Churchill wore a gray Homburg for his meeting with President Roosevelt at Casablanca in 1943 (pictured above). The hat thereafter became widely identified with him, but Churchill had been wearing Homburgs at least since 1910. He even wore them while gardening, painting, or bricklaying and would pair the Homburg with his famous siren suits described in last month’s Churchill Bulletin.
While Churchill favored softer, less structured headwear as he grew older, he continued to wear Homburgs to the end of his life. His large collection of hats included a straw Panama, a dark brown Homburg, a black “John Bull,” and a gray top hat. All were made for him by Scott & Co. of Old Bond Street. In 1969, four years after Churchill’s death, Scott & Co. was acquired by another venerable hat manufacturer, Lock & Co., which remains in business today.
Barry Singer is the author of Churchill Style (Abrams Image, 2012) and the proprietor of Chartwell Booksellers in New York City.
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