A bowler hat, or derby, is a rounded felt hat commonly worn from the 1850s to the early
, especially in Victorian Britain
and The Wild West
. Bowler hats were once considered the national hat of England, and used to be associated with the upper-middle class there, especially with bankers, in the early half of the 20th century.
You can count on a character who wears a bowler hat to be refined
(unless, say, he's a villain in a western
). In fact, he might even wear a monocle
to show his culturedness
. The bowler hat hung on in the City of London into the 1960s
. In the early 1960s, new recruits to some City law firms got an allowance for the purposes of buying a bowler.
Compare and contrast Dastardly Dapper Derby
Compare Nice Hat
, Sharp-Dressed Man
, Quintessential British Gentleman
, Man of Wealth and Taste
- Lucky the Leprechaun, the mascot for General Mills' Lucky Charms cereal, wears a green bowler with a shamrock stuck in it. While not evil, he is a trickster.
- The British bank Bradford & Bingley portrayed its two namesakes as bowler-hatted city gents. Eventually, its logo became a stylised version of the hat itself.
- Likewise there was a period when the symbol of the UK Inland Revenue was a stereotyped taxman in pinstripe suit and bowler.
- Rene Magritte frequently drew men wearing bowler hats. For instance, in "Golconda", the sky above a city street is full of them. They appear to symbolise anonymity, which is why Magritte also wore one in Real Life.
- Sherlock Holmes's friend and biographer Dr. Watson is often portrayed with a bowler hat, as the Quintessential British Gentleman.
- Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic from Harry Potter, was often described as having a lime green bowler.
- Sweyn embarrasses his brothers in The Great Brain Does It Again when he returns from high school back east wearing a derby hat along with a fancier, more grown-up, style suit than a boy his age would wear in Adenville.
- Mr Davenport, the Victorian-serial version of Dave in Narbonic, wears a bowler hat, and considers himself a gentleman.
- Pickle Inspector from Problem Sleuth wears a bowler hat, in contrast to Problem Sleuth and Ace Dick's fedoras. He's also the most gentlemanly of the three detectives
- Homsar from Homestar Runner wears one, but he is more demented than dashing. Whenever he speaks, his bowler hat will actually fly off his head for a while until he stops talking.