The story of how the Indiana Jones Hat came about has become almost as interesting as the Indiana Jones hat itself. Finding the perfect hat to conjure up the feelings of a nostalgic past wasn't going to be an easy task for the movie's producers.
It can be said that the Indiana Jones Hat had been already worn in movies like Secret of the Incas with Charlton Heston (1954) and China with Alan Ladd (1943), but by the early 80's, when production started, hats had largely been discarded in fashion. The throwback character of the 30's would need a hat that represented class, sophistication, and adventure.
While in London, it was Harrison Ford who found and bought the Indiana Jones Hat at a small custom hatter. Though many different variations were produced in subsequent movies, the original Raiders Hat was found and purchased by Harrison Ford.
The original Indiana Jones Hat represents a work of art from a forgotten era of custom hat making. It is a dimensional safari with an unfinished brim and an open crown (which means a hat that hasn't been shaped or blocked).
It is these characteristics that make the Indiana Jones hat appear to be a safari hat or a fedora hat, depending on what scene you are watching. The brim can easily be folded up in the back or snapped down in the front, and the crown can be molded and pinched.
The hat business started to decline from 1960's through the 1980's in part due to John F. Kennedy's refusal to wear a top hat during his 1960 inauguration. During these lean years hats were a forgotten necessity. The Indiana Jones movies made hats stylish and popular again, and the hat industry owes a debt of gratitude to Harrison Ford for it.
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