Edgar Degas Portraits at the Stock Exchange
Beginning with the French Consulate And Empire period in Western history (1800-1815) and escalating into the Romantic Period (1815-1840), the high beaver hat supplanted the cocked hat or the bi/tricorn as the mode in men’s fashion. When, by 1890, the St. James Gazette writes “When we are told, ‘He’s a fellow who wears a top hat and a frock coat,’ we know sufficiently well what sort of fellow he is”, the hat’s connotations are well established. No doubt that the top hat is contributing to Degas' point about these stock exchange denizens, their social strata, and the modern culture in general.

Top hats for men and women, similar to the one pictured here can be seen at the Village Hat Shop.