Top hat vs. bowler hat: which is more stylish?

Top Hat

Hats have been an essential accessory for both men and women for centuries. Among the different types of hats, top hat and bowler hats have been popular among men for their elegant and classic look. However, the debate between top Women’s hats and bowler hats on which is more stylish continues to this day. In this article, we will compare and contrast top hats and bowler hats and determine which one is more stylish.

History and Origin

The top hats, also known as the stovepipe hat, was a popular hat style during the 19th century. It was first worn by British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger in the late 1700s and later became popular among upper-class men. It is characterized by its tall, cylindrical shape with a flat top and narrow brim.

On the other hand, the bowler hat, also known as the derby hat, was created in the mid-1800s by British hat makers Thomas and William Bowler. It was designed for the gamekeepers who needed a sturdy hat to protect them from low-hanging branches. The bowler hats are characterized by its round, dome-shaped crown and a narrow, curled-up brim.

Style and Appearance

Both top hats and bowler hats are classic styles that can add a touch of elegance to any outfit. The top hat has a more formal and sophisticated look. Making it the perfect accessory for black tie events, weddings, and other formal occasions. The tall, cylindrical shape of the top hat also helps to elongate the face and create a slimmer, more refined appearance.

On the other hand, the bowler hats have a more casual yet still refined appearance. It is versatile and can be worn with a range of outfits, from a three-piece suit to a more casual look such as jeans and a blazer. The round, dome-shaped crown of the bowler hat also adds a unique and distinctive touch to any outfit.

Comfort and Practicality

When it comes to comfort and practicality, the bowler hats take the lead. Its rounded crown and narrow, curled-up brim make it easy to wear and less likely to blow away in windy weather. The bowler hat also sits snugly on the head and is less likely to fall off than the top hat.

On the other hand, the top hat can be uncomfortable to wear for extended periods, especially if it is not properly fitted. The tall, cylindrical shape of the top hat can also make it difficult to store and transport. As it requires a large, secure container to prevent it from getting damaged.

Popularity and Cultural Significance

Both top hats and bowler hats have played significant roles in popular culture and history. The top hat is often associated with aristocracy, wealth, and high society. As it was a popular accessory among the upper classes during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It has also been worn by famous figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Fred Astaire, and Winston Churchill.

The bowler hat, on the other hand, is often associated with working-class culture and has been popularized in films and television shows as the hats of choice for detectives, gangsters, and other iconic characters. It has been worn by notable figures such as Charlie Chaplin and The Beatles.


In conclusion, both top hats and bowler hats have their unique style and charm. The top hat is more formal and sophisticated. Making it ideal for formal occasions, while the bowler hat is more versatile and practical for everyday wear. Ultimately, which one is more stylish comes down to personal preference and the occasion. However, the bowler hats are more practical and comfortable to wear, while the top hats have a more historical and cultural significance, making it a timeless classic.

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Elizabeth Barton
Elizabeth Barton
Elizabeth Barton is a writer and digital marketer with over 10 years of experience. I'm passionate about using my skills to help people learn and grow. My blog, The News Columnist, covers a variety of topics, including Business, Finance, and technology and many more. I'm also a regular contributor to several online publications.
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