Formal hats are the classics – synonymous with all that is British Headwear, the true Classic Hat!
The Grandest and best of them all is the Top Hat or ‘Topper’. Laird has developed it’s own shape based on the Edwardian style. This is certainly a ‘Topper’ rather than a Top Hat as ours is slightly taller than the shorter version, with a beautiful curved brim, accentuating the svelt ‘waste’ of the crown. Our crown is broad at the bootme, gliding in then back out again to give a wonderful, shapely crown and of course flat on top. Made to traditional metheods and stiffened to stand the test of time. This hat is a truly special one, and we put alot of time and love into creating a timeless Topper that can be passed down through the generations. We do two varieties, the Melusine ‘Silky’ and the Supersmooth, pale grey or ‘White’ Topper. The Melusine is a long hair rabbit fur, combed and waxed to a ‘supersilky’ finish and can be worn with all evening wear including white tie, Morning Suit and Ascot, and is probably the more versatile of the two. The ‘White’ is a pale grey, smooth finish, to be worn with Morning Suit and is perfect as an Ascot Hat and Wedding Hat.
The Homburg, is a formal hat but more versatile than the Top Hat and perhaps the Bowler too. You might wear a homburg with Black Tie with overcoat on arrival to a formal event, but can also wear it with a suit or as a hat for town. Versions of the Homburg have been worn in the Wild West in the 1890’s, by members of the Jewish religion, as well as a King (Edward VII) and Prime Ministers (Churchill, Atlee, Eden). Edward the VII actually brought the hat to England from Bad Homburg in Germany, but for a while was known as the ‘Eden’ after Anthony Eden, who was never seen without one.
Laird Hatters have developed it’s signature shape Homburg, giving a rolling curve to the brim, mid-height split-brim, giving balance to the hat. Our Homburg is stiff to the crown, with a softer brim, with the structure coming from the brim-binding, giving a lovely luxurious feel when wearing. As always, a soft leather sweatband gives the wearer comfort where there might not be.
The Bowler, last but not least, it is difficult to sum up in one paragraph; the Chappiest of Chaps might suffice. Yes it is an old style, developed by the Bowler brothers, this is the classic English hat. Many believe we all still wear them when they come to London; but it is only the best of us who do today. Again, it’s versatility, being an old western hat, as well as a country riding hat, to the bank manager (like Captain Mainwaring) and John Steed in the Avengers. The Bowler was never as cool as in the 1960’s, unless you look around London today where they are having somewhat of a rennaisance.
Each Hatter has their signature Bowler and Laird Hatters are no different. We haven’t reinvented the wheel here, but stuck to classic lines, a shapely brim and rounded dome to the crown. It is the stiffening and finish that I think make ours a popular choice Guardsmen, Remembrance Day Parades and less formal occasions. We sell alot to cyclists too (though these are not substitutes for a helmet!) they certainly add a dash to the London streets.