How to Rock a Derby or Bowler Hat for Men

While it is becoming increasingly rare in today’s fashion, the bowler hat is a timeless gem in men’s fashion. Before the fedora took over, the bowler hat, also known as the derby, was the crowd favorite. With its pointy, highly durable wool-felt body and short rolled brim, the bowler is the ideal accessory for any man looking to consider adding some style to their wardrobe.

We have been writing about some exciting hats, and now we’ll talk about the Bowler/Derby hat. We hope you’ll enjoy discovering a lot of things about this hat style. Let’s go!

What is a Derby/Bowler Hat?

By its long and rich history, from roughly 1849 to the present day, bowler hat designs have many subtle changes that are also slightly dependent on the original maker. However, in general, the bowler hat, also known as a “derby hat,” depending on where you’re from, is a stiff hat. It can be made of polyester, wool felt, or fur felt for the highest quality.

Of course, by a stiff hat, it means that it isn’t a breakable variety. It is softer and can withstand more penalties compare to other hats. Bowler hat’s defining characteristic is its round, open, bowl-shaped crown. However, this is not where the hat gets its name.

Going back to the hat’s design, bowlers are usually created from fur felt, which isn’t traditionally woven but instead matted. This is the reason why individual fibers from the hat can sometimes be seen. Some hats are furrier than others, but the finish is entirely dependent on how the hat is pressed and polished during production.

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The History of Derby/Bowler Hat

It was created in 1849 for Edward Coke, the younger brother of the 2nd Earl of Leicester. He is also a British soldier and politician. He had it made by the hatters Lock & Co. of St James’s like a hard hat, close-fitting, and low crown. The reason behind this is to protect the heads of Coke’s gamekeepers when they rode so they didn’t hit their heads in the branches of the trees that hung low.

Before the bowler hat, gamekeepers wore top hats that were too high. Such hats were frequently knocked off and caused damage when they hit the ground. And so, the bowler hat was created to address these issues. After some time, Thomas and William Bowler, Lock & Co.’s chief hatters, were hired. And that is where the name came from.

According to legend, Coke arrived in London on 17 December 1849, placed the bowler hat on the floor, and stomped on it twice. He was pleased when he saw that it had passed the test and paid 12 shillings for it. Until lately, it was thought that William Coke ordered and crafted the bowler hat, but research presented by a nephew of the 1st Earl of Leicester proved otherwise.

How to Wear a Bowler Hat or a Derby Hat

Bowler or Derby hats are timeless accessories that you can wear in various ways. You can opt to wear it cocked to one side or pushed back on your head. Well, it actually depends on the look you want to achieve.

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So, to help you, we have listed below some ways to wear your derby hat.

Classic Look

For a classic look, place the bowler cap’s brim evenly on your head. The traditional and traditional way to wear a bowler hat is to put it uniformly on top of your head, with the sides about 2 inches (5.1 cm) above your ears. The hat’s brim must form an even line around your head ultimately. Also, you should remember that if the bowler hat touches your ears, then it’s too big for you.

Relaxed Look

Another way to wear your bowler or derby hat is to pull it back to make yourself appear relaxed and open. Lean the bowler hat back to rest on the back of your head. Align the brim of your hat in the front so that it runs along with the crown of your head instead of your forehead. This will give the impression that you are relaxed, friendly, and welcoming. Take note that if you wear your bowler hat back on your head, it may fall off more swiftly if a strong wind hits you.

Nonchalant Look

Tilt your bowler hat to one side of your head, so it doesn’t fall off quickly. It will give you an atmosphere of indifference and nonchalance, making you appear more confident. For an additional tip, you can clip a hairpin to your hair and the inner layer of your bowler hat to hold it on your head at an angle if that’s the look you’re trying to do.

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Mysterious Look

You can nudge your hat over your eyes to appear mysterious. Just push the front brim of the bowler hat forward so that it rests along your brow. This will prompt the brim of your hat to fall over your eyes, making you appear more daunting and mysterious.

In addition, tilting your bowler hat forward will cast a shadow over your eyes, providing you with additional sun protection. And turning your collar up with your bowler hat tilted forward will make you appear even more mysterious if you wear a duster or a jacket with a collar.

Additional Tips for Men on Wearing Derby or Bowler Hat

Wearing a bowler hat is a true fashion statement for men. It’s a look typically associated with eccentrics, such as actors, rock stars, and men with an English sense of style.

A trench coat over a dark pinstripe suit, brogues, and a bowler hat will give you off a stylish look for starters. You can also dress down a bowler with a leather jacket, a casual white shirt, a pair of well-worn and fitted dark denim jeans, and a pair of chunky leather boots.

Most importantly, wear the bowler as if you toss it on your head and forget about it. This is an essential aspect of a guy’s casual approach to the bowler.

The Bottom Line

If you plan to buy yourself a bowler or derby hat, you should remember to follow a few basic etiquette rules, such as removing your hat when you’re indoors or touching the brim to thank somebody. It is also critical that you clean and stores it correctly.

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Jonathan B. Delfs

I love to write about men's lifestyle and fashion. Unique tips and inspiration for daily outfits and other occasions are what we like to give you at Do you have any notes or feedback, please write to me directly: [email protected]

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