Top Hat

A top hat, beaver hat, high hat, silk hat, cylinder hat, chimney pot hat or stove pipe hat (sometimes also known by the nickname "topper") is a tall, flat-crowned, broad-brimmed hat, predominantly worn from the latter part of the 18th to the middle of the 20th century. As of the early 21st century, it is usually worn only with morning dress or white tie, in dressage, as servants' or doormen's livery, or as a fashion statement. The top hat is sometimes associated with the upper class, becoming a target for satirists and social critics. It was particularly used as a symbol of capitalism in cartoons in socialist and communist media, long after the headgear had been abandoned by those satirized. It was a part of the dress of Uncle Sam and used as a symbol of US monopoly power. By the end of World War II, it had become a rarity, though it continued to be worn daily for formal wear, such as in London at various positions in the Bank of England and City stockbroking, or boys at some public schools.

The top hat persisted in politics and international diplomacy for many years, including U.S. presidential inaugurations, last being used in 1961. Top hats are still associated with stage magic, both in traditional costume and especially the use of hat tricks.

Read more about Top HatHistory, Description, Construction, In The Present, In Literature

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Famous quotes containing the words hat and/or top:

    Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced,
    No hat upon his head, his stockings fouled,
    Ungartered, and down-gyved to his ankle,
    Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,
    And with a look so piteous in purport
    As if he had been loosed out of hell
    To speak of horrors.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    the cat
    climbed over
    the top of

    the jamcloset
    William Carlos Williams (1883–1963)