The Shape of Men’s Heads

Variations in head shapes exist amongst peoples of the world.

In my work as a bespoke hat maker I have found some general variations exist  in head shape. Asian heads tend to be round with fullness at the temples. African heads are elongated like Neferatiti. Anglo Australian heads tend to be oval.

When making hats for clients hat makers must consider the shape of the hole they create to fit the head into. Headsize and shape create what is known as the ” fit of the hat”. This can vary all over the world.
Some of my clients come to me because they have trouble finding a comfortable fit in a commercially manufactured hat. In Australia most hats are made to a standard oval headshape.

Just last week a client came for a fitting.

His head was flat at the back, full at the sides with a snubby proud forehead. When I drew a picture of his headshape it looked like a piece of sliced bread!

In the glory days of hat selling, hatters had the hat conformer. This gadget measured the size and shape of the clients’ head at the same time.

A minature template was gleaned and hats could be formed to fit exactly to the clients headshape. A very handy gadget for the hatter (Place and order for a hat and have it delivered fitting perfectly.)

Recently in London I visited Lock and Co Hatters in St James St. They have a conformer on show. Interestingly on their walls they have some conformer templates of famous London hat wearers. The shape of these heads shows great variety.

Rosie Boylan

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