Englishman with bowler hat

Are you looking for the perfect hat to complete your look? If so, you may be wondering what the difference is between a derby hat and a bowler hat. Both are classic hats that have been around for centuries, but there are some important differences when it comes to style and design. In this article, we'll go over the similarities and differences between a derby hat and a bowler hat so you can make an informed decision when choosing the right hat for you.

The derby hat is characterized by its hard-felt material, curved brim, and low crown. It's often worn with formal or business attire and has become popular among men as an alternative to baseball caps in recent years. The bowler hat, on the other hand, has a hard, round crown and a shorter, wraparound brim. This classic hat is traditionally associated with upper-class British men and has been featured in many movies throughout history.

Finally, let's compare the two hats in terms of comfort. While both hats offer protection from wind and weather, the Derby hat is considered more comfortable due to its lower profile. 

The bowler hat can sometimes feel tight on larger heads due to its narrow circumference and flatter fit. Therefore, it may not be suitable for those who need a looser fit or more breathability.

History Of Derby Hats

The derby hat, also known as the bowler hat, has an interesting history, although it is disputed who actually invented it. One theory is that the hats were first made in 1849 by the London hat manufacturer Lock & Co. for Edward Coke, 2. Other theories, however, state that the hats were designed in 1849 by Thomas and William Bowler in Southwark, London. Although there is no definitive answer as to who invented the hats, it is certain that the Derby hat quickly became a popular hat for men and women around the world.

Throughout history, many famous people have been seen wearing derby hats, from Charlie Chaplin to Winston Churchill. Famous personalities like Marlene Dietrich and Bette Davis wore them, while others like King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II wore them for formal occasions. Hats were so popular that they even appeared on the covers of famous magazines like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar in the 20th century. Today, they are not as common as they used to be, but there are still people who proudly wear these classic headpieces for various reasons - perhaps because they make them look stylish or simply because they remind them of times gone by. With its timeless appeal, it's easy to see why this iconic fashion piece has been around for more than 160 years and counting.

The bowler hat has a similar history to its cousin, the derby hat, but with some unique distinguishing features that set it apart.

History Of Bowler Hats

The bowler hat, also known as the coke hat or billycock, has been around for centuries. It's amazing that it shares a history with the derby hat, considering how different they look. The bowler originated in London in the 1850s when it was commissioned by Edward Coke, the 2nd Earl of Leicester. He wanted a hat that was durable and elegant enough to wear while hunting on horseback.

The hat quickly became popular among the English upper class, and soon the rest of the world was taken in by its charm and usefulness. Its popularity spread throughout Europe and eventually to North America in the late 19th century. In the counterculture movement of the 1960s, the Bowler eventually became a symbol of rebellion. Since then, the bowler has become an international fashion statement for men and women alike.

Considering their similar age, it's no wonder that derby hats and bowler hats have so many things in common- from their traditional style to their timeless appeal. However, there are also some important differences that you should know before deciding which hat is right for you.

Portrait of British Gentleman in Dark Suit and Leather Gloves Politely Doffing Bowler Hat
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Key Differences Between Derby Hats And Bowler Hats

In the world of headwear, there are two main types of hats: derby hats and bowler hats. Although these two types of hats are similar in many ways, there are also crucial differences between them.

For one, derby hats are made of stiffer materials than their bowler counterparts. This results in a more structured look that is often worn with formal attire. Also, derby hats have a wider brim than bowlers and may even have a crease along the crown of the hat. Bowler hats, on the other hand, are made of softer material and have a rounder crown and narrower brim. They also usually lack any sort of crease or crest along the brim of the hat.

Overall, both derby and bowler hats offer unique styling options for anyone looking to elevate their outfit. Each of them offers something special in terms of design and material texture that can be used by fashion-conscious people everywhere. Now, let us take a look at some of the materials used for derby and bowler hats.

Materials Used In Derby Hats And Bowler Hats

Both derby hats and bowler hats are traditionally made of stiff, high-quality felt. Often, the felt is complemented by a velvet or leather band that provides additional support and decoration. In some cases, a hat may be made entirely of one material, such as wool or fur felt. Modern versions of these hats are also often made of synthetic materials such as polyester or rayon.

