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Topic: Top Hats?
Message: Posted by: magicsam (May 5, 2004 02:54PM)
Hi,

I am looking around for a top hat (preferably silk, or one that looks professional) and have seen lots and lots on the Internet. I just don't know which one to buy. I am looking for one around £30-40 and this one
http://www.magictricks.com/accessories/tophat.htm seems to be the most popular on the internet (although it does say that it is very small).

There are others however that still look really good (like http://www.magicmgmt.com/magicshop/collapsibletophat.html and http://www.themagicwarehouse.com/general2.html)

Which of the above looks the best in your opinion?

If anyone owns any top hats or knows anything about any that might be good, any help would be great!

I'm thinking about doing card manipulations into the hat, so it would have to look good on and off my head!

Thanks.

Sam

P.S. forgot to mention this one! http://www.bobjamesmagic.com/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=BJMS&Product_Code=08-00-606&Category_Code=08-00-000
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (May 5, 2004 03:59PM)
The ones from magictricks.com and bobjamesmagic.com are the same hat and Bob James wants more for his. The other two sites won't open.

Cheers! ;)
Message: Posted by: magicsam (May 5, 2004 04:06PM)
Sorry, the link should be http://www.themagicwarehouse.com/general2.html

It should work now! Any reviews/which one to get?

Thanks.

Sam

Has anyone had any experience with any of these top hats? How have they worked for you? Which one do you think would look the best on stage?

ANY help will be extremely useful!

Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Neznarf (Sep 5, 2004 12:57PM)
A good top hat is going be $200

Norm Neilsen magic will sell you a top qyality one.
Message: Posted by: Zack (Sep 9, 2004 02:24AM)
Dube makes a decent felt one for around $80. For silk, you're talkin 2-300. You can save some money by buying wholesale and selling the ones you don't need on ebay.
Message: Posted by: paulajayne (Sep 10, 2004 06:36AM)
Hi

Go to a wedding outfitters and buy an old one.

Paula
Message: Posted by: Regan (Sep 10, 2004 10:45AM)
You can buy felt ones at stores that sell or rent formal wear.

Regan
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Apr 9, 2005 10:47PM)
Lucy and I have paid from $80-$240 for the good ones. Even good used ones will cost you close to $100. How you store it and how it has been stored is very important.

As a promotion note, I find that a top hat will get you press when other things fail.

Bob
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Apr 11, 2005 05:08AM)
Under $100 and you get what you pay for!

As an aside, I hope you were kidding about wearing it; magic has a cheesy enough image already!

A top hat is ONLY worn with white tie and tails. It is NEVER worn with a tux (except by really bad magicians!).

And that is not an opinion; that is a FACT!
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Apr 11, 2005 11:40AM)
Peter,

You are right again! Unfortunately, I have run across fashion editors for newspapers that did not know white tie from black tie. Of course, here in the USA it is common to find tux rental shops that think colored tailcoats are still formalwear. Maybe they think they are both costumes?

The only time I ever wear a top hat is when Lucy and I are out on the town for a white tie event. I've never worn one on stage. (I have used them for props. But they were handed to me.)

I have found that at press interviews, it is one of those things that the reporters have never handled and like to get a chance to do that. The longer they play with the hat, usually the more coverage you get!

We hit a source of top hats in Canada about two years ago that actually made a market in used and wrong size top hats. She had some real deals. We met her through eBay. I changed from AOL (Almost On Line) to BellSouth and lost all those old emails (my motivation to finally fire AOL). There may be a way to track her through eBay.

Enjoy!

Bob
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Apr 11, 2005 05:07PM)
Bob Sanders writes: "I changed from AOL (Almost On Line)."

Now, THAT'S truly funny!
Message: Posted by: PyroJeffNic (Apr 14, 2005 10:06PM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-11 06:08, Peter Marucci wrote:
As an aside, I hope you were kidding about wearing it; magic has a cheesy enough image already!

A top hat is ONLY worn with white tie and tails. It is NEVER worn with a tux (except by really bad magicians!).

And that is not an opinion; that is a FACT!
[/quote]
Peter I am going to have to disagree with you on that. I would have to say what if it fits your style, and it will work for you, go for it!
I work with a ten year old and he is the only kid that goes good in a top hat. He wears a black tuxedo and a red tie and his stage character is far more superior with his hat, rather then not. Please don't generalize about people being "bad magicians" if they do wear something...

