By 1970 it was fifty-five percent.



Men still bought hats, but they weren’t worn as regularly as previously when the majority of people walked everywhere, rode horses or travelled in open carriages. The rise of the car also meant fewer people were using public transport, so there was no walk from home to the train in the drizzle — you were covered by the roof of your car.

Another theory posited suggests that the hat suffered a serious decline after the end of World War II because it was an unwelcome reminder of the time people had spent in uniform. Men who fought did not want to wear hats with civilian clothes after the war. A 1947 survey for the Hat Research Foundation (yes, a real entity) found that 19 percent of men who did not wear hats gave “because I had to in the army” as the main reason.

The previous year, the Hat Research Foundation had tried to arrest the decline, having taken out adverts claiming “You Need A Hat To Work Magic” and there was clearly a promotion drive. The hat industry initially believed going without one was a fad, with newspaper reports in 1948 bemoaning the new “barehead” fashion, but they soon realised the decline could be permanent.

“people who dared to walk bare-headed in hat-making towns were abused by workers who saw their livelihoods being threatened.”
In England there were even reports of people who dared to walk bare-headed in hat-making towns (such as Denton and Stockport near Manchester) being abused by workers who saw their livelihoods being threatened.

Indeed, using the FA Cup final as a barometer again, this fear seems to be borne out. A photo from the 1948 FA Cup final between Manchester United and Blackpool shows more fans without a hat than with one, and it’s worth bearing in mind that they were all standing in an uncovered stadium with no protection from the rain, so a hat would actually have been a sensible idea at that point.



In 1953, columnist Hal Boyle (during National Hat Week) suggested they may be on the way out because people “hate to part with two bits to park their pork pie [a type of hat] every time they go to a nightclub” and warned that the hat may be “…going the same way as vests and high-button shoes”. The fact that those with commercial interests invented a National Hat Week suggests Hal may have had a point – though of course the decline was more gradual, as some of the older generation carried on wearing them out of habit.

The general belief is that when a formerly functional item of clothing becomes purely decorative, it usually doesn’t last more than a generation or two. But that wouldn’t explain why the tie remains a requirement for many offices — perhaps its demise is yet to come.

Hats are still around of course, and one style is currently popular. Right now baseball caps are “on trend” and sales are soaring, with Top Man reporting a 26 percent year-on-year increase in sales, and online retailer Asos saying sales have more than doubled. Meanwhile, anyone bar Slash wearing a top hat looks like an idiot. The last time a great man wore a top hat was John F Kennedy before his inauguration. Kennedy, however, removed it before making his speech. Many wrongly cite JFK’s speech as the great hatless moment that precipitated the decline, but in truth the decline had started years before.

This article was first published in 2016.


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TNT

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Hats were good, i hope it comes back in fashion. Is very good for people like me with declinig hair line.
 

Indos

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Indonesian men has peci, it is only for religious or very formal activity.

Soekarno and JFK

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Religious activity (praying at mosque)

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Indonesian cabinet inaguration (Susilo Bambang Yudoyono administration)

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Cabinet Oath ceremony (Jokowi administration)
1601116789278.png


Marriage Ceremony

1601116947941.png
 

jamal18

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Good question. All the photos of Britain in the early 1900's shows men wearing headgear. From bowler hats to the cloth caps of the workers, scarcely a man out of his house without a hat. Also, all religious figures all over the world had some sort of hat.
 

Indos

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Javanese has Blangkon. It usually use for formal gathering like marriage ceremony

1601117323481.png

1601117502402.png



Gathering formal event like wedding

1601117148166.png


1601117269089.png

1601117626233.png
 

Feng Leng

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Improved urban utility in the past 100 years means more running water. Running water means people take showers / baths more frequently. That means hair isn't so disgusting that it needed to be covered up. Hair fashions replaced hats.

