Hats with suits: What to wear & how to wear them

23 February 2017

"Wearing hats with suits can be intimidating but with the right style and an awareness of the rules, they can become second nature."

Hats can be tricky territory for men’s suiting. The hats dominating popular culture aren’t always the best choices to communicate classic style. When choosing the right hat, you must consider your personal style and the fashion history of the style you’ve chosen.

The fedora has been a popular choice for years, with many men adopting it for casual looks. It’s defined by its lengthwise crease down the crown and the pinches on both sides. It’s a classic, masculine style that works best for smart and formal looks. Though, err with care when wearing one lest you be the subject of an internet meme … m’lady.

The porkpie is a choice for risk takers. The hat came to prominence as a stylish form of expression for artists in ska, jazz and blues. It has a shorter brim than the fedora. The brim is also curled upward. The porkpie hat has a flat top instead of a creased crown.

When watching shows like HBO’s hit Boardwalk Empire, it’s likely you saw a Homburg hat in use. It’s a favourite of fictional gangsters and a staple of 1920s men’s style. It’s quite similar to the fedora, but its brim is turned upward all around and it’s accented by a solid hatband. This is a great choice for men hoping to pay tribute to the high style of yesteryear.

The derby is a bit whimsical, reserved for those men who like to dress with a sense of humour while still packing in elegance. It’s a particularly hard felt hat with a short brim and exaggerated, rounded crown. It looks best with three-piece suits.
The most important thing to note about wearing a hat is that it’s an outdoor accessory. Once you’re indoors, it’s customary to remove it. Whenever you enter the office, the home or even a lift, it’s considered polite to remove it. It’s also expected that you remove your hat during the playing of your national anthem and that you either touch the hat’s brim or raise it by the crown when greeting friends.
In terms of styling, it depends on your personal preference. Historically, men would wear their hats pushed back to communicate an air of approachability. They’d tilt it over their eyes to seem menacing and they’d wear it completely straight to seem like serious businessmen. Today’s hat language isn’t as specific but it’s important to take these rules of etiquette into account when wearing yours.
Wearing hats with suits can be intimidating but with the right style and an awareness of the rules, they can become second nature.

To find a hat to complete your look:

Grand Hatters
357 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Strand Hatters
The Strand Arcade, Shop 8/ Strand Arcade, 412 George St, Sydney NSW 2000

Make a booking for your fitting today
Book Now