Etiquette and formality have always played a part in hat wearing. At the turn of the 20th century, ladies would not consider venturing out without a hat and gloves, and would often change their hats several times a day. Gentlemen would wear a hat appropriate to each activity.
In the Edwardian age, everyone, rich or poor, would wear a hat. During World War II, hats were not rationed as they were considered a morale booster and Christys' supported the war efforts within its family run company, effectively running it like an extended family. After the World Wars, men returning from Allied Forces were obliged to wear a hat for a certain time as part of their demob process, from six weeks to a few months; so hatting continued to thrive.
What is my hat size?
It's easy to get confused when trying to work out your hat size.
Is it rude to wear a hat indoors?
For men, yes. For women, no. Men have always removed it as a sign of respect to their host. If deemed to be in an indoor 'public' place such as lobbies, corridors or elevators hats would be kept on for the sake of personal hygiene.
If a gentleman was in a public lift and a lady entered, he must take off his hat as a matter of courtesy and respect, but if he was riding with other gentlemen, this would not be necessary.
I am going to the Royal Ascot next week, which hat would be suitable for this event?
As many of you know, Ascot has a rather prestigious dress code, that they pride themselves on monitoring closely. For gentlemen, it is a requirement to wear a traditional morning suit and this is to be accessorised with either a black or grey Ascot Top hat - Take a look at our Formal Page for a selection!
For Ladies, wearing a hat is a 'should' not a must - however as many know, the showcasing of ladies hats can be as exciting as the race, so its encouraged!
Fascinators are no longer permitted nor are headpieces that do not have a base covering 4 inches (10cm), so please look in our ladies section for your race-day hat!
How do I clean my hat?
All much-loved hats need a bit of TLC. Especially if they are being worn day in and day out, they will need proper maintenance to ensure a long life
To rid a fur or wool hat of any lint or dirt it has accrued, use a soft bristled brush and steam, such as that from a kettle (be careful!). Using medium length strokes, go with the grain of hair (for fur hats) using a medium pressure and repeat until clean.
Most of Christys' Wool and fur hats are accompanied by a ribbon band and bow - these can get creased and the easiest way to rid any crease is, again, with a little steam.
Hat history and status
A gentleman’s hat was often treated much like a proper recommendation and introduction into a social circle. His character and manners would be judged according to the quality, the condition and the origins of the hat he was sporting at that crucial moment.
How many processes in making a Christys' hat
More than 190 separate processes combine to create quality Christys’ hats. With some 45 operations involved, many done by hand. The skills of the hat makers are developed over many years with craftspeople specialising in one specific operation to create precise bespoke craftsmanship.
Style definitions, history and interesting facts about hats
The top hat was the status symbol of the 19th Century gentleman and flourished in the 1930’s when Fred Astaire, Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich and others bought it back into favour with new motion pictures. Christys’ continues to produce a fabulous range of top hats to the traditional methods.
Bowlers, Cokes and Derbys
Christys’ makes more than 6,000 bowlers a year, so a fur-felt bowler purchased in the UK today is likely to have been supplied by Christys’.
The Trilby and Fedora
The Trilby derives its name from a play based on George du Maurier’s 1894 novel Trilby, after such a style of hat was worn in the first London stage adaptation. Trilbys are extremely fashionable today, with more Trilbys sold in 2009 than in the whole of the previous decade.
Christys’ & Co imports its Panama hat hoods directly from Ecuador in the rough coned shape. They are then shaped, blocked and finished by hand in the UK to the highest traditional standards.
Tweed Flat caps, Sherlock hats and Deerstalkers have always been a popular part of the Christys’ range with classic Scottish fabrics and luxury cashmere of the highest quality used to create the many colours and design variations from which to choose.
Dressage and Equestrian hats
Christys’ & Co is renowned for its Equestrian hats and padded dressage hats which are an important part of the collection.
Military and Police hats and helmets
Everything from the cork and cloth dome shaped helmets to uniform caps is produced at the Christys’ factory in Oxfordshire under the C.W Headdress Ltd name. Most of the UK’s Police Force are wearing Christys’ handmade police helmets and caps.