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Buster Keaton’s Porkpie Hat, in His Own Words

Buster Keaton and Jackie Cooper match hats (and expressions) in 1932.

Few things are more precise than the fit of a good hat—the contour, the brim, the insulation (or lack thereof), the dexterity, the elasticity and so on. For Buster Keaton, though, the most important attribute of his iconic porkpie hat was its “mortality.” For more on the matter, we turn it over to Buster himself, as quoted at the Movieland Wax Museum on May 7, 1964.

“In those days, almost every comedian you saw affected a derby hat...”»

Off Camera


Old Hollywood is a glamorous enough style, we’re surprised no labels have tried to revive it. (Chaplin, anyone?) This picture of Buster Keaton, his director Edward Sedgwick, and simian companion Josephine holds almost a dozen style lessons, including the proper form for the newsboy cap, the nonchalant smoking break, and the hardest look of all: the shoulder-mounted monkey.