 

Bagheera

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Old Hat! Why the heady days are over

As the retirement this week of iconic hat-makers John and Harry Greenhough so poignantly demonstrates, the era of hat-wearing has peaked. Terry Kirby explores a world of felt, formality and fedoras
Wednesday 4 May 2005 00:00
It was once unthinkable to be seen outside without one. "If you want to get ahead, get a hat,'' said the slogan. And so, regardless of class or sex, wearing a hat was simply what one did, ever since ... well, ever since the first caveman kept his head dry with a bit of spare animal skin.

It was once unthinkable to be seen outside without one. "If you want to get ahead, get a hat,'' said the slogan. And so, regardless of class or sex, wearing a hat was simply what one did, ever since ... well, ever since the first caveman kept his head dry with a bit of spare animal skin.


When hat-wearing was at its peak - from the late 19th century until the end of the 1930s - headgear could be seen on everyone, from caps for schoolboys or sailor hats on small girls, to politicians in bowlers or toppers. The humble flat cap, meanwhile, became a symbol for a whole strata of society.

It was an age in which a gentleman would tip his hat to a passing lady, headgear would be removed during the playing of the National Anthem and a judge caused outrage when he ordered the suffragettes in his courtroom to remove the hatpins from their fashionable Edwardian confections in case they were used as weapons against him.


But then along came the motor car, which sounded the deathknell for the widespread wearing of hats and the etiquette that accompanied them. Social changes and the rise of the haircut as fashion accessory did the rest. In America, the hatless young President John F Kennedy was credited with hastening the demise of hat-wearing among men. And so began the long-term decline of a once thriving industry.

Now one of the last links with that era has ended, with the retirement of two men: John and Harry Greenhough, twin brothers whose careers of almost 60 years in the business of hat-making parallels the rise and fall of the industry in Britain, once the largest in the world.


Ironically, their retirement comes at a time when hat wearing - at least among young and fashionable men - has rarely been more popular, with figures such as Chris (Mr Gwyneth Paltrow) Martin and David Beckham both sporting the beanie. Meanwhile, the baseball cap has become as ubiquitous as the flat cap.

Last Friday, the Greenhoughs, both 75, finally parted company with the last remnants of the Denton Hat Company, in south Manchester. The area had been the centre of the hat manufacturing trade, a spin-off from the wool and cotton-based industries of the north of England. At one time, there were more than 90 factories, employing around 24,000 people. Stockport made felt hats, Denton used rabbit fur.


First established by the family in the 1920s, the company employed 300 people and at its peak in the 1930s, it was responsible for a quarter of all men's hats sold in the United Kingdom.

Its production line churned out more than 100,000 felt hats a week, sold under the trade name of "Attaboy". They were worn by popular entertainers such as Wilfred Pickles and film stars like Alec Guinness and sold by Marks and Spencer under their own brand name.


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Vapnope

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Interesting article. We Punjabis used to wear pagri and now it is rarely worn as well just like hats went out of fashion/utility in urban areas. I remember reading something like that wearing a cap in public is a an act of gentleman.
 

sinait

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Why did men stop wearing hats?

The decline of male headwear

By Matt Pomroy15 May 2020



The above picture from the 1923 English FA Cup Final (between West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers) shows all but one man wearing a hat. And the hatless man had probably just removed his to scratch his head as the photo was being taken. So why did the vast majority of men stop wearing hats whenever they were outdoors?

Hat-wearing was at its peak from the late 19th Century until the end of the 1920s, when the practise began to decline. Nobody, however, has pinpointed one sole reason why this happened, but there are several key things are that are strongly believed to have contributed.

The most popular attributed cause is the rise of closed cars and other transportation. As covered cars became more popular, the necessity for a hat diminished. With low roofs meaning you couldn’t wear a hat while driving and generally had no need to cover your head anyway, personal transport often negated the need for headwear.

Looking at US figures, in 1920 less than one percent of the population owned a car. By 1940, that rose to around one-in-four people. By 1970 it was fifty-five percent.



