In recognition of how many ways an egg could be prepared, the original chef’s tall hat was made with 100 pleats. This type of hat was first seen worn by French magistrates but was later worn by French chefs as a means of displaying seniority in the kitchen. Later on chefs in many countries adopted this style of hat for wear in the kitchen.
Pyrenean sheperds were some of the earliest people to wear the beret. During the 1880’s the French mountain regiment began wearing the blue beret because of its neat design, its adaptability and its durability. In 1918 the British tank corps entered into training operations with the French and they discovered the beret was ideally suited for tank crews because of the fitted shape and inobtrusive design. The beret is worn all over the world by soldiers today.
In America during the 1920’s an odd trend emerged where it was common for people to be beaten up if they were seen wearing a straw hat after the 15th of September. On September the 18th, 1925, a large fuss arose when President Coolidge was seen wearing a straw hat. Riots erupted in New York in 1922 when trouble-seeking gangs caused chaos by going on the rampage looking for people to attack and straw hats to destroy. In order not to be attacked, many people destroyed their own hats.
In the 19th century in the US baseball players wore an array of straw and cotton hats in order to protect their faces and eyes from the sun. Fans were not able to identify their favourite players so a standardised form of head-wear became desirable for both players and fans. The peaked baseball cap was first seen worn by the Brooklyn Excelsiors in 1860.
Hats declined in popularity at the end of the Second World War for a number of reasons. The hairstyles of the day meant hats were unpractical and sunglasses emerged as a very popular fashion accessory. Hat workers in factories started to worry about the future of the hat making industry, and in industrial towns such as Denton and Stockport it was not uncommon for people walking through without hats to be physically and verbally abused.