Nucky Thompson and The Homburg

The Man From The Hornet emerges blinking into the light after a Christmas Boardwalk Empire box set binge. “This outstanding HBO series,” he writes, “is a veritable festival of headgear. After a few episodes you can still see hats when you close your eyes.” This month he’s sharing a few hat notes from the first three seasons…


If you are wearing a homburg, you had better mean business. It’s a serious hat.

Popularised, as so many elements of men’s style, by King Edward VII, it became the hat of choice for statesmen and politicians for much of the 20th Century. From Churchill to Khrushchev, from Anthony Eden to Willy Brandt, they got ahead in a homburg hat.

Nucky Thompson wears a homburg. As a mover and shaker in Republican Party politics, it is the accepted uniform of respectable power.

It is also a cloak for his “day job”: bootlegger, gangster and murderer.


That’s quite a business card.


In the early episodes of Boardwalk Empire, Nucky’s homburg is often pale in colour…

Boardwalk Empire on UK DVD Mon 9th January a

… not quite white, but not black either. The old cowboy grammar of the black hat/white hat is blurred in this charismatic Shakespearean villain.

By season three, we’re left in no doubt that the colour of his titfer echoes the colour of his soul…

black homburg



And here’s another fellow who means business, Hornets’ very own Style Management Michał Martychowiec prowling his very own Boardwalk Empire…


Hornets Hire & Stock Catalogue



2 thoughts on “Nucky Thompson and The Homburg

  1. Hi I am Gary White designer and creator of the headwear seen on Boardwalk Empire I would like to thank you for you’re kind attention to detail in the various colors used to present the mood of the character and the actors portraying them ! I am very proud of the headwear created at the studios of The Custom Hatter located in Buffalo NY and thank you for enjoying the series !

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