Men still bought hats, but they weren’t worn as regularly as previously when the majority of people walked everywhere, rode horses or travelled in open carriages. The rise of the car also meant fewer people were using public transport, so there was no walk from home to the train in the drizzle — you were covered by the roof of your car.

Another theory posited suggests that the hat suffered a serious decline after the end of World War II because it was an unwelcome reminder of the time people had spent in uniform. Men who fought did not want to wear hats with civilian clothes after the war. A 1947 survey for the Hat Research Foundation (yes, a real entity) found that 19 percent of men who did not wear hats gave “because I had to in the army” as the main reason.

The previous year, the Hat Research Foundation had tried to arrest the decline, having taken out adverts claiming “You Need A Hat To Work Magic” and there was clearly a promotion drive. The hat industry initially believed going without one was a fad, with newspaper reports in 1948 bemoaning the new “barehead” fashion, but they soon realised the decline could be permanent.

“people who dared to walk bare-headed in hat-making towns were abused by workers who saw their livelihoods being threatened.”
In England there were even reports of people who dared to walk bare-headed in hat-making towns (such as Denton and Stockport near Manchester) being abused by workers who saw their livelihoods being threatened.

Indeed, using the FA Cup final as a barometer again, this fear seems to be borne out. A photo from the 1948 FA Cup final between Manchester United and Blackpool shows more fans without a hat than with one, and it’s worth bearing in mind that they were all standing in an uncovered stadium with no protection from the rain, so a hat would actually have been a sensible idea at that point.



In 1953, columnist Hal Boyle (during National Hat Week) suggested they may be on the way out because people “hate to part with two bits to park their pork pie [a type of hat] every time they go to a nightclub” and warned that the hat may be “…going the same way as vests and high-button shoes”. The fact that those with commercial interests invented a National Hat Week suggests Hal may have had a point – though of course the decline was more gradual, as some of the older generation carried on wearing them out of habit.

The general belief is that when a formerly functional item of clothing becomes purely decorative, it usually doesn’t last more than a generation or two. But that wouldn’t explain why the tie remains a requirement for many offices — perhaps its demise is yet to come.

Hats are still around of course, and one style is currently popular. Right now baseball caps are “on trend” and sales are soaring, with Top Man reporting a 26 percent year-on-year increase in sales, and online retailer Asos saying sales have more than doubled. Meanwhile, anyone bar Slash wearing a top hat looks like an idiot. The last time a great man wore a top hat was John F Kennedy before his inauguration. Kennedy, however, removed it before making his speech. Many wrongly cite JFK’s speech as the great hatless moment that precipitated the decline, but in truth the decline had started years before.

This article was first published in 2016.


- PRTP GWD
Wearing hats in tropical setting results in our hair wet with sweat.
Not good as our brain uses a lot of energy and so better to have good ventilation.
More suitable for windy and cold environment or where there is a scorching sun.

Noticed everybody happy in this thread, no dispute here, haha.
Wondering who gave you so many negatives.
.
 

Bagheera

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Hats were good, i hope it comes back in fashion. Is very good for people like me with declinig hair line.
Good question. All the photos of Britain in the early 1900's shows men wearing headgear. From bowler hats to the cloth caps of the workers, scarcely a man out of his house without a hat. Also, all religious figures all over the world had some sort of hat.
Improved urban utility in the past 100 years means more running water. Running water means people take showers / baths more frequently. That means hair isn't so disgusting that it needed to be covered up. Hair fashions replaced hats.

Interesting article. We Punjabis used to wear pagri and now it is rarely worn as well just like hats went out of fashion/utility in urban areas. I remember reading something like that wearing a cap in public is a an act of gentleman.
It may come back and then go again. Fashion trends works in cycle like that.
The closest the hats came to be revived was when Michael Jackson would wear it. Wonder why people didn't emulate him.

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