Hats are back in fashion, with more and more men being seen this winter with snap-brim fedoras or pork pies.
The dress hat took a nosedive after the dashing JFK showed up at his inauguration bareheaded. Suddenly a chapeau was no longer de rigueur for any man leaving the house. But in recent years, the hat trend has returned, which is why it’s time to discuss the Homburg.
The Homburg hat was first brought to the United States by King George IV. As a member of the House of Windsor, George IV was of course German. Proof that the English royal family is really Teutonic didn’t come until the 1985 Jaguar XJR, which the Brits made look like a BMW.
The Homburg makes a man look prosperous. He could be a banker or a pimp. The extremely wide-brimmed type that Fiorello La Guardia wore was called an Impresario hat and was generally favored by theater folk. Actor John Barrymore favored a stingy brim model that was very popular in the 1930s.
Dwight Eisenhower wore one. So did Konrad Adenauer and Sir Anthony Eden. Not to mention Adlai Stevenson, Winston Churchill, Dean Acheson and John Foster Dulles.
Scarface Al Capone occasionally wore one but favored a soft fedora with one side up and one side down to hide his scar. Mayor James Jimmy Walker affected this style, as did Fred Astaire, Errol Flynn and Lucky Luciano.
In recent years, the Homberg has become the province of hip-hop artists and rappers, usually in tones like pink or emerald green. It’s a look that connotes wealth and success — not just any man can pull it off.
If you’re more interested in looking like a hipster, a jazz musician or a young hunk, I’d recommend the pork pie. It has a narrow brim and a flat top.
Above all, avoid the Indiana Jones fedora. It’s very yesterday, and if you wear a black one, you might be mistaken for an Orthodox Jew.
So this winter, see if you’re one of the guys who can pull off a Homburg.
Roger Stone is a well-known Republican political consultant and is a veteran of eight national Republican presidential campaigns. He’s also the men’s fashion correspondent for The Daily Caller and editor of Stonezone.com.