Definition Porkpie Hat
A pork cake hat is a kind of felt or straw hat, with a cylindrical crown and a flat top. This type of crown is called the “telescopic crown”, but the hat is similar to the boater`s hat as a whole. It is short and has a depression around its top, so it can easily jump when worn. Moreover, as a newspaper clipping from the mid-1930s states: “The real pork cake hat is made in such a way that it can only be successfully worn if it is not telescopic.” The same neckline also refers to the hat as “the bi-crown”. The pork cake hat was created in the middle of the 19th century. Pork is named after its resemblance to the pork pie dish. According to the cover of American fashion of the 1930s, the smooth dark brown felt was the original popular model, but the green “fuzziere” model came in second place. The pork pie hat has been a staple of the British Man-about-Town style for many years. It was frequently worn by American soldiers of the American Civil War and the U.S.
Army in the 1880s. Pork hats are often associated with musicians and fans of jazz, blues and ska. Charles Mingus wrote an elegy for jazz saxophone star Lester Young titled “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,” as Young was known for his ubiquitous wide-brimmed pork. Pork, round hat with coiled brim and flat crown. The pig, so named because of its shape, became popular with both men and women in the mid-19th century, although a hat of similar shape was worn in the European Middle Ages. In the 19th century, ribbons sometimes flowed into the back of pork carried by men. The women wore a tiny pig that was tilted forward on the forehead because of the elaborate hairstyles on the back of the head. From the early to mid-20th century, pig hats were popularized by a number of actors and musicians, including Buster Keaton, Dean Martin, and Lester Young. They experienced a resurgence after being worn by protagonist Popeye Doyle (played by Gene Hackman) in the film The French Connection (1971). They became popular again in the late 20th and early 21st centuries when they were worn by celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Sean Combs and Brad Pitt.
Today, wearing a pork cake hat has preserved some of its associations from the 1930s and 40s. Fashion writer Glenn O`Brien said: “The Porkpie hat is the hallmark of the determined hipster, the kind of cat you see hanging out in a jazz club or billiard room, perhaps in a leather jacket with a front button and pointed shoes. It`s kind of a Tom Waits hat, Johnny Thunders. It has a narrower edge than a fedora and a flat top with a circular notch. Usually, the edge is worn. It is often worn with a goatee, soul patch and/or toothpick.  The pork hat saw a slight resurgence in attention and popularity after Gene Hackman`s character, Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, wore one in the 1971 film The French Connection.  Doyle is based on real crime officer Eddie Egan, who played the captain in the film, and his exploits. Egan was famous all his life for wearing a pork cake hat and refused to give his hat to Gene Hackman to wear in the film. Producers were forced to find Hackman`s hat elsewhere.  Around the same time, Robert De Niro wore a pork cake hat (the same hat he wore when he auditioned for the film) in the 1973 film Mean Streets.
 The first hat, called pork cake, was a hat worn primarily by British and American women from about 1830 to about 1865. It consisted of a small round hat with a narrow, coiled brim, a flat or slightly curved low crown with a fold that ran around the inner upper edge, and usually with a ribbon or hat band tied around the shoulder where the crown joined the edge.  It was often worn with a small feather or two attached to a bow on one side of the hat. These hats can be made from any number of materials (straw, felt, silk-covered cotton canvas, etc.). What led them to be called “pork pies” was the shape and fold of the crown and the tightness of the edge (sometimes called the “stingy edge” in reference to its brevity). So, if you`re considering including this stylish hat in your wardrobe, it can be helpful to know how to wear it and what to style it with first. Luckily, unlike the Fedora hat, you don`t have to worry about lengthening your face due to its short-necked crown. This hat can be useful for adding a little height to your body, although these hats may look a little weird in very small men or women. Experience a dull and comfortable British paterfamilias in a light flannel suit and faded sun hat. A good way to determine the size you should get is that the brim of the hat should be at least as wide as your jaw.
This hat does not work for men or women with small or overly rounded faces as the short crown only makes their faces shorter. A flat and round hat for men popular with jazz, blues, ska musicians. Made famous by actor Buster Keaton and jazz musician Lester Young. So called because of its similarity in appearance with a traditional pork cake. The heyday of the pork cake hat took place during the Great Depression. In this incarnation, the pork cake regained its snap edge and increased slightly in height. The arched crown of these hats became known among hat makers as “telescopic crowns” or “narrow telescopes” because the top could easily appear when worn.  Moreover, as a newspaper clipping from the mid-1930s indicates: “The real pork cake hat is made in such a way that it cannot be worn successfully except when it is telescopic.” The same neckline also refers to the hat as “the bi-crown”.
 Among the famous pork cake porters at the time was Frank Lloyd Wright, whose pork cake hat had a very wide brim and a fairly high crown. Lester Young, whose career as a jazz saxophonist spanned from the mid-1920s to the late 1950s, regularly wore a pork cake hat during his performances, and after his death, composer Charles Mingus wrote an elegy for him called “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.” Young`s pork cake had a wider edge than in previous styles, but retained the final round crown, flat and wrinkled. This hat was made of felt, braided hemp, straw, linen, paper mesh, wool felt, cotton and silk-covered canvas.