If I asked you what an Ascot Cap is, would you know? It’s not a large elaborate hat that we see donned at Ladie’s Day at Ascot……it is in fact a man’s flat cap.
The overall shape & feel of the cap is very similar to a flat cap, however the key difference is that this is in fact a hard cap. Primarily they are made of felt, and are blocked over a cap shape to create this look. I’m not 100% sure that Leonardo is wearing an Ascot Cap or a Flat Cap, as the difference is in the texture; but it does look a solid shape, rather than a more soft cap as seen below.
Flat caps have a satin lining, however an Ascot Cap traditionally won’t have any lining. If a hat is made of felt, it doesn’t require a lining; however in recent years Ascot Caps have also been made in leather & tweed materials too, these designs would require a lining.
These designs were originally worn by men and first seen in early 1900’s. They were designed to be worn by horse slaughterers; they enabled the men to kill the horse and the blood would run off of the domed top & avoid the eyes of the wearer.
I’m not sure why they are called an Ascot cap, but can only assume that they were first seen at Ascot. They have also been known as a Cuffley or Lippincott Cap.
Thanks for reading.