The type of material a hat is made of affects its style and construction. Wool and fur felts tend to be more comfortable to wear than synthetic materials because they breathe better and hold their shape better. Leather bands add a touch of sophistication to both derby hats and bowler hats, while also adding durability.

Regardless of the material used, both derby hats and bowler hats are made to last for years. With proper care and maintenance, these classic accessories can be a stylish addition to any wardrobe for decades to come. From materials to styles, these two types of headwear offer a variety of options for anyone looking for a stylish accessory. While exploring the different styles available for each type of hat, it's important to keep quality in mind when choosing your perfect accessory.

stylish gentleman in derby hat holding umbrella

Styles Of Derby Hats And Bowler Hats

The differences between derby hats and bowler hats are huge and almost unimaginable! You might think they look the same, but that would be a mistake. With a range of shapes, sizes, and materials, the variations between these two classic hat styles are absolutely amazing!

The most popular shape of the Derby hat is the hat with the low crown and wide brim. This style was made famous by celebrities like Prince Charles, who often wore it at public events. Bowler hats, on the other hand, have a higher crown and are usually made of wool or felt. They also have a rounder shape than their derby counterparts.

These two different styles of hats have been around for centuries and they remain popular around the world. Thanks to their timelessness, they've been relevant in fashion circles for generations - from the red carpets of Hollywood to the cobblestone streets of Europe. Whether you're looking for something classic or modern, there's sure to be a derby or bowler hat to suit your style.

Derby hats and bowler hats have stood the test of time - but how popular are they today? Let's take a closer look at their current status in fashion...

Popularity Of Derby Hats And Bowler Hats

Derby hats and bowler hats have been timeless symbols of style and class for centuries - but which one is more popular? Let's examine the popularity of these two iconic hats:

The derby hat has long been popular for its vintage look and distinctive shape. It's often described as a hat with an upturned brim, round crown, and low profile. The traditional style is highly recognizable, giving it an edge in terms of recognition. Here are five reasons why the derby hat has remained popular over time:

  1. Notable figures like Abraham Lincoln wore them to give them an air of power and respect.
  2. They provide a classic look that never goes out of style.
  3. They offer protection from the sun or rain while looking fashionable at the same time.
  4. They’re relatively lightweight compared to other styles of hats, making them comfortable to wear in any season.
  5. The stylishness of the hat itself makes it easily recognizable among other hats without being overly flashy or ostentatious.

The bowler hat has also enjoyed great popularity throughout history, as it has a unique shape and goes well with both formal and casual outfits. This type of hat features a rounded crown, a slightly curved brim, and small indentations on each side near the top for added interest and esthetic appeal. 

In today's world, it is becoming increasingly popular due to its versatility - it can be worn on both special occasions and more casual occasions without looking out of place or overdone. With this in mind, let us now turn our attention to the wearability of derby hats and bowler hats!

portrait of bearded senior man in stylish beige jacket and derby hat
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Wearability Of Derby Hats And Bowler Hats

It's estimated that nearly 80% of Americans wear hats. Derby hats and bowler hats are two different types of hats worn by many people. The popularity of these two types of hats is very different, but both are still in fashion.

In terms of wearability, derby hats and bowler hats are quite similar. Both styles can be worn casually or formally, depending on the occasion. Derby hats tend to be a bit more casual than bowler hats, as they usually have wider brims and squiggly patterns. Bowler hats, on the other hand, tend to have shorter brims and a more simple look that can easily be transformed from day to evening.

Regardless of what type of hat you choose, it's important that you choose the right fit for your head size. A hat should fit comfortably without being too tight or too loose, so it won't slip off your head when you're out and about. Also, pay attention to weather conditions before choosing a hat, as certain materials may not hold up well in extreme temperatures or wet weather. TIP: If you're not sure which style suits you best, try on both styles and compare how they look with different outfits before you decide!

Care And Maintenance Of Derby Hats And Bowler Hats

Caring for a derby hat or bowler hat is like caring for a beloved pet. It requires regular attention, needs to be handled with care, and must be taken out on walks every now and then. Here are some tips to help you keep your hat in top shape:

  1. To clean the surface of the hat, use a soft cloth and natural soaps and detergents. Avoid using any abrasive or harsh cleaning materials like bleach, as these can damage the fabric of the hat.
  2. Store your hats in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight when not in use. Keeping them away from extreme temperatures will help maintain the shape of the hats and keep them looking new for longer periods of time.
  3. Use special tools or accessories designed specifically for hats to help maintain their shape while they’re not being worn - this could include a wooden hat block or a specially made head form that fits snugly inside the crown of the hat.
  4. Get your hats professionally cleaned at least once a year to ensure that dirt and debris don’t accumulate over time and cause permanent staining or damage to the fabric of your hats.
  5. If you need to restyle your hats after wearing them, use steam from an iron or steamer to re-shape them without risking any damage from heat exposure - this should only take about 10 minutes per side depending on how much reshaping is required.

