Top hat  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A top hat, beaver hat, high hat, silk hat, cylinder hat, chimney pot hat or stove pipe hat (sometimes also known by the nickname "topper") is a tall, flat-crowned, broad-brimmed hat, predominantly worn from the latter part of the 18th to the middle of the 20th century. Template:As of, it is usually worn only with morning dress or white tie, in dressage, as servants' or doormen's livery, or as a fashion statement. The top hat is sometimes associated with the upper class, becoming a target for satirists and social critics. It was particularly used as a symbol of capitalism in cartoons in socialist and communist media, long after the headgear had been abandoned by those satirized. It was a part of the dress of Uncle Sam and used as a symbol of American monopoly power. By the end of World War II, it had become a rarity, though it continued to be worn daily for formal wear, such as in London at various positions in the Bank of England and City stockbroking, or boys at some public schools.

The top hat persisted in politics and international diplomacy for many years, including U.S. presidential inaugurations, last being used in 1961. Top hats are still associated with stage magic, both in traditional costume and especially the use of hat tricks.


See also

  • Shako, a tall, cylindrical military cap.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Top hat" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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