So you want to be brash? A bit different? A Fedora, or a Trilby, even a Porkpie isn't enough for you? Well, I guess you need a Bowler. You've made an excellent choice. The bowler is a hat rich in history. It was a hat that signified a change in the world. It was the hat of the Industrial Revolution.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, what segment of the social strata you belonged to was readily apparent by the style of hat you were wearing. The aristocracy and the rich wore a top hat. The lower classes wore a simple cloth hat. After the industrial revolution, EVERYONE, men and women alike, wore the bowler. It was the hat of the day.
According to legend, in 1850 Edward Coke requested the Bowler brothers to fashion him a hat that would protect his head from low hanging branches as he rode his horse through the forests performing his duties as a Gameskeeper. When Edward Coke up to collect his hat, he dropped it on the floor, stamped on it twice, and when he saw that it did not bend or break he pronounced the hat good enough. He paid 11 shillings to the Bowler brothers and a new hat was born. This is why a Bowler is also known as a Coke (pronounced Cook) hat.
The Bowler was the first hat ever mass produced and is above all a functional hat. Its stiffened brim and crown were designed to protect the wearer's head. It's also known as the hat that won the west. Contrary to popular belief, Cowboys did not wear cowboy hats. They wore bowlers. The Bowler was perfect for the West. Its rounded crown and short brim prevented from being blown off as the wearer poked their head out of a train window or rode their horse on the open prairie.
In modern times, the Bowler is still a practical hat. It is worn by those who practice the Saddle Seat discipline in horseback riding. Not as popular as its cousins the Fedora or the Trilby, it is still a good choice for the daring.
Famous people who wear the Bowler are:
Bat Masterson (famous western Lawman)
Billy the Kid (famous outlaw)
Butch Cassidy (famous outlaw)
Charlie Chaplin (everyone knows the tramp)
Oddjob (he could cut off a statues head at twenty paces)
John Steed (of the Avengers fame)
Though not as prevalent on the net as its cousins, you can still find a great bowler hat. Jaxon, Bailey, Bollman, and Golden Gate all make wonderful Bowler hats. Expect to spend between $40 and $150 dollars on your new chapeau.