Perhaps the dandiest of hats is the slightly textured coke (or bowler or derby) hard hat in a shade of brown. Originally intended to protect men on horseback and once considered "the hat that won the west" by no less of an authority than Lucius Beebe, we see few cokes today and those are usually the black ones. The textured version for less formal pursuits is the rarest of the rare, despite its utility as head protection. Of course, this may have something to do with the frequency with which men today ride horses.
Those of a technical bent will be interested to know that, according to Art Fawcett at VS Custom Hats, the structure of a coke is achieved with paper-mâché. Once the paper is dry, the hatmaker applies lacquer and blows felt onto the surface. The texture is achieved when the pre-colored felt is brushed out.
Model for today's hat is the flâneur Richard Merkin. Sometimes described as Rhode Island’s most famous New York artist, Merkin was a Professor (now emeritus) of Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design for nearly forty years beginning in the 1960's while somehow managing to be one of New York's most visible men about town during the same period. Merkin's work is in the permanent collections of this and that museum and he has been a contributor of both illustration and writing to several magazines but, perhaps most relevant to this essay, he's also distinguished for his appearance on the cover of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album (back row, right of center).
Mr. Merkin combines his undoubtedly bespoke hat with a white collared pink shirt, a gray and white checked necktie, and a tan Donegal tweed jacket with turnback cuffs. One expects that he knew that, according to the Victorian era's language of flowers, his yellow carnation states "You have disappointed me." A suitable attitude for a man wearing a coke, no?