The true pork pie hat

Posted by | March 22, 2013

The Kingsport Times
Kingsport, TN
Sunday, March 24, 1935

“Pork Pie” is the Newest Style Note in Hats

The fabled phoenix, that marvelous bird endowed with the power to rise from its own ashes, finds a match in the pork pie hat. Some twenty years or so ago this hat was a favorite among the young ladies. For some reason this vogue passed, leaving no more trace than the lost continent Atlantis.

Found! The Pork Pie

Last summer, Americans traveling abroad noticed many of the summer dressed Englishmen wearing the bi crowned hat. They were quick to take the revived style back to America. It made its first appearance in the famous Eastern tennis matches. From there it traveled to the East-West polo matches and then on to the Eastern universities. This spring it is meeting with an enthusiastic reception from coast to coast.

But Why “Pork Pie”?

Many stories have sprung up concerning the origin of this odd name. It’s really very simple. It resembles in shape the round everyday pork pies that are a daily feature in the window of every self-respecting English baker. And from this rather ordinary part of the Englishman’s menu, the pork pie hat takes it name. The true pork pie hat is so made that it cannot be worn successfully except when telescoped. However, the pork pie that is the most popular in this country is the one that can be telescoped or revised as an ordinary snap brim at the wearer’s option.

Rough or Smooth, It’s Still Pork Pie

The dark brown, smooth finished pork pie was first on the fashion field. For this reason it is the one most seen. The dark patterned, not-too-fuzzy type of hat is gaining many adherents as is the dark green color. The lighter weight pork pie with the two ventilation punches directly above the bow will be seen during the warmer spring days.

Magill pork pie hatBefore leaving the pork pie, it is well to mention that many of these hats are worn with the crown punched in front. Now just a word to those who want real hat style. Although you can take apart any old felt hat and revise it into something that looks like a new style, it is never as satisfactory as the hat that is blocked to be worn in a certain manner.

With all this talk about pork pies and more pork pies, don’t think that the snap brim hat is relegated to the junk heap. On the contrary, influenced in its proportions a great deal by this new style as well as by the Tyrolean chapeau, the snap brim retains its lead as THE hat.

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2 Responses

  • Tomaso says:

    Good stuff!

    I have a brown wool felt pork pie hat made by Christy’s of London, it’s my favourite hat. A timeless classic that can be worn casually with jeans or when you’re dressed to the nines!

  • […] it and wearing it with a nice pair of jeans shouldn’t be a problem.  The name, according to, comes from the fact that the hat “It resembles in shape the round everyday pork pies that […]

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