9 Best Pork Pie Hats for Men in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

best pork pie hats

“If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.” Those are strong words spoken by a strong hat, the pork pie hat. Ok, maybe it wasn’t said by the hat, but by the person wearing it. Who doesn’t recognize that line from the popular AMC show Breaking Bad? No doubt an image of Walter White, aka Heisenberg, wearing his iconic black wool felt pork pie hat flashed into your mind when you read those words.

You may not know it, but the pork pie style was a thing long before Breaking Bad showcased it atop the leading character’s head. Those stingy brimmed hats have been making their mark throughout history since the 1800s. This buyer’s guide will walk you through the pork pie story, what they are, how to wear one, and what the best pork pie hats are.

History of the Pork Pie Hat

Brace yourself… pork pie hats got worn by women originally, both in the United States and Britain from 1830-1865. Their delicate sensibilities saw them adorned with decorations of ribbons, feathers, and a bow. They were made of straw, felt, or cotton canvas with a silk covering. It gets believed that Americans saw the hats on English people during tennis matches and brought them to the states where they could be found all over the country.

During the 1920s, the hats hit the mainstream thanks to the silent movie star Buster Keaton, who made his pork pie hats using other hat models like a Fedora. Buster made around a thousand hats during his film career.

The 1930s and 1940s landed the pork pie hat as an essential accessory for the zoot suit. Over the decades, many celebrities have displayed the hat as an integral part of their outfits, including Lester Young, Charles Mingus, Art Carney, Gene Hackman, Yogi Bear, and Robert De Niro.

What Is a Pork Pie Hat?

The name is extremely odd, I know, but there is logic behind it. The small hat is round with a short brim that sometimes gets curled. It has a flat crown that is shaped and creased in a way that resembles a pastry from Leicestershire in the mid to late 1700s that was called the Melton Mowbray pork pie

The food got created for hunters who needed something they could take with them on hunts, which spawned the creation of a pork pie that had a special crimped seal to keep the contents inside. I doubt they had also planned it as a hat design.

What to Look for When Shopping for a Pork Pie Hat

Sometimes called an English pastry hat, a pork pie hat has a telescoped flat top crown with a slight lip around the edge, which creates a resemblance to the meat pastry. It gets considered a more casual style headpiece when considering other full brimmed hats.

If you have an oval or long face shape, or if you are a taller man, this style of hat is perfect for you. It is an excellent complement to your face shape and will not add additional height.

A bit of warning if you are on the shorter side or have a round face, this may not be the hat for you as it can make you appear shorter and thicker. The hat brim should not be narrower than your jawline. That’s why it isn’t a good fit for round faces or large jawlines.

How to Wear a Pork Pie Hat

There are many different styles of pork pie hats to choose from. They come in a variety of materials like wool, wool felt, chambray, and straw. There are vintage styles inspired by the 1920s as well as more hip styles for the modern hat man.

Styling

Here are some styling options for your pork pie hat outfits.

  • Traditional coat, tie, trousers, and a pork pie hat
  • Suit with a pork pie hat
  • Sport coat, odd trousers, and a pork pie hat
  • Pork pie hat, sweater, and tweed pants
  • Loose-fitting clothes and a pork pie hat
  • Straw pork pie hat and a loose Hawaiian shirt
  • Felt or wool pork pie hat with a slim-fit black suit
  • Pork pie hat, smart blazer, button-down collared preppy shirt, and chinos
  • Straight leg jeans, t-shirt, pork pie hat, and cardigan
  • Straw pork pie hat and a short-sleeve button-up shirt
  • Fitted blazer, felt pork pie hat, and tailored chinos
  • T-shirt, pork pie hat, jeans, and a trench coat

Don’t forget about the shoes! A casual outfit should get finished off with suede brogues. For a smart look, wingtip brogues or tasseled loafers are the best choices.

Comparison Table

Product

Material

Brim

Price

belfry-jazz-packable-wool-diamond-pork-pie-hat

Material: Pure Wool

Pure Wool

Brim: 1 1/4”

1 1/4”

kangol-litefelt-pork-pie

Material: 100% LiteFelt

100% LiteFelt

Brim: 1 1/2”

1 1/2”

stetson-odenton-pork-pie-cloth-hat

Material: 65% Cotton, 35% Polyester

65% Cotton, 35% Polyester

Brim: 1 1/2”

1 1/2”

brixton-stout-pork-pie-hat

Material: 100% Wool

100% Wool

Brim: 1 1/2”

1 1/2”

stetson-wool-pork-pie-hat

Material: 75% Virgin Wool, 25% Polyamide

75% Virgin Wool, 25% Polyamide

Brim: 1 1/2”

