Despite being one of the most popular hats of the 20th and 21st Centuries, many people know very little about the Homburg Hat. Due to its similarity to other classic hat styles, the Homburg is often lumped together with hats like the Fedora, Trilby, or Bowler. In any case, the Homburg is highly unique in its own right, which is why it has been the hat of choice for various celebrities and major figures throughout modern history.
So, what exactly is a Homburg Hat? How are you supposed to wear a Homburg Hat? Finally, how can you differentiate the Homburg from other classic hat styles? In today’s guide, we will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s look at the basic design and history of the Homburg.
What Is A Homburg Hat?
The Homburg hat is distinguishable for its unique crown and brim. The crown is rounded at the edges, with a single dent running down the center. Much like other hat styles that rose to prominence in the 19th Century, the Homburg features a brim that curls upward. However, the Homburg curl is unique, as it provides a tight curl in stark contrast to an otherwise flat brim. Due to the small diameter of the upturned edge, this style is often referred to as a “pencil curl.”
You might be asking yourself: why is it called a Homburg Hat? It is a fair question, but it has a rather peculiar answer. There is little evidence pointing to the original creator of the Homburg Hat, though we do know how it got its name and how it came to be so popular. When the future king of England, Edward VII, came back from a trip to Germany in the 1890s, he returned wearing a Homburg Hat. It was given this name because Edward VII had visited Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, a district in Hesse, Germany. Thus, everyone in England began to call it the Homburg!
As a royal, Edward VII had more influence on style and fashion than most other citizens of England. Consequently, the new hat style quickly grew in popularity, with many copies and variations made in the years following the king’s fateful trip. It also didn’t hurt that the Homburg looks like styles that were already popular at the time, particularly the Bowler. However, like the Bowler Hat, the Homburg Hat offered a less formal alternative to the top hat, making it a great choice for a wider variety of occasions.
The Homburg Hat continued to gain popularity in the 20th Century on both sides of the Atlantic. In England, Winston Churchill further popularized the Homburg among men, while Dwight D. Eisenhower made it the hat of choice in the United States during his tenure as president. Though the Homburg fell out of fashion in the 1950s and 60s, it regained popularity when Al Pacino donned a Homburg Hat in The Godfather.
As headwear for both men and women became less and less formal in the second half of the 20th Century, the Homburg saw another decline in use. However, by the 2010s, the hat resurfaced, as many fashion designers and trendsetters used the classic style as a retro accessory. Today, the Homburg has regained much of its former glory as a chic and elegant hat for both men and women.
How To Wear A Homburg Hat
Like other classic brimmed hats, the Homburg is meant to be worn in certain positions. That said, you can still get creative with your own personal sense of style. You can also adjust how you wear your Homburg hat based on your hair length. In any case, there are generally four “accepted” ways to wear a Homburg: flat, inclined, declined, and slanted.
The flat look is the “standard” way in which the Homburg has been worn throughout its history. This requires you to pull the hat down so that there is approximately half an inch of separation between the brim and the top of your ear (the exact distance may vary based on the hat size and style of the brim). The crown should fit snuggly against the sides of your head, with a little bit of distance between the top of your head and the crown for breathability. Finally, the brim should be completely perpendicular to the ground (i.e. “flat”).
The inclined style is less formal and has become a more popular position in recent years. When worn in this position, the crown is often placed more gently on your head, with ample space between the top of your head and the interior of the crown. Additionally, the brim is put at an inclined position, with the front of the brim placed at an upward angle. This style is often better for people with long or voluminous hair, as it doesn’t require you to wear the hat tightly against your head.
The declined style is neither formal nor informal. It requires you to wear the hat more tightly against the head, with the front of the brim angled downwards. This is often a good way to keep the sun out of your eyes or otherwise keep a low profile. However, it can also make you look as though you’re trying to hide something, so use this style with caution!
Finally, the slanted style has been one of the most popular alternatives to the standard position for nearly a century. With this style, the brim is angled slightly downward and off to one side. This is a sleek and fashionable position that gives you greater freedom to customize your look based on your personal preferences.
Homburg Vs Fedora Hats
As previously mentioned, there is often confusion between the Homburg and other classic brimmed hat styles, including the Fedora. However, upon closer examination, the difference between a Homburg and a Fedora is quite clear. While a Homburg always has a single dent running down the center of the crown, a Fedora usually has a similar dent, with two additional indentations on both sides of the crown. Moreover, a Homburg’s brim is distinct for its pencil curl, while a fedora usually has a flat brim, downturned brim, or a brim that is only upturned in the back.
Homburg Vs Trilby Hats
The Homburg is also confused with the Trilby hat, as they both came to prominence around the same time in history. However, they have several important differences. The Trilby’s crown and brim are more similar in style to the Fedora, while the materials and colors can vary widely. The Homburg is most often either black or grey and is always made of fur felt. Alternatively, the Trilby can be made of felt, cotton, straw, or wool.
Homburg Vs Bowler Hats
Finally, the Bowler Hat (often known as the Derby Hat) is the hat that is most often confused with the Homburg, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, both hats originally became popular in the late 19th Century and both were worn by prominent figures like Winston Churchill. Additionally, they both feature similar brim curls. However, the Bowler Hat does not have a dent in its crown. Instead, the crown is completely round and without any deviations in its circular shape.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, the Homburg is a one-of-a-kind hat that has a long and storied history. It’s been worn by some of the most powerful people in the world, and today it offers a way for fashionable people to enjoy retro accessories. In fact, it is a great way for both men and women to stand out from the crowd with one of the most classic and elegant hat styles on the market!
We hope you found this guide on Homburg Hats useful! If you’d like to acquire one of the best Homburg hats for your own collection, be sure to check out Bellissimo Hats today!