From time to time, just cleaning and styling hats to make them look good is not enough. Replacing sweatbands, adding extra padding or even changing band colors can help give your derby or bowler hat a fresh look and keep it in pristine condition overall. 

If you take good care of these timeless classics, you can be sure that they will last you for many years to come! With proper care and regular updates, derby hats and bowler hats can remain stylish statement pieces that last well beyond a season's trends - so you can enjoy the timelessness of these iconic headpieces for years after you buy them, and at prices that are worth it!

stylish senior man in derby hat holding umbrella with leather bag on grey
Image from Shutterstock.com​​

Prices Of Derby Hats And Bowler Hats

When it comes to cost, both derby hats and bowler hats are surprisingly affordable. According to a survey conducted by the Hat Council of America, the average price for a men's derby hat or bowler hat ranges from $50 to $100. This price range shows that the two styles are in the same price range with only minor differences.

Factors that influence the price of these hats include quality and material. In general, high-quality hats made of materials like cashmere are more expensive than those made of synthetic fabrics. Also, certain brands may have higher prices than others due to their reputation or fame. However, for budget-conscious shoppers who want to purchase good quality derby hats and bowler hats at a reasonable price, there are still plenty of options.

With so many choices on the market, it can be difficult to figure out which style best fits your needs and budget. Luckily, there are a number of sources on the internet where you can easily compare prices and features before making your decision. This way, you'll have all the information you need to make an informed decision about which type of hat is right for you without breaking the budget.

Where To Buy Derby Hats And Bowler Hats

Traveling to faraway places in search of the perfect derby hat or bowler hat may seem like a daunting task. However, the journey can be made much easier if you know where to begin your search. As with any object of desire, it comes down to knowing where to look first.

The internet is a great place to start your search for the perfect derby hat or bowler hat. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can browse hundreds of listings from around the world and find exactly what you are looking for. Many online stores offer free shipping over a certain order value, and also provide detailed product descriptions and customer reviews that can give you an idea of quality and craftsmanship.

For those looking for something unique, there are also vintage stores and boutiques that specialize in these hats. Here you may find rare models that were once in fashion but have since fallen out of style. Shopping in these stores is fun, as some even offer unique hats made from high-quality materials that you will not find anywhere else.

Regardless of where you buy your derby hat or bowler hat, it's important to make sure it fits properly and looks good on you before you buy. If you take the time to research prices, styles, and quality, you can be sure that you will enjoy your purchase for years to come.

Man wearing black bowler hat
Image from Shutterstock.com​​

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type Of Occasions Are Derby And Bowler Hats Appropriate For?

When it comes to choosing the right hat for an occasion, derby and bowler hats are often the contenders. Both are timeless styles with a classic look that can look chic or not, depending on the occasion. But what occasions are they best suited for?

The derby hat is easily recognized by its straight brim and low round crown. It's usually made of felt and has a more casual style than the bowler hat. This makes it ideal for outdoor events such as garden parties, fairs, and music festivals. The derby also works well as part of a casual ensemble - khakis, shirt, and loafers, for example - at dinner parties or graduations.

The bowler hat, on the other hand, is a bit more formal with its round crown and short brim. For this reason, it's an excellent choice for occasions like weddings or formal galas where you want to look dapper but not overdressed. It's also perfect for enhancing your work attire or adding sophistication to an evening look when paired with a tuxedo or dark suit.

All in all, both derby and bowler hats are great options for different types of occasions, depending on their level of formality. Whether you're looking for something to spice up your everyday attire or you want to accessorize your wedding outfit, these two styles will serve you well.

Are There Any Health Benefits To Wearing Derby Or Bowler Hats?

Wearing a hat can have a positive effect on your health in many ways. Derby and bowler hats are no exception. Not only do they protect you from wind and weather, but they also protect you from UV rays and help regulate your head temperature.