1 1/2”

scala-wool-felt-porkpie-hat

Material: Wool felt

Wool felt

Brim: 2”

2”

bailey-of-hollywood-mens-waits

Material: 50% Paper Straw, 50% Polypropylene

50% Paper Straw, 50% Polypropylene

Brim: 1 5/8”

1 5/8”

DASMARCA-crushable-packable-wool-felt P-pork-pie-hat

Material: Wool Felt

Wool Felt

Brim: 2”

2”

bailey-of-hollywood-jett-pork-pie-hat

Material: 100% Wool Felt

100% Wool Felt

Brim: 2”

2”

The 9 Best Pork Pie Hats For Men of 2021

1. Belfry Jazz - Packable Wool Diamond Pork Pie Hat

FEATURES

  • Pure wool
  • 100% Cotton sweatband
  • Attached feather
  • 1 1/4″ stingy snap brim
  • 3 1/2″ diamond-shaped crown
  • 1″ cross-grain hat band
  • Multiple color options

For nearly 40 years, Hats in the Belfry has been creating exclusive hats while partnering with some of the biggest names in the hat-making industry.

The company prides itself on providing customers with an unforgettable experience as well as limited-run designs and shapes that are unique. The company offers a wide variety of hat styles, from caps to wide-brim hats.

PROS

CONS

2. Kangol Litefelt Pork Pie

FEATURES

  • 100% LiteFelt®
  • 1 1/2” brim
  • Crown height: 3 1/2” brim
  • Shape retentive
  • Unlined
  • Water repellant
  • Crushable

The revolutionary formula in this LiteFelt® hat that gets made in the U.S.A. gives it crushable and water repellent powers. It comes with a 3½ inch telescope crown and a 1½ inch brim. This hat is best suited for the fall and winter seasons.

When it comes to hats for men, this is one cool hat. You can expect a lot of compliments when you wear it, whether it’s a social function, hanging out with friends, or a trip to the grocery store. It’s a playful accessory dressed down or a sophisticated statement dressed up.

PROS

CONS

3. Stetson Odenton Pork Pie Cloth Hat

FEATURES

  • 65% Cotton, 35% Polyester
  • 1 1/2” brim
  • Crown height: 3 5/6” 
  • Water-repellant
  • UV protection 40+
  • Available in black and brown

Everyone who knows anything about hats knows that Stetson is a well-respected hat maker that has been around for decades. The company’s reputation for high quality is well-earned. You can’t go wrong with a Stetson.

Before buying, measure your head with a soft measuring tape. If you don’t have one handy, use a string and measure around your head just above your ears. Then lay the string next to a metal tape measure. That will give you your head circumference to find the proper hat size.

PROS

CONS

4. Brixton Stout Pork Pie Hat

FEATURES

  • 100% wool
  • 1 1/2” brim
  • Folded satin hat band
  • Hand wash only
  • Available in black, light tan and grey

This versatile hat can be dressed down or up and get worn inside or outside. It has a clean and classic design that was inspired by vintage style but made to stand up to modern Life. It is stylish yet timeless.

PROS

CONS

5. Stetson Wool Pork Pie Hat

FEATURES

  • 75% Virgin Wool, 25% Polyamide
  • 1 1/2” brim
  • Crown height: 3 5/6” 
  • Available in anthracite, black and blue
  • Made in Italy

Here is an Italian made hat with 75% virgin wool and a breathable cotton lining. It is comfortable but stays snug to your head.

If you are a hat aficionado, you will love the quality and design that will quickly make this hat your go-to headpiece. It has a classic and elegant appeal, along with a soft touch. If you are looking for chic headwear that will impress, this is a good pick.

PROS

CONS

6. Scala Wool Felt Pork Pie Hat

FEATURES

  • 100% wool felt
  • 2″ brim
  • 16-ligne grosgrain ribbon hat band  with feather accent
  • Satin lining
  • Hand wash only

This hat from Scala Classico is not your run-of-the-mill pork pie hat. Give your outfit a boost of pizzazz with this party-ready headpiece. Take center stage with this top-quality hat that is sure to make a statement.

Whether you’re a musician, an actor, or the everyday guy who wants to spruce up his wardrobe, this hat is ready to paint the town.

PROS

CONS

7. Bailey of Hollywood Men's Waits

FEATURES

  • Braided design
  • Telescope crown
  • Comfort sweatband
  • 1⅝” snap brim
  • Hand wash only, spot clean
  • Six color options available

Here is a braided style pork pie hat with a telescoping crown, curved brim, and a ribbon hatband.

