What’s the deal with hats these days? And when did we lose sight of the importance and relevance of a proper hat? Once upon a time a man couldn’t call himself a gentleman unless he owned and wore a proper hat. For centuries, hats played a significant role in society, and everyone that was someone had one. Times have certainly changed. The days of Humphrey Bogart and the hat wearing gentleman seem to be just as fleeting as the companies that produced these masterpiece accessories. Fortunately for us, and you, the very first hat shop still exists today, and I can think of no better place to visit for a proper hat than Lock & Co. Hatters.
Lock & Co. Hatters – The World’s Oldest Hat Maker
From the streets of London and New York, to all the most popular and successful films in Hollywood, hats served as an omnipresent present symbol of refinement and class. Men and women across the world took great pride in purchasing and maintaining these accessories just as they would their favourite suit or dress. Hollywood represented it best during the 1930’s to 1960’s, with the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, and Charlie Chaplin often identifiable by their headwear. Even more so for one Harrison Ford during his time as the acclaimed Indiana Jones. I say it’s time to visit Lock & Co. to trade in your battered old baseball cap for a new Trilby, Panama, or Fedora.
Established in 1676, Lock & Co. is the oldest hat shop in the world and one of the oldest family owned businesses still in existence today. Owning a hat from the famous Lock & Co. would immediately put you amongst very special company, including the likes of Sir Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, and Beau Brummell. Lock & Co. are also credited for developing the celebrated Coke hat which became the staple of Charlie Chaplin’s wardrobe.
Today, Lock & Co. maintain its founding principles, stating that no matter who the customer, they have all come to expect the best from Lock. The designs, the best fabrics, and the best service. These principles were established at the very beginning by founder James Lock and continue to be upheld by the 7th generation of the family, who still run the business from the same shop at No. 6 St. James’s Street in London.
This summer, I call on all you ladies and gentlemen reading this, to play your part in reviving the once beautiful hat culture that existed and flourished in society. Hats are not accessories to be worn solely to the horse races but rather should be considered just as important as your tie, pocket square, or favourite item of jewellery. Together, we can revive this wonderful hat culture, and there’s no better place to begin your journey than the home of hats itself…Lock & Co. Hatters.