Fashion is ever evolving and some pieces that historically were designed for men are now very popular among women. Hats and bags, especially, have become more unisex and are now acceptable for both genders to wear regularly. Slight variations in fabrics still distinguish which particular styles are wearable by men or women, but not much else. The bowler hat, satchel and newsboy cap have all evolved into a wardrobe staple for both men and women.
The newsboy cap is similar to the flat cap, but is fuller and rounder in appearance. It was popular style for men and boys in the early 19th and 20th centuries. Though newspaper delivery boys and others in the blue collar workforce wore this type of hat, it was acceptable for all classes to wear this style. However while the lower class wore it as part of their uniforms, the upper classes wore this during leisurely activities. In the early 2000’s, this hat became popular with women and it was manufactured in softer fabrics to suit their tastes.
Bowler hats (also known as a derby hat) is made of felt with a rounded crown. It was designed for a politician but soon became popular with the working class. Contrary to popular belief, the bowler hat was the most popular hat in the American West. It was preferred by cowboys and rail workers because it did not blow off the head easily. This hat has a very strong international influence from Bolivia to Africa due to the British railway workers. Charlie Chaplin wore the hat in his famous film “The Tramp.” Today, the bowler hat is synonymous with Bolivian culture and British high society, but this style is enjoyed by everyone around the world.
Satchels have once been a “men only” accessory. The style was simple and consisted of a crossbody strap, a flap, and some buckles holding it closed. They are structured bags, much like a briefcase. They have evolved into different shapes and sizes, and now the word “satchel” means any bag that is rigid and can stand on its own. Flaps are optional and so is the crossbody strap. Contemporary satchels for women are more flexible in appearance, size and color than a men’s version, which has more or less stayed close to its original style.
In this ever evolving world of fashion, styles and trends change every day. The classic pieces, however, stay within their designs. What changes is their versatility and ability to be worn or used by either gender.