Traditional Flat Caps: A Style for the Rich or Poor through the ages?


Are flat caps a classless accessory? We Tackle the Subject ‘Head’ On!

A mere 30 seconds into the very first episode of TV’s Peaky Blinders, Tommy Shelby makes his confident entrance on horseback. It may be his demeanour; it could be his sharp suit, but here at Poe and Company, we’re sure it’s what’s on his head that screams ‘smooth operator’.

We know he’s stylish, that’s a given – but what does his iconic flat cap tell us about where he sits in the class system?

You could say ‘not a lot’. Flat caps were worn by many a fashionable man in the 1920s and 30s – the era in which Peaky Blinders is set, with the distinctive headwear worn with suits, for casual wear and even, by younger men at least, to school.

The UK’s Guardian newspaper agrees that the flat cap has no limitations where class is concerned. ‘…the flat cap might seem an easy way for wealthy men to signal working-class authenticity, it is in fact one of the few genuinely classless items of clothing’, adding that gents on a pheasant shoot would be seen in a flat cap just as often as bootleggers on a raid.

Sartorial Flexibility

From the off here at Poe & Company, we’ve championed the flat cap and its sartorial flexibility. That’s what makes the humble accessory so great; you can slick back your hair and carefully position it on your perfectly-coiffured head for smarter occasions or turn to your trusty flat cap when there’s little time for styling.

At a cocktail bar or at the local farmers’ market, your flat cap will never look out of place – and there’s a renewed fondness for the authentic-looking hat ever since Peaky Blinders burst onto our screens.

In the US, everyone from Justin Timberlake to Mad Men’s John Hamm; Brad Pitt and Woody Allen have been snapped in the headwear – and across the pond in Great Britain, David Beckham and Idris Elba have known to sport a flat cap too. Further proof, if you need it, that flat caps know no bounds when it comes to age or style preference.

While flat caps were once predominantly worn by those in ‘working class’ environments and roles – as a means of keeping the head warm – today the role of the flat cap is far different. True, you’ll still see many an old gent (particularly in Britain) sporting a flat cap for practical reasons, but the accessory has been given a brand new lease of life in terms of style, too.

A Go-to Accessory for Gents Across All Classes

While it supposedly first became popular in England in 1571, when a short-lived law was passed that meant everyone must wear a woollen hat to boost the wool trade, the flat cap has regardless been a go-to accessory for many a man (and woman) ever since. You could say it’s one of the few pieces of headwear that is comfortable, stylish and suitable for just about any occasion or social setting.

The iconic hats are available in a host of different styles and fabrics, with our authentic British flat caps coming direct from Castleford – in Yorkshire, England.  We’re as proud as ever to bring our traditional headwear and accessories to you: our loyal customers.

Born from a tradition that dates back centuries, our caps are still made with love and care from 100% wool. From the lush farmlands across Great Britain, they have been arriving since the birth of the United States of America, right through to the 20th century and beyond – and today, we continue to provide flat caps to people across all age groups – and, you guessed it, classes.

Make yours a Poe & Company flat cap and discover a comfortable and stylish hat that will work just about anywhere you wear it.

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