Last Updated on 1st September 2023
As a hat wearer, I am often weighing up which style would best suit me and my outfit. There are a few choices of men’s hats out there, from the fedora to the bowler hat and everything in between, but what is on trend right now and what, if any, is a hat that never goes out of style or fashion?
No longer an item of clothing to keep the head warm but one of the fashion accessories worth investing time and money into. Getting inspiration from designers like Ted Baker, Philip Treacy, North Face, Tommy Hilfiger and even Stussy is what we will be looking at for men who want to wear a bold yet classic piece of millinery.
Some men will stick to what they know in the world of hats and caps, and others will be brave and try different types on their heads, but with so much choice, what are the hats or the perfect hat that set the summer fashion world alight in 2023?
A Very Brief History
Hats have been used for millennia, and it is no surprise that the Ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians have a written history of wearing them.
Initially used as a utilitarian device to cover the head for warmth and protection, the evolution of the hat from a workhorse to a fashion icon has been slow but steady.
You cannot watch a black & white movie from the golden era of Hollywood without seeing the men festooned in some headgear; think Bogart in Casablanca, James Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Life and of course, Laurel & Hardy in every movie they made.
The hat was replaced in the 90s with the cap, and the baseball cap became the most worn headdress item on earth. Still, with the resurgence of retro and vintage fashions, the well-made, brimmed hat has made a comeback, and since the popularity of the BBC TV show Peaky Blinders, the flat cap in all its guises has returned with a vengeance and is now one of the must have, fashionable accessories being worn by all ages, groups and cultures.
What Should We Look For In 2023
We have collated the hot styles and looks for this year and beyond. Some classics and some new kids on the block.
Think the perfect hat that goes with any outfit and some that are for special occasions only:
Straw hats says summer and none more so than a wide-brimmed piece. These men’s hats can go with any outfit you would normally wear in the warmer months. Style it with an open shirt and shorts to give you a laid back fresh look.
Not just for festivals and Liam Gallagher, the bucket hat has made a comeback across all walks of life. Particularly popular with streetwear style as often paired with a hoodie. This year the block colours are taking over from assorted colours or logos.
The classic beanie has been headwear worn by fishermen, sailors, rock stars and hipsters. Fully knitted and worn slightly higher on the head, this can go with a dress-down style as well as a suit. Thinking of tweed, bold-coloured suits, and a light-coloured beanie will make any outfit pop.
Designer hats are tough to carry off, but a well-made hat with a brim is elegant and stylish. High quality materials like velvet, suede or velour are the fabric to go for, and a dark colour accentuates a smart outfit, whilst a lighter shade can bring any casual summer outfit and create a fantastic focal point for any formal occasion.
Truckers’ caps are not to be confused with the baseball cap, as each hat has subtle differences. The trucker’s cap has a higher and prouder front panel, and the majority of the back and side panels of the cap are perforated. This cap’s beauty is that you can have multiple colours and still look cool.
Don’t be frightened to have a predominant logo on the front panel.
Baseball caps have had their day and come back for another trip around the world of fashion. Block colours and non-prominent logos are de rigeur for any fashionista.
The bill, or the peak, has to be curved and not flat for you to be able to carry off the baseball cap with streetwear and a casually worn suit with a t-shirt combination.
Once the staple of the Mods and rude boys of the 70s and 80s and most definitely one of the few hats that looks very good with a suit as much as a t-shirt and jeans.
The straw trilby is a must have for the beach. Where the hat is worn on your head depending on your mood. The brim down low on the forehead is excellent with sunglasses, and worn back on the crown gives a bohemian style not dissimilar to the California look from a few years back.
Once the domain of your granddad, flat caps have become the biggest-selling hat in the UK for the last few years. Small, snug fit and tailored or loose and baggy, the flat cap has an endless array of styles than you could possibly imagine. As we know from Peaky Blinders, the cap goes just as well with a suit as it does with a laid back pair of shorts and a T-shirt.
The latest trends for hats seems just to keep on going. Pair these accessories with smart and casual work and beach, the humble hat or even cap has had such a resurgence that it has become almost obligatory that one is worn on every fashion shoot and catwalk show.
If it is a cowboy hat or pork pie hat that you prefer then go for it as you get to choose your very own style and remember, if you are wearing a hat, be bold, brave, and wear it with pride!