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Stovepipe Hat Vs Top Hat

Stovepipe Hat Vs Top Hat. The Difference (with Pictures)

Old fashioned hats are ready for a comeback. In the late 1850s and early 1860s, hats have always been celebrated as a part of our wardrobes. Hats have been common throughout the history of humanity and are still counted as an important fashion accessory. They have evolved in so many ways as fashionable items and being functional.

The top hat and the stovepipe hat are two examples of vintage hats. Different types of vintage hats available have different shapes according to different cultures. But this article will only be limited to stovepipe hat vs top hat   which are considered fashionable and functional in modern times and old times with availability in the market depending on the place.

The Main Difference

Both hats evolved over time and had few similarities. So to find the differential features, we will focus on the main differences between the top hat and the stovepipe hat, along with a brief history of each hat’s origins.

Difference 1: Material used

Both the stovepipe and top hats have several differences in the use of materials. The top hats are typically made of silk mounted on a felt base. It was made from beaver fur, unlike the cheaper alternative of rabbit fur. In comparison to this, stovepipe hats are made from inexpensive materials and have non-fur felt. Materials such as silk and polyester are usually used to manufacture this hat.

Difference 2: Brim

The top hat is a tall cylindrical hat. It has a high crown and a narrow and slightly curved brim. It has a brim which is turned up. The brim of the stovepipe hat can be squeezed for a better fit. It has a flatter brim comparatively. You may notice that the brim of the stovepipe was wider than the common top hat. The design and height are completely different from the top hat.

Difference 3: Use

Both stovepipe hats vs top hats are for formal occasions, but the top hat is more elegant than a stovepipe hat. You may notice that the top hat is worn with tuxedos. It may be the perfect choice for business affairs as well. At the same time, the stovepipe hat is mostly worn with a suit or even as work attire.

Which One is Popular, Stovepipe Hat or Top Hat?

As it is noticeable that top hats gained popularity earlier than stovepipe hats. They have been worn for several decades. It’s an amazing choice with a finely detailed ribbon hat band and plush, fully-lined Satin interior. Traditionally top hats were worn as formal wear, but slowly people are trying it as a fashion accessory even in parties and night events. They are a symbol of fashion and being current with the times.

What Is a Stovepipe Hat?

A stovepipe hat is a style of top hat that is similar to the traditional top hat. While there are some variances between these two hat types, they both have common origins. Most people define a stovepipe hat as a hat that looks more like a chimney pipe.

stovepipe hat

The stovepipe hat’s cylinder is relatively taller than a top hat. The hat has a flat crown and a straight cylinder. The diameter of the bottom and top of the head is similar. The stovepipe hat is silk and has a very tall, cylindrical, flat-topped crown. Because it was generally composed of non-fur felt, the stovepipe hat was dubbed a “stuff hat.”

This hat was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. It came into popularity when Abraham Lincoln used it as an accessory. Since then, stovepipe hats have been manufactured in the United States. As a result, it was known by Abraham Lincoln’s hat until now.

Notable features of a stovepipe hat

  • The height of the stovepipe hat is tall. 
  • It is like a chimney pipe. 
  • The cylinder of this hat is narrower and straighter.
  • The stovepipe hat has a flat brim than top hats.

What Is a Top Hat?

The history of top hats starts at the end of the 18th century. A haberdasher named John Hetherington invented the top hat. It had become popular with all social classes and even workmen because of its non-fur felts. Later in the 19th century, the heart was made from Silk and had slightly convex sides. In this modern era, the top hat is a hard, black silk hat with fur. It is more fashionable with different prints and designs.

top hat

A silk top hat is plush, a soft silk weave with a very long nap. This is a standard covering of top hats. In addition to this, it can come in stiff wool felt or soft wool. The top hat evolved from a similar sugarloaf-style hat, and by the end of the 18th century, it had become very popular.

