Why Is it Called a Pork Pie Hat?

Save

A pork-pie hat is named for its resemblance to a pork pie, that is, a meat pie of the sort common in British cuisine. The hat is round, with a flat top, or crown, and a short brim that can be turned up or worn flat. The hat can be made of various materials, including felt, velvet, and straw.

Earliest Pork-Pie Hats

  • The first hats of the pork-pie style were worn by young Italian men of the middle class throughout the 15th and into the beginning of the 16th centuries. These hats appeared brimless because the "brims" never jutted out but were folded up close and high on the crown.

Pork-Pie Hats in the Victorian Age

  • Men and women wore pork-pie style hats in the mid-19th century. Women's hats were small, often had long ribbons around the crown and were worn tipped forward on the head to provide room for hairstyles in the back. The men's hat was part of a typical ensemble of the man-about-town.

The Pork-Pie Hat in the Twentieth-Century

  • Numerous entertainers wore pork-pie hats in the mid-20th century, including silent-film star Buster Keaton, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Lester Young and many others. Charles Mingus wrote a song for Young after his death called "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat."

Rude Boys, British Subcultures, and the Pork-Pie

  • In the 1960s, Jamaican "rude boys," young men from poor neighborhoods interested in gangster and jazz culture of the United States, began wearing suits and hats, including the pork-pie. As Jamaican immigration and culture spread to the United Kingdom, boys of working-class families identified with and adopted aspects of the "rude boy" lifestyle, including their attire.

The Pork-Pie Hat Today

  • Now as in times past, the pork-pie hat has been donned by entertainers, from Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Brad Pitt to Tom Waits, Justin Timberlake, and Kate Moss. It appears the pork-pie hat has timeless appeal.

References

  • "Hats," by Hilda Amphlett
  • "Porkpie." Encyclopedia Brittanica 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 08 Aug. 2009.
  • Photo Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/mythwhisper/2182399372/
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • How to Host a Gatsby Party

    Go to a thrift store and pick up a simple dress and add long strings of pearls. Add a hat or simple...

  • How to Shape a Felt Hat

    Felt hats, like fedoras and pork pie hats, are fairly easy to shape into a certain kind of style. Felt cowboy hats...

  • What Is a Toque Hat?

    Hats have been a wardrobe staple for hundreds of years. From high fashion to high function, there is a hat to suit...

  • How to Create a Justin Timberlake Costume

    Justin Timberlake is a captivating entertainer. He has crossed a lot of traditional barriers, and his talent has proven to stand the...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Style Blogger

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!