Hats Galore!

Uncovering the hat phenomenon, and where to get good hats in Prague

Hats. They’re everywhere these days, be it in public spaces, private residences, and/or office complexes; headwear-themed social gatherings (or more popularly, “Hat Parties”) have even made their way to Prague. But for the beginner hat-wearer, before you dive in to all things hat, there are some things you need to know.

A Brief Introduction to Hats

The history of hats can be traced back to Ancient Egypt. Hats have come and gone as symbols of status, functions in society, and fashion accessories. However, their role in human history cannot be overlooked. In the United Kingdom, for example, fashionable hats are a status symbol for women of higher social classes, and are often associated with certain ceremonial events such as weddings, funerals, or sports events such as horse races. Here in the Czech Republic, hats have a rich history; one will notice that many older people still wear hats, and adhere to many of the rules associated with wearing them.

Hats Galore!

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Essentially, there are the following main divisions of hats:

•    Styles: Brimmed and brimless
•    Forms: Caps and hats

Here is an overview of the various hat types for both men and women: click here

Hat Etiquette

Hats and headwear have an etiquette that should be generally followed (or at least attempted). Below is a quick summary of the rules associated with wearing a hat:

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•    Men should slightly lift the hat when meeting a lady
•    Men should slightly lift the hat when expressing thanks, greeting, or saying goodbye to any sex
•    During serious affairs for example, funerals, men should remove their hats.. Women are not required to do so.
•    Hats should be removed entirely from the head when indoors.
•    When a hat is removed, it is advised to be held in hands, but in such a way that only the external lining is visible
•    In Catholic churches, women are allowed to wear hats, but men should not – it is considered impolite.

Hat tipping
Hat tipping

You may have noticed that women seem to be subjected to fewer restrictions. Much of this has to do with the fact that men’s hats are easily removed and simple in design. Women’s hats are often more elaborate and decorative, making it harder to remove. So with all these basic facts and rules out of the way, where can one get a nice hat for formal occasions or entertainment purposes?

Hat Stores in Prague

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Hat stores are not something that are too ubiquitous today, as hats no longer represent an indispensable element of our clothes rack. Here in Prague, there are numerous locations and websites available to purchase hats.

Physical stores:

Palác Koruna,
Václavské náměstí 1

Model Praha
Václavské náměstí 28

Jolana Kotábová
Nerudova 19
118 00 Praha 1

Online Stores:

•    http://www.ravefashion.cz/
•    http://www.klobouky-damske.cz/
•    http://www.assante.cz/
•    http://shop.anytra.eu/
•    http://www.tonak.cz/
•    http://www.sekora.cz/

If you feel like having something less conventional, why not try something like this:

•    http://www.fundus.barrandov.cz (Barrandov Studios costumes rental)
•    http://www.hunting-shop.cz/
•    http://www.ptakoviny-eshop.cz/ (costumes/hat rental)
•    http://www.pujcovnakostymupraha.cz/ (costumes/hat rental)
•    http://www.vsenakarneval.estranky.cz/ (costumes/hat rental)
•    http://www.ptakoviny-praha.cz/ (costumes/hat rental)

Finally, you can try one of the auction websites such as:

•    http://www.aukro.cz

For those of you who prefer to do something of your own or simply want to have something original and different, perhaps you may want to consider making your own hat:

Ok, so if duct tape does not float your boat, how about making a paper hat?

Or a balloon hat?

Now that you have chosen a hat and are aware of the etiquette rules associated with wearing one, you’re ready to enter the exciting world of hat-wearing. The last – but by no means least – thing is the actuall wearing of said headdress. This will of course depend on what type of hat you own and what occasion it is most appropriate with. Given the fact that very few of us wear formal hats on a daily basis or for serious occasions, it is most likely we will wear one for social and/or entertainment purposes.

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So where will you wear your hat? You may notice that hats are prevalent at music festivals with both men and women wearing them. Often we see them as advertisements for alcoholic beverages. But for maximum hat exposure, and to impress your friends and neighbors, perhaps an aforementioned “Hat Party” would be the appropriate place to wear your hat. Check your local web portal for details on when and where the next such party will take place.

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