It finally outgrew the preceding style of tricorn hat, which took 30 years to achieve its peak popularity. The option of putting a black oilcloth covering to the top of the hat became available for people who frequently wore their top hats outside.

Notable features of top hats

  • The height of the top hat is smaller, and thus it is usually more popular. 
  • It is flared at the tip and has a flat crown. 
  • The cylinder of this hat is wider.
  • The stovepipe hat has a flat brim than top hats.

Stovepipe Hat vs Top Hat

Comparison PropertiesStovepipe HatTop Hat
Uses (for)Stovepipe hats are considered less formal, so they are worn in traditional events.They have usually been used for formal occasions, funerals, weddings, Royal events, and sometimes morning dresses.
Ideal ForIdeally, they are used by Americans and by celebrities for cultural events.Top hats are ideally used to attend formal events.
AdvantagesThe main advantage of this type of hat is that it will protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the Sun.The biggest advantage will help you complete your outfit and frame your face perfectly.
DisadvantagesThe wider brim of the hat may not be introduced as an accessory that you can wear on any type of occasion.It remains a formal fashion accessory, a major drawback of top hats.
DurabilityIt is less durable as it consists of low-quality material.Top hats are usually more durable because of the material used in them.
WeightDepending upon the material used, the hat’s weight may vary.The construction of the hat can vary its weight.
Waterproof MaterialIt is a less waterproof hat than top hats.If the top had has Silk material, then it has more waterproof abilities than other materials.
Reflective MaterialThe stovepipe hats are commonly less lustrous and have a matty appearance.The tall structure of this hat has a shining lustre and glossy appearance.
Care and MaintenanceIt requires more maintenance than top hats.Make sure you allow the hat to dry naturally after every use due to perspiration.
Types and StylesIt has no typesIt has no types
WeatherWear this type of hat in any weather except the rainy season.This hat is appropriate for all types of seasons.
AvailabilityIt is less popular than top hats and is usually not available in every part of the world.Because of its popularity, top hats are easily available everywhere.
PricesIt is less expensive and  easily available.Expensive but the price often varies with size.

What Are Stovepipe Hats for?

Stovepipe hats are generally used for traditional and cultural events by western people. You can wear it in a church. Traditionally these types of hats are known for the bold and fashionable way. It will look great in your business meetings as well.

What Are Top Hats for?

You can wear top hats at the Halloween party, Royal parties, family occasions, weddings, ceremonies etc. It’s a myth that a top hat is only worn with a morning dress or an office tie. For a smart and casual look on informal occasions, you can wear it anytime. These formal and flat-crowned hats are proudly worn by riders when they compete in dressage. Even in show jumping and cross country events, Top Hat looks great.

The Best Stovepipe Hat

Men stovepipe hat

This stovepipe hat comes with a wide crown and great rimmed brim. The hat is just perfect for all formal occasions, fall and winter holiday parties, or just topping off the snowman. With its beautiful print, it can be used as a costume.

  • Material – 100% Polyester
  • Options – one size fits most adults
  • Care – Hand Wash
  • Pattern – costume stovepipe hat
  • Nature – men

The Best Top Hat

Men top hat

This top hat exudes a time-honoured golden age of American style. It is usually worn for specific rock culture fashion statements. This top hat can be a silk hat, cylinder hat or chimney-pot hat. With its high quality, you can use it in the long term.

  • Material – Felt, Wool, Leather
  • Options – Available in multiple sizes
  • Care – machine wash
  • Pattern – 2.5-inch brim and a 6.5-inch flared crown
  • Nature – men

Final Thoughts

Stovepipe hats vs top hats have very few differences between them. They have gained popularity as vintage hats. From formal meetings to business affairs, and can be worn for a casual look. If you love a flat brim, you should choose stove pipe over the Top hats. Interestingly top hats have a small height as compared to stovepipe hats. Hence, if you feel uncomfortable with tall height hats, then top hats could be one of your perfect choices.

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