It has been wonderful to welcome longtime American reader Jake to Royal Hats for this great series on men’s millinery. He wraps up this series today but you can still catch Jake’s fashion and hat musings on Instagram or Twitter @bestdressedmenno. Welcome back, Jake, and thank you so much for sharing your passion and millinery expertise with us!
There are of course multiple other styles of hats that men will still bring out to wear once in a while. As top hats have already been detailed through Chicago Chuck’s millinery adventures here and here, and ballcaps are so casual, I won’t discuss those styles, but I have included a final roundup of other styles to could be worn in addition to those I’ve already featured.
Porkpie: While this remains a popular style of hat (I’ve sold many this summer where I work), there are virtually no precedents for porkpies on royal heads as far as I could find. Porkpie hats, a cousin of the boater (see below) and second cousin to the fedora, are often associated with musicians and worn a bit more casually. Two royals I could see pulling off a porkpie would be Prince Harry and King Willem-Alexander.
Homburg: A cousin of the fedora, this style of hat was the royal hat to wear if one wasn’t wearing a top hat. Largely out of style these days, I can see Prince Michael of Kent rocking one with no problem. A recent example is King Olav V of Norway, while historic examples include a young Duke of Windsor and the Duke of York and King George V, below.
Boater: A style once very common as a summer hat, now the boater (also called skimmer) is often seen as costumey. I personally find a boater looks less costumey when worn with casual clothing, although I do also wear mine while dressed up. Prince Michael of Kent, Grand Duke Henri, and the Earl of Wessex could all pull off the boater in my opinion. A very young King George VI could serve as inspiration for the youngest royals, like Prince George.
Bowler: We do see the bowler still worn at times, especially by the Prince of Wales. Like the boater, this hat was once popular, but now is more of a stereotype. William and Harry have sported bowlers for the annual Calvary Sunday parade in Hyde Park by members of the Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Association (participants traditionally wear a suit, their regimental tie and a bowler hat) but it’s hard for me to imagine them on anyone besides British royals. What do you think?
Ushanka: Usually beanies/watch caps/stocking caps are the go-to casual hat to keep one warm during the coldest parts of winter. If one wants to stay warm while looking more formal, try a ushanka, papakha or trapper hat. The ushanka has ear flaps that come down to cover the ears and usually ties under the chin to maintain the warmth and is style that could be worn by virtually any royal man. The Earl of Wessex wore a ushanka in Moscow, while Prince Harry donned a trapper hat while trekking across the Artic and the Prince of Wales wore a variant in Canada.
While unlikely to catch on with most royals beyond a novelty or casual outing, here are two additional styles to check out:
Cowboy: I hear the Dowager Countess of Grantham (of Downton Abbey fame) asking when we will hear “tales of how the West was won” when I think of royals in cowboy hats. Of course, this style has been worn by British royals at the Calgary Stampede and other similar events in Canada. The Duke of Cambridge wore one in Calgary in 2011, while his uncle the Duke of York was seen in one in Alberta in 1987.
Additionally, the Akubra, Australia’s rancher hat, has been worn by multiple royal men:
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Duke of Sussex, Duke of Cambridge and King Willem-Alexander
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Prince of Wales and Peter Phillips
Bucket: Finally, there is the bucket hat, a casual hat a step above the ballcap (if ranking hats from casual to formal). The royal most likely to wear this style is Princess Anne, but her brother Charles has also sported it, and certainly many other royals could pull this off.
What is your final verdict? Do you think we’ll see more hats on royal men in the future, or is it only a hopeful dream of yours truly? I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief excursion into men’s hats. It was a lot of fun discovering all of these hats for you, and being able to again personally share my love of hats with the fantastic community here at Royal Hats!
My immense thanks, Jake for writing this interesting and insightful series. Let this inspire more kings, princes, dukes and their family members to take up wearing more hats!
Photos from Getty as indicated