The Darkest Hour (mentioned in our Monday’s post), portrays Churchill’s unrivalled strategy and leadership with great accuracy, but also focusses on some of the little details that make the film more authentic, such as Churchill’s passion for hats.
Indeed, other than being the powerful and magnificent leader of his era, Churchill’s daily clothing style also made him what we would now call a “fashion icon”. He wore a hat to every occasion and this imprint from his aristocratic family background became one of the things that symbolised him.
For a Prime Minister, wearing a different hat is not a casual choice. Rather, it is an effective tool to manage different situations and express different temperaments. This is also mentioned in The Darkest Hour, where the audience sees Churchill inside a room full of hats wondering to himself: which self should I be today?
It is obvious from photos of the period that Churchill was fond of wearing his Homburg. Originating from 19th century Germany, the Homburg is a man’s felt hat with a curved brim, a dent running front to back and a grosgrain ribbon band. This type of hat was very popular during the 1930s and 1940s amongst the British upper class.
Another hat that Churchill wore often was the traditional top hat. It originated from English aristocrats and has a crown that is harder than a Homburg’s. This makes it look more solid and official. During Churchill’s foreign visits, he wore this hat to symbolise the English aristocratic culture that he represented.
In fact, during cold winters, a good looking felt hat not only improves your appearance, but also contributes to making you warmer. According to US research conducted in the 1970s, we lose 40-45% of body heat from our head. The dual function of a hat is probably why the English, from royals to politicians to citizens, like to wear hats during the winter to keep themselves stylish and warm.
From reading this, are you already thinking that you are lacking something this winter? There’s no need to worry, because New Chapters has carefully picked out three high-end custom milliners in London for you:
Lock & Co. Hatters
Situated at 6 St James Street, Lock & Co. Hatters is a British royal favourite that combines fashion with tradition. It was established in 1676 and is famous for Churchill’s trademark Homburg hat. People can still buy similar styles here, the costume designers of The Darkest Hour bought their Churchill Homburg, top hat and fez here at Lock & Co. Hatters.
It is not unsurprising that British people love hats. From the Royal Family to politicians and ordinary people, a hat is the prime choice for all kinds of weather. It can be a more important statement than a hair style. A fine hat can showcase the status and the taste of a gentleman. Lock & Co. Hatters is continuously loved by members of the Royal Family and celebrities, including the Duchess of Cambridge and David Beckham.
Philip Treacy is an Irish designer born in 1967. He established his brand in London and focusses on designing unique, high-quality women’s hats. His hats have been frequently worn by the Duchess of Cambridge and other members of the Royal Family.
Also focussing on women’s hats, Stephen Jones born in 1957 has designed hats for many prestigious fashion shows. He has also designed a hat for another designer, Dior designer John Galliano! His creations are famous for their uniqueness and their unrivalled tailoring. Celebrities and royals love his designs.