How To Wear A Pork Pie Hat – The Right Way
From time immemorial people have covered their heads, perhaps to keep their hair in check or to compensate for its lack there of.
So wanting to find a good looking hat is a natural thing.
However, if you’ve been looking for a head accessory that’s more stylish and individual than caps, or mass produced hats, you really should take a closer look at the pork pie hat.
Here, in this quick guide, we show you how to wear a pork pie hat so you can make this look your own.
What is a pork pie hat? A little bit of background
The name “pork pie hat” is pretty quirky, and memorable – much like the hat itself. So why is it called a pork pie hat? Basically….because it looks like a pork pie. They’re also known as a English pastry hats, again food based, but not so catchy.
What does a pork pie hat look like?
- Some of the points you should look for are:
- The pork pie has narrow brim, is similar to the Trilby hat, but not the Fedora
- The crown of a pork pie is low and flat and somewhat dome shaped – think duck pond.
- It has a crease around its edge, which gives the pork pie hat a non-slip appearance.
- Pork pie hats usually come with a hatband or ribbon, all of this makes this a hat both simple in shape and striking in its effect.
And here’s some pork pie hat history for you…
These hats have been around since the 1830’s. Back then they were more popular among women than men, and looked a little less robust – their appearance was flatter, with a narrower curled back brim. It wasn’t until the 1920’s that the pork pie began to make it’s mark with men. This was largely due to the silent movie star Buster Keaton wearing them in his films. He liked them so much, he actually insisted on turning all his fedora’s into pork pie hats.
But the true pork pie hey day came in the 1930’s and 40’s, the great depression age. The hats height increase and snap brim came into play. The rounded crown, or the dished crown, became known as “telescopic crowns” because they could be made to pop up. Worn by famous Jazz musician Frank Lloyd Wright, the hats brim became wider and stayed that way – looking very much like the pork pie hats we know today.
Who do pork pie hats suit?
Anyone with a long, oval or short face shape suit a pork pie hat. However, they should be avoided if you happen to have a very round or square face. As a general rule, the brim of a hat should be wider than your jaw line, hence the reason why a porkpie hat isn’t great if you have a larger jaw line or a very round face – all it will do will enhance these features.
For taller men, this is an excellent hat. Pork pie’s are shorter in the crown than trilby’s or fedora’s, so they won’t add anymore inches to your height.
In the instance of oval or shorter face, your pork pie hat should sit about 0.7-1 inch above your eyebrows.
How to wear a pork pie hat
- There something about a small compact hat and loose clothing that just works.
- For that easy breezy summer vibe look, pair a straw pork pie with a loose fitting Hawaiian shirt.
- Try something a little more individual, we recommend wearing the hat a little further back on your head
- To get that ultra stylish urban look, pair a wool pork pie hat (or felt) with a slim fitting black suit
- Black on black works with this type of hat, but try and add a contrasting shirt in white or blue to really pull the look together
What is the difference between a Pork Pie Hat and a Fedora
Clearly you don’t want to make a mistake when it comes to buying this snappy hat. So in the case of pork pie vs fedora, let’s go through some of the main differences between them. The first places to look are the brim and the crown; In a porkpie hat, the crown is pinched and there’s a crease running around it in a circular design, which is called a telescope crown.
Along with this, the porkpie hat has a very short brim that stands up. This type of brim is often referred to as a stingy brim. One other difference to check for is that a pork pies crown will usually be much shorter than a fedora.
In the case of the crown on a fedora, these are higher and can come in different shapes. These include:
- center dent
Like the pork pie hat, the fedora also has a telescopic crown, but its brim is always about 2.5+ inches. Another difference is that the Fedora’s brims can easily be shaped. So, they can be worn by pushing them all the way up , or just shaped to point down at the front and up at the back. While not every fedora can be shaped this easily, it is fairly typical of this type of hat.
The 2 images below are the best representation of pork pie hats and fedoras.
Need more hat tips? Check out our article on how to wear a snapback cap with swagger
What is my hat size?
Ok, while you should know how to wear a pork pie hat the right way, it doesn’t stop there, Everyone knows their shoe size, hats should be no different. You only have to measure the size of your hat once, it will never change
Simply measure your head circumference with a tape measure. Place it over your ears, i.e. around where the hat is, around your head. It is easier if someone helps you to read the centimetres. If there is no one around, use a mirror to help you. You can see the correct hat size in the size chart here.