Jeff
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Apr 16, 2005 02:06PM)
Hi:
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Apr 16, 2005 07:32PM)
The one I'm wearing in this picture costs about $75. It's called a "Caroler's Hat".

Oliver
Message: Posted by: magiciandex (Apr 17, 2005 05:09PM)
I bought a used one and I was just practing pulling stuff out of it and it like fell apart. I was so angry, the hat had like been glued together.
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Apr 17, 2005 11:31PM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-16 20:32, olivertwist wrote:
The one I'm wearing in this picture costs about $75. It's called a "Caroler's Hat".

Oliver
[/quote]

And which one are you?

(I'm sorry, but that was too good of a straight line to pass up!)

Cheers! ;)
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Apr 18, 2005 01:27PM)
Quote]
On 2005-04-14 23:06, PyroJeffNic wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-04-11 06:08, Peter Marucci wrote:
As an aside, I hope you were kidding about wearing it; magic has a cheesy enough image already!

A top hat is ONLY worn with white tie and tails. It is NEVER worn with a tux (except by really bad magicians!).

And that is not an opinion; that is a FACT!
[/quote]
Peter I am going to have to disagree with you on that. I would have to say what if it fits your style, and it will work for you, go for it!
I work with a ten year old and he is the only kid that goes good in a top hat. He wears a black tuxedo and a red tie and his stage character is far more superior with his hat, rather than not. Please don't generalize about people being "bad magicians" if they do wear something...

Jeff
[/quote]

Peter is correct. Top hats are for white tie (formal tails) dress.

Entertainers are pretty sloppy about combining formal dress with costumes. A case in point is myself with silver costumes even made by Raffinati, cut like a formal tail suit. That does not make it formal white tie accepted by the sophisticated of this society. (I have experienced the works of ignorant writers who didn’t know that. But they don’t write me checks either!) There are shows where that is definitely inappropriate and I make the adjustment to fit the occasion. (I keep at least three good white tie suits for that specific reason.) Fortunately, we have destroyed the evidence of some of the things I have worn on stage as costumes in the last forty-seven years. I Hope! (Learning experiences can be embarrassing stuff.)

I think that the important part here is to never embarrass your talent buyer, agent, and host by showing up on stage in inappropriate dress for the occasion. "Costumes" at formal white tie gigs are usually out of place. "Costumes" are fine in their place. The key is to know the difference. Don’t cross the line.

Wearing white gym socks with a suit in a comedy act is acceptable. Doing that on a job interview, everyone will wish you had slept late and stayed home. It is disrespectful of social standards and is evidence that you don’t belong (fit) there.

What you wear will not make you a "good" or "bad" magician but it will make you a good or bad "fit" for the occasion. That will also affect your career as effectively as being a “bad magician”.

I don't wear hats indoors period! Although I was raised as a real cowboy, only saddle tramps, rednecks and field hands were unsophisticated enough to wear hats indoors. (Real cowboys do not accept them as equals.) Entertainers abused that behavior for the masses, but to real cowboys it is still disrespectful of those around you. Hollywood is not a reality show. It is a fiction for those to be separated from their money. Knowledge of social standards is certainly not a requirement.

I do not hold the same feelings about food workers wearing hats indoors. Health requirements insist that they do that to keep their hair, etc. out of your food. This is true in surgery too. It is out of respect for you, not disrespect for you. It is also done where appropriate and is inappropriate elsewhere.

Remember that the public laughs at many performers for many reasons. The public sees many of them as jokes! Paying entertainers is not the same as respecting them.

What is your long-term plan? If it will require that the audience and talent buyer respect you, you’ll have to earn that. Offending them won’t do it. If gaining their respect is necessary to you in being a “good” magician, in the long-run you’ll have to respect their rules. They make the rules. And they decide if you are a “good” or “bad” magician!

Good Luck!

Bob
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Vibono Magic (Apr 19, 2005 12:34PM)
Contact Pegani in Denmark at http://www.pegani.dk he can get you what you want.
He has a contact in Germany (I think) who will make the tophat (colapeble) to you size. that's any color (even with patter I beleve), any size in silk with metal spring and silk lining. All hand made. OK so it will cost you if you want something extra but a standard black one might go for £150 plus shipping.
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Apr 21, 2005 06:15PM)
Stanyon,

I'm the "dummy" in between the figures :)

Oliver
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Apr 21, 2005 09:34PM)
Ba-Dum-Bum!

Cheers! ;)
Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Apr 29, 2005 10:29AM)
Top Hats can be as much costume as formal wear. Yes if you are working a formal event you should dress the part but it can be worn as costume for any other show.

I think the top hat worn by Oliver looks great with the rest of his costuming. I think the colorful top hat Tamariz wears with jeans really fits and I think a child wearing a top hat as part of his costuming could be cute.

Saying that a top hat is inappropriate for anything other than white tie attire is, in my humble opinion, a little too narrow a view.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Apr 29, 2005 11:07AM)
Mike Des writes: "Saying that a top hat is inappropriate for anything other than white tie attire is, in my humble opinion, a little too narrow a view."

And PyroJeffNic writes: "Peter I am going to have to disagree with you on that (top hats only being worn with tails and white tie).

That's fine; it's a free country; you can disagree.
Message: Posted by: magicsteve99 (May 1, 2005 02:44AM)
Peter, as a history professor, I can back up the accuracy of your statements regarding the top hat. Of course, only a small part of the public is likely to be aware of the incongruity should a magician wear one with a tux. I do own tails and generally do not wear the hat with my regular tux--but for kid shows, I do put the hat on sometimes when I am outdoors. It's good to have some standards in today's relaxed, anything goes culture, don't you think?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 1, 2005 10:32PM)
Much of "when to wear a top hat" depends on whether you are wearing a costume or formal wear. If you are dressing Dickensian or Victorian, a top hat will work with a wider variety of costumes than if you are dressing formal. However, if you are performing "modern", don't wear a top hat unless you are wearing white tie. If you don't believe Peter, call a formal wear company and ask them the protocols. They are very specific.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (May 2, 2005 12:12AM)
Perhaps this is the appropriate time to also point out that according to the protocols of formal dress, if you wear a hat indoors, wearing panty hose is also expected.

The rules of proper social address to one wearing a hat indoors may also cause some a bit of concern about X and Y chromosomes.

Bob
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 2, 2005 01:07AM)
See what I have missed? I forgot all about the pantyhose. Do those go under or over the hat?
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 12, 2010 01:32PM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-02 02:07, Bill Palmer wrote:
See what I have missed? I forgot all about the pantyhose. Do those go under or over the hat?

[/quote]

Ask Joe Nameth.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: manal (Jan 20, 2010 07:07PM)
Harpo wore his everywhere.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jan 21, 2010 08:12PM)
My top hat and suspenders define me as a juggler (I don't know why, but it is so) When I show up at a party one look at me tells all the other guests that the entertainment is here. It also makes me the tallest man in the room.
Message: Posted by: Paco iglacias (Jan 26, 2010 10:49PM)
http://www.gentlemansemporium.com/store/hats.php?from=leftnav&__utma=1.4053017307994232000.1248376434.1248376434.1248376434.1&__utmb=1.3.10.1248376434&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1248376434.1.1.utmcsr=(direct)|utmccn=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)&__utmv=-&__utmk=171901344 scroll to the bottom they have a good selection you might also want to try jaxonhats.com I bought a hat they call the Porkle, which is a pork pie with a brim which tips down to change into the brim of a fedora, and quite frankly I love it. It looks good(I always felt top hats were silly looking), feels good, and does what I want it to. It gives a touch of class, points me out as the entertainer to the crowd, but doesn't make me look like an idiot(too much). As to the problem of proper hat wearing etiquette, I feel your given a certain amount of leeway when it comes to your costuming. they expect you to be a little bit weird, so they usually don't care if your not perfectly up to snuff. not to say you should wear sandals and a hawian shirt to a formal event, but having something to point you out from all the other penguins in the room is a good thing.
Message: Posted by: Thom Bliss (Feb 16, 2010 05:47AM)
If you want a good folding top hat (opera hat), I would suggest you not buy one from a magic shop. I'd try a formal wear store (although the ones around here don't seem to carry them) or a hat store. Anything under a couple of hundred bucks won't look right close-up. Perhaps on stage it might look okay.

Whether you buy a folding silk hat or a felt non-folding one, avoid buying it on-line or from a catalog, if possible. You should see and feel the hat before buying it.

I've found that most costume stores and even some magic shops (if they also carry a line of costumes) have good felt top hats. You'll have to pay $50 to $75 or more.
And if it's not reinforced with cardboard on the sides and top, you might consider doing that yourself.

You also might want a sturdy box to keep it it. All top hats can fold down. The felt ones just can't be opened again. At least not very well.

I think some of the disagreement as to who can wear a top hat when, is perhaps due to a confusion between the folding opera hat and other top hats. As I understand it, the folding top hat was originally designed to be worn to the opera (that's why it's called an "opera hat"). When folded down (or is it folded UP?), the gentleman could put it in a pocket in his tails. (A pocket in the tail; now there's an idea.) But historically the top hat, in various colors (black, gray, brown, green), was worn with suits, and perhaps even with less formal garb. It was the everyday hat of men of a certain class, much like the fedora was in more recent times. And if I'm not badly mistaken, a gray top hat is to be worn (or carried) when wearing a morning coat -- for example, at a formal southern wedding held in the morning or afternoon.

The top hat is such an icon of magic, that kids (and I suspect, moms), pretty much expect a magician to have one. Although I don't actually wear it much, I wouldn't want to do a kids show without one, anymore than I would want to do a show without a rabbit or a magic wand.

Thom
Message: Posted by: F J (Jun 3, 2011 02:01PM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-11 06:08, Peter Marucci wrote:

A top hat is ONLY worn with white tie and tails. It is NEVER worn with a tux (except by really bad magicians!).

And that is not an opinion; that is a FACT!
[/quote]

Actually, top hats are also very appropriate for morning dress.

If anyone is unfamiliar with the formal dress codes and all that they entail,
I recommend http://www.blacktieguide.com. There, you shall find all the information
about formalwear that you ever needed or wanted to know. Everything from the
origins of formalwear to modern black tie is on the site.
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Jun 13, 2011 06:24PM)
Real silk toppers are in style again. But not cheap.
Message: Posted by: mtb (Jul 16, 2011 06:33PM)
FJ: That was surprisingly interesting, at least the historical perspective bit, which is all that I have read so far. Thanks for the link.
Message: Posted by: mightydog (Dec 22, 2011 10:06PM)
Peter Marucci

Inner circle
Fergus, Ontario, Canada
5388 Posts Posted: Apr 11, 2005 6:08am
Under $100 and you get what you pay for!

As an aside, I hope you were kidding about wearing it; magic has a cheesy enough image already!

A top hat is ONLY worn with white tie and tails. It is NEVER worn with a tux (except by really bad magicians!).

And that is not an opinion; that is a FACT!
cheers,

Peter Marucci
pmarucci@cogeco.ca

"Better a man honor his profession than be honored by it." -- Robert-Houdin

I must respectfully disagree.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_tie

This clearly shows Black hats being worn by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Fred Astaire. From the Wikipedia article quote "The hat should be a black silk top hat which may be collapsible—a tradition which arose from the fact that opera houses traditionally lacked a cloak room to hand in a top hat. The overcoat should be a dark dress coat such as a Chesterfield overcoat, Inverness cloak, or opera cloak. White gloves were traditionally considered essential. A silk scarf and cane are optional extras." unquote.

Think mandrake the Magician also.
Message: Posted by: mightydog (Dec 22, 2011 10:11PM)
While the shirt and tie was white the tails and pants were black. Black silk socks and shoes, with with white gloves completed the look. As the article said cane and silk scarf was optional. And the cape was not out of place either.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 23, 2011 02:48PM)
I bought a large collapsible top hat from a local magic shop for about $35. It's made of a synthetic material, probably rayon or polyester, but it's well made. I use it for a gag in one of my shows. I've been using it for a few months and it still looks and works like new.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Feb 19, 2012 11:30PM)
Great info, thanks!

G
Message: Posted by: abrell (Mar 20, 2012 09:01AM)
I can recommend http://www.hut-und-putz.de/ They made a collapsible top hat for me using fabric delivered by me. So the top hat fits my tails perfectly. And they can deliver top hats (and all other hats) in different styles. http://www.hut-und-putz.de/hut-und-putz_028.htm The company is a well known theatrical supplier with very high quality - their stuff fits bespoke clothing.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jul 31, 2014 08:53PM)
I have considered ditching my cap that I normally wear during my day just too say "magical guy" living under this hat, but I don't want to be tacky, or goofy, or WEIRD. Yet at the same time, it's strangely tempting.

I think I'm caught between two worlds.
Message: Posted by: fingerflinger (Oct 22, 2015 09:38PM)
I think top hats are really cool, both as a costume accessory, as well as a magic prop. I remember buying my first used one from a tux shop when I was a child. At the time, all I could only afford was an old one in poor condition. After going through a few old used hats, I was delighted when I could finally afford a new one. One of the best ones I own was made somewhere in Germany or Austria. It has "The Magic Hands" label on the interior bottom. The crown is just a bit lower than most other opera hats, and it looks really cool, either worn, or as a receptical for produced manipulation props.

The Steampunk look is very popular now. I just happened to be at a local hotel that was hosting a Steampunk gathering. There were top hats everywhere. Of course when I see a top hat the first thing I want to do is to start juggling it...

Now there is an idea...perhaps a hat juggling workshop would be a perfect event for the next local Steampunk festival...javascript:emoticon(':magician:')tival... :magician:
Message: Posted by: Dirty Deek (May 7, 2017 08:57PM)
Copperfield Chimney Supply sells top hats (think chimney sweep.

https://www.copperfield.com/
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 10, 2017 11:26AM)
If you want a real evening Top Hat, collapsible as well, then Norm Nielsen sells the read thing.

https://nnmagic.com/store/magic-tricks/top-hat/
Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Mar 19, 2018 06:28PM)
I am looking for a company that sells or can make me a purple satin collapsible top hat.
Any suggestions?
Message: Posted by: John Martin (Mar 28, 2018 06:53AM)
Https://www.delmonicohatter.com/custom.htm

Here's a Mad hatter top hat https://www.villagehatshop.com/product/all/451139-421343/mad-hatter-top-hat.html

This one is Steampunky https://www.ministryof.style/store/accessories/steampunk-wool-top-hat/

Although the last two are not silk.

Here's a silk one, but oh the price!!! https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/266910475/purple-silk-top-hats-completely-hand?ref=related-2



John
Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Mar 28, 2018 05:30PM)
Thatks John. Those are nice. Imjust wish 5ney were collapsible...it makes packng them so much easier.
Message: Posted by: goodingda (May 19, 2018 11:26AM)
It's interesting to see how the price of top hats has gone up over the last few decades. The price increase has far outpaced that of magic props. I think it's because there are only a few hat makers worldwide that still make them. I remember in the early 1970's you could buy a really nice top hat for $35. They were readily available. You could buy one at your local formal wear store, as they were still being used for weddings. Now, the same quality hat costs 10 times that amount, if you can find one.
Message: Posted by: TheMightyRicardo (Jun 2, 2018 06:34PM)
Just out of interest. Even by itself the top hat is associated with magic. The top hat is an identifier for the Voodoo magician in this James Bond film.

Richard
Message: Posted by: TheMightyRicardo (Jun 2, 2018 06:37PM)
Just out of interest. Even by itself the top hat is associated with magic. The top hat is an identifier for the Voodoo magician in this James Bond film.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Neznarf (Nov 4, 2018 11:01AM)
The place I get my top hats now charges $300.

I will use the one I have till it looks like the one Freddy the Freeloader had on his head.

I looked at that site in Denmark and the top of the line top hat is $500.00 US.
Message: Posted by: Dan Ford (Nov 7, 2018 04:31PM)
Walmart's website sells a very nice collapsible top hat for under $30. I bought one and found it very nice for what I needed it for.
Message: Posted by: troy thornton (Nov 13, 2018 09:49PM)
The one in my avatar that I made and yes that is a rattle snake head on the front.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Dec 9, 2018 10:50AM)
[quote]On Nov 7, 2018, Dan Ford wrote:
Walmart's website sells a very nice collapsible top hat for under $30. I bought one and found it very nice for what I needed it for. [/quote]

I was curious so went to Walmart online and searched. I found this one:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Collapsible-Top-Hat-Adult-Halloween-Accessory/27103214

There are lots of others too (who knew?) If you search use “top hat collapsible” and make sure to read description. Lots are for children. There’s also an art piece that shows up in the results.
Message: Posted by: Dan Ford (Dec 9, 2018 07:48PM)
That is the one! I like it!!
Message: Posted by: imgic (Dec 22, 2018 12:45AM)
Yay
Message: Posted by: Stephon Johnson (Jan 21, 2019 08:29AM)
The Walmart one has a 1-star review saying “skip this one”.

https://www.historicalemporium.com/store/mens-hats.php?page=3

This site has several top hats from $70-$100. More, but for sure quality!

Steph
Message: Posted by: Dan Ford (Jan 21, 2019 07:33PM)
It just depends what you are buying it for. For me it was just for a quick transition effect and not to wear.
Message: Posted by: Stephon Johnson (Jan 21, 2019 07:35PM)
Dan,
Gotcha! I understand!
Steph