Style Guide on Classic Men’s Dress Hats

No matter what’s in style, you can be sure that classic hats are always hot. Dress hats complement a suit, add that special touch to your suit or even casual outfit, and are available in so many different looks that you can be sure to complement your personal style.

Dress hats aren’t only snappy and smart, but functional as well. If you’ve got fair skin or you’re on vacation, you can protect your skin—especially your scalp and nose! If you live in a cold climate, remember the basics: not wearing one can cause you to lose 70% of your body heat!

Classic hats are available in lots of different versions, and if you’re not familiar with the basic styles, now’s the time to learn:

Panama Safari

Panama hats are perfectly stylish for summer. These tightly woven hats with  the flat crown (the top part covering the head) and relatively wide brim have a distinctive shape  that keep out the sun. Panama hats aren’t just a classic style, though: they will also last you for ages with the proper care. Traditional Panama hats have a ribbon detail around the brim. Famous Panama hat wearers: Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Sir Winston Churchill, and Harry S. Truman.


The straw boater is often associated with sailing and boating, so if you are headed to  the beach or shore, the straw boater has a little summer time flair. They’re an unusual choice  that—when worn in the right context—will give you serious style. Think like Fred Astaire, Gene Kelley, and Maurice Chevalier.


Fedoras are undeniably one of the most stylish dress hats a man can wear: after all, they’re Indiana Jones’ hat of choice. Fedoras have a teardrop shaped crown with a pinch on both sides, and are most common in black, tan, brown, or gray. While fedoras fell out of popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, they have made a major comeback in the past few years.


Bowlers, also known as derbies, have rounded crowns and slim brims. Bowlers have been considered one of Britain’s cultural icons after their popularity with both the working and upper classes. In the U.S., bowlers have more of an urban flavor, and can dress up loose suits, metro tight shirts, and novelty accessories. Famous bowler hat wearers include Charlie Chaplin and Sir Winston Churchill.


The homburg is a stiff felt hat that has a crease along the length of the crown and no pinches. Popularly referred to as the “Godfather Hat,” this hat has been made even more popular by gangster films and a generally tough appearance. These hats, with wide grosgrain ribbon trims and an optional feather, were catapulted into popularity by the rap scene of the ’90s, including Snoop Dogg, P. Diddy, Tupac Shakur, and the Notorious B.I.G.


The porkpie hat has a flat top without the pinch like a fedora. There is an indent all the way around on a porkpie on a hat.


Hat Care

Here are some tips to keep your hat in the best shape possible:

1. Don’t touch your hat with dirty or wet hands!
2. Don’t place your hat on its brim. Over time, the brim could lose its curve—particularly if the brim is wet.
3. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight. This can fade your hat significantly.
4. When adjusting your hat or taking it on and off, hold your hat by the front and back of the brim.
5. Try to avoid picking up your hat by the pinch. This can affect the shape of your hat.
6. If you like to wear your dress hats in the summer, be careful not to leave your hat somewhere very hot. If the sweatband shrinks, it could get too small.
7. Take dirt off of your straw hat with a damp cloth. Begin on the left side of your head, and wipe the hat counterclockwise towards the back.
8. If the sweatband is wet inside your hat, turn it out. The moisture will evaporate.