What’s The Difference Between A Derby Hat & A Bowler Hat?

What is a Bowler Hat?

The bowler hat, also known as the Coke hat or the billycock, originated in the mid-19th century and quickly became a symbol of elegance and urban sophistication. Designed by Thomas and William Bowler, the bowler hat was originally created for the working class and quickly gained popularity among the upper echelons of society.

Design and Shape: 

The bowler hat features a distinctive round crown with a slightly curved brim, offering a polished and well-defined silhouette. Its crown is usually shorter and rounder than that of the derby hat, adding a touch of sophistication and timeless style. For example, take a look at Christys’ Bowler Fur Felt.

Christys’ Bowler Fur Felt



While traditionally associated with formal occasions and British gentlemen, the bowler hat has undergone a transformation in recent years. It has adapted to contemporary fashion, becoming a versatile accessory that complements both formal and casual ensembles, adding a hint of classic charm.

What is a Derby Hat?

The derby hat, also known as the bowler hat in the United States, is a classic headwear choice with its roots in 19th-century England. This iconic hat was initially designed for outdoor activities, horse riding, and hunting. Its distinct features make it a timeless fashion statement even today.

Design and Shape: 

The derby hat boasts a rounded crown, similar to the bowler hat, but with a broader and flatter brim. This design provides better protection from the elements and a wider field of vision. The derby hat's crown is usually taller than that of the bowler hat, adding a touch of flamboyance and grandeur. For example, take a look at Bailey Hats of Hollywood's Derby hat.

Bailey Hats of Hollywood's Derby hat

Formality and Style:

While the bowler hat underwent a more casual transformation, the derby hat has retained its association with formal attire. It remains a popular choice for special occasions, elegant soirées, and traditional events. The derby hat exudes a sense of classic refinement and sophistication, making it the epitome of timeless style.

What’s The Difference Between A Derby Hat & A Bowler Hat?

  • Brim Style: The Bowler Hat features a slightly curved brim, giving it a distinctive polished look, while the Derby Hat has a broader and flatter brim, offering better protection from the elements.
  • Versatility: The Bowler Hat has evolved to suit modern fashion, making it suitable for both formal and casual occasions. On the other hand, the Derby Hat has maintained its association with formal attire, making it a go-to choice for elegant events.

What’s The Similarities Between A Derby Hat & A Bowler Hat?

  • Timeless Appeal: Both the Bowler Hat and the Derby Hat possess a timeless and classic appearance. They have been fashion staples for over a century, reflecting a sense of enduring style.
  • Historical Significance: Originating in the 19th century, these iconic hats carry a rich historical background, adding to their allure and cultural importance.
  • Elegance and Sophistication: Whether you opt for the dignified charm of the Bowler Hat or the grandeur of the Derby Hat, both hats bring an element of elegance and sophistication to your attire, making a statement in any setting.

At Henri Henri, we are dedicated to providing you with an exquisite assortment of high-end hats, including the distinguished bowler hat and the grand derby hat. Whether you prefer the bowler hat's elegance or the derby hat's flair, our experts help you find the ideal headwear for your style and any occasion.

Explore our collection and experience the timeless allure and sophistication that these iconic hats bring. Trust Henri Henri to help you make a statement with your headwear, embodying the spirit of elegance and grace that has made these hats true symbols of sartorial excellence for generations.

Francis Bissonnette-Gilker
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