PROS

CONS

8. DASMARCA Crushable & Packable Wool Felt Pork Pie Hat

FEATURES

  • Wool felt
  • 2” stitched up rolled brim
  • Cotton sweatband
  • Lightly padded
  • Satin lining with Dasmarca gold foil print logo

Using hipsters for inspiration, this English pork pie celebrates urban culture. It appeals to both modern and traditional individuals. The design and materials are complimentary, fresh, and outside of the box, making this headpiece an impactful statement maker.

Dasmarca combines sophistication with urban flair and brings the past into the future.

PROS

CONS

9. Bailey of Hollywood Jett Pork Pie Hat

FEATURES

  • 100% wool felt
  • Satin lining
  • Snap brim
  • Leather sweatband
  • Ribbon hatband

Bailey of Hollywood designed this hat with meticulous detail and construction. It is a sleek nap silk finish with an overall look that announces a well rounded and social individual. It has a telescope crown and the definitive pork pie style.

There is no mistaking this easily identifiable headpiece. There’s no other hat like a pork pie. The hatmaker capitalizes on the hat’s uniqueness with material and details.

PROS

CONS

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a Pork Pie Hat Named That?

It has a striking similarity to a meat pie made for hunters because they needed something that would keep and not leak on long hunts. The top of the crown looks like a pork ie, and it’s unique seal.

How Should a Pork Pie Hat Fit?

Material plays a large part in the fit of your hat. Leather or straw will not stretch much, whereas cotton has more give to it. Wool is known to shrink. Having a good understanding of what your hat is made of and how it’s constructed will go a long way in terms of how your hat will fit.

Measuring your head is another vital step. If you’re in-between sizes, go with the next size up. Never go a size down. You can always add hat tape to your sweatband for the proper fit. Guys in the in-between sizes should have an intimate relationship with these hat size reducers.

Your pork pie hat should rest mid-forehead, above the eyebrows, and not obstruct your field of vision.

If your hat feels tight or leaves red marks on your head, get a larger size. Your size is correct if you can fit one finger between the hat and your head. No more. No less.

What's the Difference Between a Trilby and a Pork Pie Hat?

If a Fedora and a pork pie hat had a baby, it would be the Trilby. They have the crown shape and style of a Fedora with the low height and short brim of a pork pie hat. It is typically worn with the brim down in the back and up in the front.

What's the Difference Between a Fedora and a Pork Pie Hat?

The brim and the crown are the two dissimilar features of the pork pie hat and the fedora. A pork pie has a pinched crown with a circular design that gets referred to as a telescope crown. The brim is short and frequently gets curled up. Many people call it a stingy brim. The height is short compared to that of the fedora.

A fedora can have different crown shapes, including diamond, center dent, telescope, cattlemen, and teardrop. These hats have a taller crown and a wide brim. The brims can point up or down in places or all the way around. However, not all fedoras can get shaped or reshaped easily.

How to Clean a Pork Pie Hat?

Before you clean your hat, be sure you’re cleaning it appropriately for the material it gets constructed with, or you could damage your headpiece during the cleaning process. Look inside of it for cleaning instructions. 

Wool & Felt Hats

You will need to get a hat cleaning brush with soft bristles, a steam cleaner, and a powdered cleanser. 

Brush the top in a counter-clockwise motion. Do the same to the bottom. Place your hat on a hook or peg to maintain its shape. If it has gotten wet, remove the excess water and let it dry. Then give it a light brushing to clean it. If the hand has been heavily soiled, use a powdered cleanser along with your hat brush. Use the steamer to reshape the hat if needed. 

Cleaning Straw Hats

You can use a window cleaner on your straw hat. If you prefer, you can invest in the Straw Hat Cleaner. Use a whisk broom or a sponge covered in a lightly dampened cloth. 

Final Thoughts!

The pork pie hat has been a popular headpiece for nearly two hundred years. You can find it in pictures throughout history amongst newsboy caps, Fedorasbaseball caps, and flat caps

When you want a special hat that makes a statement, or if you like a smart-casual style, reach for the classic pork pie hat. Flaunt your unique style, or channel your inner Walter White with this snazzy headpiece. 


Christi Lee

Christi Lee

Christi Lee has been a freelance writer for the past 27 years. She began her career writing for numerous organizations, churches, and charities as a volunteer. Christi has a passion for fashion and loves to write about the latest trends, designs and brands on the market today. She currently lives in the midwest with her six children and an incredibly sweet Guinea pig. If you would like to learn more about Christi, you can visit her website here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *