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MikeDes
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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.
Peter Marucci
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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.
magicsteve99
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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?
Bill Palmer
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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.
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Bob Sanders
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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
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Bill Palmer
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See what I have missed? I forgot all about the pantyhose. Do those go under or over the hat?
"The Swatter"

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Bob Sanders
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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?



Ask Joe Nameth.

Bob Sanders
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manal
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Harpo wore his everywhere.
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Al Angello
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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.
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Paco iglacias
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http://www.gentlemansemporium.com/store/......71901344 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.
Thom Bliss
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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
F J
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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!


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.
F. J.
Smile

~~~

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ringmaster
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Real silk toppers are in style again. But not cheap.
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mtb
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FJ: That was surprisingly interesting, at least the historical perspective bit, which is all that I have read so far. Thanks for the link.
mightydog
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Peter Marucci

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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.
Illusion and magic is the same, if it was possible to achieve the impossible by genuine powers then it wouldn’t be impossible and therefore it wouldn’t be magic. That’s why magic is an art; the art of creating the illusion of the impossible.
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mightydog
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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.
Illusion and magic is the same, if it was possible to achieve the impossible by genuine powers then it wouldn’t be impossible and therefore it wouldn’t be magic. That’s why magic is an art; the art of creating the illusion of the impossible.
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Alan Munro
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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.
Decomposed
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Great info, thanks!

G
abrell
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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.
daffydoug
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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.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
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