The 1950’s were a great time for men’s hats. After two decades of little change in style or variety the 1950’s came rolling in with splashes of color and fun new shapes. Little did they know that this would become the last decade of men wearing hats as required fashion. It was both the golden age and the end of an age for men in hats.
Let us take a look at the styles of 1950’s men’s hats and see just why they were so special:
Hats of the 1950s – Fedora or Trilby Hat
This old hat style never went out of fashion but old blue eyes, Frank Sinatra, certainly helped keep it in style throughout the 1950’s. He wore all types of fedoras but it was his late 1950’s stingy brim fedora that really made a lasting impression on hat history. Today the stingy brim fedora is incredibly popular with fashionable young men just as it was in the 50’s and 60’s.
- Colors: Brown, Tan, Green, Blue, Grey, Black
- Material: Fur felt or woven straw
- Shape: Center crown crease, usually pinch front
- Brim: Narrow brim, increasingly narrower as the 50’s progressed. Brim turned down in front and up at sides with a deep turn up at the back. A narrow fedora brim is often called a Stingy brim.
- Band: Solid Petersham or silk ribbon colors that contrasted with the hat such as a green band on a grey hat. Flat bow on the side often with feather accent. Late 50’s brought in thin leather bands or felt bands to match the hat body and knotted instead of a bow. Hat brim was either unlined to lined in matching Petersham ribbon.
- Style: Centered on head with a slight tilt forward in the early 50’s. Centered on head with a tilt back in the later 50’s.
1950s Porkpie Hats
The popular 1940’s mens hat returns in the 1950s with more colors and simpler, more refined style. It went out of fashion by the mid 1950’s except for the straw hat version which stayed popular through the 1960’s.
- Colors: Light browns, olive-green
- Material: Fur felt or straw
- Shape: Short, oval flat top with deep crease around oval
- Brim: Flat brim all around or slightly curled just at the back
- Band: Wide grosgrain or silk ribbon with flat bow or twist tie
- Style: Worn at an angle
1950s Straw Hats
Straw hats came in different shapes and natural colors just like their felt cousins did. The unique qualities about 1950’s straw hats were in the bold and colorful hats bands. Wide silks and grosgrain ribbons in bold stripes, checks and geometric print patterns matched the colorful suits 1950’s men were wearing.
- Colors: Natural yellow straw, beached white straw and shades of coconut browns
- Material: Thick, thin, natural and synthetic hand-woven straws
- Shape: Same as felt varieties. Usually more brim in the front and less in the back for sun shading
- Brim: Many curved to the back, some to the front
- Band: Wide silk ribbon in early 50’s, thinner silk ties in later 50’s
- Style: Worn same as felt varieties.
- Pictured left: Straw Boater, Straw Fedora, Straw Trilby, Straw Porkpie
195’s Men’s Walking Hat
The hat that was more common in Europe than in the USA was the tweed walking cap. Many colorful patterns of Harris tweed made this a cool weather hat. It increased in popularity through to the 1960’s.
- Colors: Tweeds with brown or green tones.
- Material: Wool tweed. Summer cotton plaids
- Shape: Tall round crown shaped the head snugly
- Brim: Narrow brim angled down all around and turned up at the back
- Band: Thin self fabric band with tie, bow, or clip on side
- Style: Worn snug over head and forehead
Buying 1950s Men’s Hats
There are far to many hat styles worn in the 1950’s to capture the details of every one. Some like the Homburg remained in the same style as the 1940’s. The Ivy cap remained popular since the 1930’s without any significant change. And the Straw Boater remained a classic since the 1920’s. They are timeless hats making the only thing new about them was the men who wore them.
Whenever possible purchasing a vintage 1950’s hat is the best choice. Hats of this decade in particular have become quite collectible in the last 15 years. Prices of a name brand hat in good condition can sometimes make them unaffordable to the average man. If this is the case for you purchasing a new vintage style 1950’s hat is a great option. Many new hats are similar if not replicas of original hats. Stetson hats are one brand still making high quality hats today. Some newer brands like Sinatra Hats are reinventing vintage hats of the 1950’s and adding just a touch of the modern to bring them back into fashion today.
You can begin your 1950’s men’s hat shopping here where I have handpicked the best vintage style hats online that embrace the classic 1950’s style: