The top hat is an important element of many different outfits, from ultra-classy formal attire to a clever Halloween costume. The hats are notable for their shape and for their association with old money and politics, and many different fictional characters, celebrities, and historical figures are known for wearing the top hat. In addition, the hat has been integrated into modern fashion, becoming a staple of hip-hop, rock and roll, and Goth culture. While looking for the perfect top hat, it is important to recognize what you will be using your hat for. Some may be looking for the perfect day-to-day hat that can best complement their outfit; others may simply be looking for the perfect addition to their Halloween costume. Deciding how you will be using your hat will help you best pick out the perfect topper.
Any party superstore will have a hat that could complement a Halloween costume. These hats will most likely made with a cheaper felt instead of the silk that characterizes expensive hats, and will serve for a one- time use rather than for every day wear-and-tear. Amazon.com, Party City, or any local Halloween or costume shop will have a variety of top hats; these hats may go for no more than ten dollars; one example found on Amazon.com went for only $7.49.
Everyday Top Hats
Better quality, 100% silk top hats can be found at both costume shops and at many different fashion stores both online or at the mall. These hats won't bust a hole in your wallet, but are constructed with finer materials and will most certainly last longer than a cheap felt hat. 100% silk hats found on About.Com ran cost from $20 to $30 without shipping.
If you're looking for a hat like those T-Pain or Slash wears, you should expect to pay far more, maybe over $100. These celebrities will often get their hats from well-known fashion houses or designers; Slash has been seen purchasing his hats at famous NYC clothing store Trash and Vaudeville, while T-Pain's endless supply of flashy hats comes from custom designers and fashion stores. Finally, a look to a vintage store or eBay could reveal a number of fine vintage examples, but these hats may be old or fraying, and may cost over $100 simply due to their historical value.
Clearly, purchasing the perfect top hat requires one to question what they will be using the hat for. It would be pointless to spend hundreds of dollars on a vintage hat you will only wear once; at the same time, if you want a hat you can wear every day, surely you'd be looking for a finer 100% silk example. These choices are up to the wearer, but one must consider how they hope to use and wear their hat before making a purchase.