Top Hat Buying and Fitting

When fitting a Top Hat as part of your dress code for Royal Ascot 2014, the "shape" is just as important as the "size". Buying an antique silk top hat to fit is often very hard as over the last century heads have generally become larger. As less top hats were made many years ago in larger sizes; So a lot of the vintage top hats do not fit the present average head size (which is now about size 59cm UK7¼). Vintage Silk Top Hats, are typically made with a shellac and calico shell underneath. This means that a vintage silk top hat can only be reconformed (reshaped) but cannot be streteched to become bigger.

The process of measuring for silk top hat and modern felt top hat is the same.

To measure your top hat size using a tape measure, follow your head circumference above the ears, approximately 1 inch above your eyebrows and 1/2 inch to 1 inch above the ears depending on how you wish to wear the top hat (Basically the brim should not touch your ears!). Then compare it on the table below. There is not always an exact match between cm to inches so the nearest has been selected. If your head measures between two sizes, you may select the larger size (you can place a small strip of felt behind the top hat's sweatband to make the fit more comfortably).

Inches Cm US size UK size
21 & 58 55 6 & 78 6 & 34
22 56 7 6 & 78
22 & 12 57 7 & 18 7
22 & 78 58 7 & 14 7 & 18
23 & 14 59 7 & 38 7 & 14
23 & 58 60 7 & 12 7 & 38
24 61 7 & 58 7 & 12
24 & 12 62 7 & 34 7 & 58
24 & 34 63 7 & 78 7 & 34
25 & 18 64 8 7 & 78

At Ascot Top Hats, we recommend a full fitting prior to buying a hat as shape can only truly be measured using specialised tools such as our conformateur and formillion in our workshop, the tools are pictured below. Title: Conformateur and Formillion - Description: Tools to measure head shape and size

Tradition Silk Plush or Hatters Plush that was used to make silk top hats has not in mainstream production for decades, so buying a top hat usually involves finding a good quality antique, or alternative a modern Melusine felt Top Hat or a modern Plush which also may give a excellent finish. Standard Top Hats can also be bought in wool or fur felt, but silk plush top hats are preferred. It is still possible to get Plush Top Hats made (from old silk plush stocks, or newer plush materials, both of which Ascot Top Hats can do) though the second-hand silk top hat market is still the most common option and has been active nigh on as long as people have worn them.

If you need a Top Hat for Royal Ascot try calling Ascot Top Hats on 01344 638 838 to arrange a private appointment.

Title: Buy Top Hats and Silk Top Hats from Ascot Top Hats - Description: Top Hats from Ascot Top Hats Online shop.  With Top Hat in Centre of Logo and Horse bearers.
Ascot Top Hats Ltd Online Top Hat shop - Click to go to Shop and Buy Top Hats

Ascot Top Hats specialising in new top hats, refurbishment of vintage top hats, and other gentlemen's headwear.

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