Bowler Hats from Village Hats
The first hat of the industrial age, the bowler was designed in 1850 by the Bowler family of Southwark specifically for a customer of England's pre-eminent hatmaker, Lock's of St. James's. William Coke needed a practical, simple, rigid, durable hat to protect his gamekeeper's head; a hat that would stand up to the most demanding of conditions, including riding in pursuit of poachers. Coke tested the hat's prototype by standing on its crown in Lock's showroom. Twice. It passed the test. (Caution: Those were different times - don't try this at home.)
The bowler was quickly adopted as sporting attire by the gentry and, soon after, became the headgear of choice across the entire social spectrum. It was particularly popular in the late 19th century with the crowd at the Derby horse race at Epsom Downs. Americans took to calling the hat the "derby". The hat of bankers, workers and clowns, the bowler is one of the most popular and successful hats ever produced, and the finest bowlers are still manufactured in England.
Village Hats uses live stock feeds so all our bowler hats available to order are in stock and ready for despatch. If you're having difficulty choosing from our selection of bowler hats, you can use our on-site filtering tool at the top of the page. The drop down boxes allow you to search our bowler hats by colour, size, price and brand. Don't forget we offer free standard shipping within the UK for the delivery of every bowler hat we stock. So don't be shy - get a couple.