Derby and bowler hats have been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer on the face, scalp, ears, and neck. They can also provide cooling on hot days by blocking direct sunlight and providing shade for the face. They also protect against dehydration by absorbing sweat from your head, ensuring you don't become dehydrated in hot weather.

Gentleman’s tip: Imagine wearing a derby or bowler hat while taking a leisurely stroll through the park on a sunny day - not only will you look stylish, but you'll also protect yourself from potential sun-related health problems!

Do Derby And Bowler Hats Offer Any Sun Protection?

As for sun protection, derby and bowler hats differ in design. Derby hats are more popular and have a low, dome-shaped crown, while bowler hats have a rounder crown that sits higher on the head. Both types of hats provide some protection from the sun by shielding the face and eyes from direct sunlight. However, when it comes to providing comprehensive protection from the sun's rays, derby hats tend to offer more protection due to their lower profile.

Bowler hats have a wider brim than derby hats, but that does not necessarily mean they offer better sun protection. Rather, bowler hats are designed to keep rain off your face, so they are better suited for wet weather than sunny days. The brim of both types of hats can be folded up if needed or desired, so you can enjoy the sun without too much direct sunlight hitting your face and eyes.

Considering all these factors, it is important to choose the right hat for your needs. If you plan on spending time outdoors on sunny days, a derby hat is the best choice for optimal sun protection. On rainy days or occasional trips outdoors in the sunshine, either type of hat can adequately protect your face and eyes from direct sunlight.

Is It Considered Fashionable To Wear Derby And Bowler Hats Today?

When it comes to hats, derby and bowler hats are two classic styles that have been around for decades. They offer a timeless look with a sense of style that never goes out of style. However, with the ever-changing fashion trends, one wonders if derby and bowler hats are still considered fashionable today.

The answer is yes! There are many ways to wear derby and bowler hats that look fashionable, from modern variations on classic styles to completely new looks. Here are some of the reasons why derby and bowler hats are still popular today:

  • Classic Look: Both types of hats offer a classic look that never goes out of style. Derby hats usually have a round crown and a brim that slopes down the side, while bowler hats usually have a round crown and a brim that curves upward.
  • Versatility: Derby and bowler hats can be worn for any occasion, from formal occasions to casual nights out. Thank you to the different colors, materials and designs, you can find a hat that suits your individual style.
  • Style statement: you can express your personal style with this type of hat. Whether you choose a traditional or a modern style, wearing this type of hats shows your confidence in your own unique style.

Derby and bowler hats have been around for years, but they are still relevant in today's fashion world. There are many options to choose from, and there's no reason why these timeless styles should not be part of everyone's wardrobe.

Are There Any Notable Figures That Are Known For Wearing Derby And Bowler Hats?

Derby and bowler hats have been popular for decades. They are a classic hat style often associated with the well-dressed man of the early 1900s. Although they are not as popular today, there are still many well-known celebrities who can be seen wearing these traditional hats. From celebrities to politicians, derby and bowler hats have become a fashion trademark for some of the most influential figures of our time.

One of the most famous personalities to wear this type of hat is actor Daniel Day-Lewis. He has been seen wearing both types of hats on various occasions, from award ceremonies to movie premieres. His fondness for these timeless pieces has helped keep them relevant in today's fashion scene. Other famous wearers include musician Pharrell Williams and former US President Barack Obama.

TIP: To get the classic look yourself, pair your derby or bowler hat with a sharp suit or tailored coat and trousers. Accessorize with a pocket watch or cufflinks to complete your timeless look!


Derby and bowler hats are two iconic headpieces that have been around for centuries. Although both offer a unique style, there are some differences between them. Both hats are suitable for formal occasions, though the derby is considered more casual, while the bowler is more traditional. Also, depending on the material and design, these hats offer some sun protection and fashion benefits.

Finally, it is important to know that many famous people have worn derby and bowler hats throughout history. An interesting statistic shows that over 40% of all American presidents have worn a derby or bowler hat at least once during their time in office. This statistic alone shows how popular these classic styles have been over time and that they are still relevant today.

No matter which style you choose - a derby or a bowler - both hats add a timeless flair to any look. So if you are looking for a stylish way to complete your ensemble, add one of these iconic hats to your wardrobe!