Picking a top hat that’s right for you: a step-by-step guide

Want to make a splash at the next formal event you attend? By obtaining a proper top hat, you will attract plenty of attention from attendees no matter where you go.

There is more to this process than you might think. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of picking a top hat that will accentuate the proper gentleman you are.

Select your style

There are many different kinds of top hat you can acquire, so take the time to go over the options available to you.

There are seven main kinds of top hat, with other kinds being rare enough to not be easily attainable. From silk to wool, and with uses ranging from riding horses to attending the opera, there is a style that will suit the gentleman you are.

Pay a visit to your local hatter and have the resident experts explain the differences between models. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to touch and try them on.

Even if you plan to buy online, visit a real world store to make certain you’ll love the exact kind of hat you want.

Get your head sized before picking a top hat

Picking a top hat that fits should be your first concern

You could own the most stunning top hat in your inner circle, but it will matter for naught if it doesn’t fit properly.

A head band that is too tight will be uncomfortable, while one that is too generous will subtract from its brilliance by how it snags on the crown of your head.

As such, picking a top hat that fits properly is of paramount importance. To avoid this issue, have a hatter properly measure your dimensions, as this will ensure you buy a hat that will enhance your look.

Furthermore, seriously consider taking your business to a bespoke hatter, as they will be able to craft a top hat from scratch that fits your head like a glove and matches your personal sense of style.

If buying used, take steps to refurbish your hat

Lovers of vintage top hats will often look for new additions to their collection by buying them at auctions and in modern times, sites like

Sometimes, the exterior of the hat will be dirty and dingy from years of neglect; to bring it back to mint condition, using a hat brush will be necessary.

Bought an absolutely gorgeous hat, but it doesn’t quite fit your head? Some models can be re-shaped, and if so, your hatter can use a conformateur to take a profile of your dome, which will then be used to mold the shellac so the hat will fit you properly.

Protect your investment with a hat box

Getting a hat box is one of the overlooked steps of Picking a top hat

Like many fine things, top hats are vulnerable to damage from wear and tear over time. Considering the value of a top hat in excellent condition, it is well worth your while to protect it by acquiring a hat box.

Cardboard hat boxes work well for light storage, but if you are in the process of moving your possessions from one home to another, or if you are traveling overseas with your hat, acquiring a solid hat box made of leather or wood is a better bet.

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