The Famous Red Hat

From The Archive for Hats Week…


The Guv’nor is very found of the red topper on the wall above his head in our picture (below). Many years ago it was hanging outside his first shop. He set the trend for the boutique vintage clothes shop for men. He opened the very first one. And the red hat has followed him around from Brighton to Paris and back home again to Kensington.

“A good hat,” he always says, “will never let you down.”

He’s fond of the Hornets red topper for just that very reason: it has never let him down. The red top hat motif is featured on all the shops in Kensington and all Hornets business cards.


The Hornets Five: Famous Red Hats

1. The Crimson Topper Currently in Stock

The Guv’nor says: “Cheeky, I know. But it’s such a fun hat.”

2. Cardinal Lamberto

The only out-and-out Good Guy in the nest of vipers that is The Godfather Part Three, and the man who hears Michael Corleone’s confession. A brief cameo played with style and class by Raf Vallone. “I killed my mother’s son,” sobs Corleone. “I killed my father’s son.” Unforgettable.

3. The Parachute Regiment

Their maroon berets give rise to the famous nickname “The Red Berets”. The heroes of WWII’s Operation Overloard and Operation Market Garden. Nuff said.

4. Redcap

From Scots Border mythology. A Redcap is a malevolent, murderous goblin said to inhabit ruined castles along the English border. They have a fondness for murdering travellers and using their blood to dye their hats. It is said that if a Redcap’s hat dries out then it will die – making it an insatiable killer. Welcome to Scotland!

5. Tommy Cooper

Wearer of The Fez and the second funniest Englishman ever to have drawn breath (only Stan Laurel tops him). “I went to the Army & Navy Stores to buy some camouflage trousers… but I couldn’t find any!”



On Sunday 2nd December there’s 20% off ALL HATS at our shops here in Kensington. Click below to view our Three Days Of Christmas film for more details.

Hornets Vintage the Online Shop

Hornets Hire & Stock Catalogue




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