The (Coke) Bowler Hat
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
There are many styles and types of Bowler Hat depicted by material, structure and shape. 'The perfect bowler hat will sit on a gentlemen’s head and look just right'. Lock & Co London Hatters are experts at finding the perfect fit for your cranium.
I am fortunate to be an owner of a vintage bowler hat made by Lock & Co handed down to me by my grandfather. A well-crafted piece of fashionable art.
Apart from being an attractive hat associated with many documentaries and dramas such as Selfridges, Downton abbey & Sherlock Holmes, what is it that makes the bowler hat so special?
The traditional (Coke) bowler hat is solid; you should be able to hear its solidity when you tap it. The bowler hat was first made for James Lock & Co. London during 1849, by the London hat-makers Thomas and William Bowler. Consequently commissioned by Edward Coke to design a close-fitting low-crowned hat, to protect game keepers from low-hanging branches while on horseback at Holkham Hall. Edward Coke, younger brother of the 2nd Earl of Leicester was a resident of the well-known Holkam Hall in Norfolk. The sturdy hat was designed and made for the exclusive use of the estate gamekeepers, beaters and shooters to wear as stylish and protective headgear whilst riding the grounds on horseback. Edward Coke wanted to test the durability of the newly designed hat and did so by throwing it on the ground and stamping on it, it successfully passed the test. It soon became a fashionable item in the everyday working British gentlemen’s wardrobe, taking over as the day hat, reserving the top hat to those whom could afford stripes. A truly British addition to anyones wardrobe.
Today I am attempting to bring back the bowler hat by wearing one of my vintage bowlers from Herbert Johnson Hatters of 38 New Bond Street. This style is called the Warwick, it has white silk lining and a softened leather head band for a luxurious comfortable fit.
- M. Harrington