The Art of Wearing a Pork Pie Hat

The timeless appeal of pork pie hats has made them a staple accessory in both casual and formal fashion for over a century. These hats, named after the famous English pastry, exude comfort and elegance, making them perfect for any occasion.

Dissecting the Pork Pie Hat

The pork pie hat, often referred to as the English pastry hat, is reminiscent of the classic fedora. It features a thin brim and a short, rounded, and flat-topped crown. While typically made of felt, some variations are crafted from straw. The hat gets its intriguing name from its uncanny resemblance to the Melton Mowbray pork pie, a delectable pastry whose crust mirrors the brim of the hat.

One iconic example of a pork pie hat is Brixton’s Stout Pork Pie. This timeless accessory allows wearers to express their unique style and exude an air of cultured elegance.

A Journey Through History

Although now worn predominantly by men, the pork pie hat actually originated as a popular women’s fashion item in mid-19th century Britain. While the exact inventor remains unknown, the hat’s captivating story contributes to its enduring appeal.

During the period between 1830 and 1865, women adorned their pork pie hats with ribbons, feathers, and bows, highlighting the hat’s delicate charm. These hats were typically made of cotton canvas coated with silk, felt, or straw. In the late 1880s, British hatmakers introduced the men’s pork pie hat, which eventually fell out of fashion.

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However, the pork pie hat experienced a revival thanks to the legendary Buster Keaton in the 1920s. Keaton, renowned for his comedic stunts, needed a sturdy hat for his daring movie scenes. He crafted his own pork pie hats by cutting down a Stetson and stiffening the brim with sugar water. The hat’s popularity resurfaced in the US and Britain after it was spotted being worn by English men and women during tennis matches.

The Great Depression marked the peak of the pork pie hat, as it regained its narrow brim and increased in height. In the 1940s, African American culture embraced the hat, adding feathers and vibrant colors to create a flashy style. The hat became synonymous with jazz saxophonist Lester Young, who always performed wearing a pork pie hat. Such was his impact that Charles Mingus composed an elegy for him titled “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.”

Although the hat’s popularity waned after World War II, it maintained its status within the African American jazz and blues music scene. In the following years, the cartoon character Yogi Bear became another notable figure associated with the pork pie hat. Subsequently, the hat resurfaced in popular culture through films like “Mean Streets” (1973) and television shows such as “Breaking Bad” (2008-2013), as celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Brad Pitt showcased its timeless charm.

Finding the Perfect Pork Pie Hat

If you’re in search of the ideal pork pie hat, consider the following factors:

Know Your Head Size

Measure your head with a tape measure in centimeters, gauging where the hat would sit. Remember this measurement as you embark on your pork pie hat quest.

Achieving the Perfect Fit

For an optimal look, wear your pork pie hat level on your head, ensuring a comfortable fit. However, some individuals prefer to tilt the hat for added flair and style. If you choose to do so, make sure the hat stays securely in place at your desired angle.

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Face Shape Matters

While pork pie hats possess universal charm, their suitability varies depending on face shape. Ideally, the brim of the hat should be wider than your jawline. Oval and long faces tend to complement this style best.

Prioritize Quality

Invest in a well-crafted hat made from materials that align with your personal style. Brixton offers cruelty-free wool pork pie hats that exude both quality and longevity.

Experiment with Styles

The versatility of pork pie hats allows for various outfit pairings. Discover your signature style by sampling different colors and materials before making your final selection.

Own Your Look

Once you’ve found the perfect pork pie hat, confidently showcase it in your favorite ensembles. Brixton’s elegant pork pie hats seamlessly integrate into both casual and formal outfits, becoming a timeless staple in your wardrobe.

The Art of Wearing a Pork Pie Hat

Wondering how to wear a pork pie hat like a pro? There are three main styles to consider: flat, inclined, and declined.

The Flat Look

This style, famously donned by Walter White in “Breaking Bad,” is effortlessly chic. Simply place the hat on your head, adjust it for comfort, and ensure that the bottom of the brim aligns with the ground.

The Inclined Look

Evoking a casual and retro vibe, the inclined style showcases the hat’s front edge tilted upward. It is a fashionable and practical choice for pork pie hat enthusiasts.

The Declined Look

For a bolder statement, some prefer the declined style, which involves bringing the front edge of the brim downward while tilting the hat 45 degrees. This style has enjoyed popularity among jazz musicians of the past and present.

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Outfit Inspirations

To inspire your pork pie hat ensembles, here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Match a straw pork pie hat with a loose Hawaiian shirt for a breezy summer look.
  • Opt for a black straw pork pie hat paired with a preppy button-down shirt for a classy casual ensemble.
  • Embrace a classic urban outfit by combining a black or gray felt pork pie hat with a slim-fitting black suit.
  • For a more relaxed style, try wearing a pork pie hat with straight-cut jeans, a cardigan, and a white shirt. Alternatively, pair it with a baggy sweater for a vintage yet modern feel.
  • Loose-fitting clothes are perfect companions for pork pie hats. Pair a colorful, feathered hat with a loosely tailored, neutral-colored short- or long-sleeve shirt to achieve a relaxed yet elegant look.

Cultivating Cultured Elegance with Brixton

Pork pie hats are a must-have accessory for men and women seeking to cultivate a cultured personal style. Brixton offers classic yet elevated designs, crafted from cruelty-free materials with an emphasis on sustainability and quality. Each hat is designed to withstand the test of time and reflect your unique modern aesthetic.

Browse through Brixton’s selection of pork pie hats, “done proper” with our customers in mind. Wear your chosen pork pie hat with confidence and poise, adding a touch of timeless elegance to your everyday wardrobe.

Brixton's Stout Pork Pie

Image: A stylish individual wearing Brixton’s Stout Pork Pie hat.

Remember, a pork pie hat is more than just an accessory; it’s a statement of style that transcends time. Explore the infinite possibilities of this iconic hat and create your own unique fashion narrative. To learn more about the world of pork pie hats and discover Brixton’s collection, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.