Tablet Life & Arts

Pharrell’s hat reminds us of these famous toppers

When Pharrell Williams hit the red carpet at Sunday’s Grammy Awards, all the talk should have been on his seven nominations. Instead, discussion soon turned to and continues to focus on Williams’ awkwardly large brown hat.

Sparking an uproar on Twitter (the hat has its own account now), users began sharing memes comparing the hat to those worn by the likes of Smokey Bear, Woody from Toy Story and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Williams has since stated that the hat in question was not a knockoff of the Arby’s logo (the fast-food chain had tweeted humorously: “Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back?”), but, in fact, it was a Buffalo hat by famed designer Vivienne Westwood.

No matter what the origin or inspiration of said hat, there’s no denying that it has cemented its place in pop culture history, just like many other hats before it. In homage, we take a look at five other famous toppers that have left lasting imprints in our minds and in the history books.

Jacqueline Kennedy’s pillbox hat

An iconic image in American history, the pink pillbox hat and suit that Jackie Kennedy wore the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated have often been described as symbolizing the essence of Camelot and the death of it.

Sadly, the whereabouts of the hat are unknown to this day.

Left with the Secret Service, the hat was given to Mrs. Kennedy’s personal secretary and has not been seen since that tragic day.

The first lady was often credited for bringing the pillbox hat into style, beginning with the blue version she wore to her husband’s inauguration. The hat was made by the designer Halston, who at that time was almost a complete unknown.

Heisenberg’s porkpie hat

As the antihero of the Emmy-winning series Breaking Bad, Walter White’s transformation from a lowly chemistry teacher into the meth lord known as Heisenberg kept faithful viewers on the edge of their seats in anticipation week after week.

Part of that transformation? A black porkpie hat that White began donning after he shaved his head midway through the first season. Now, much like his signature blue meth, the hat has become a calling card for the popular TV character.

Looking to nab your own version of the famous porkpie? Goorin Bros., which made all the hats worn by Bryan Cranston on the show, have now made the famous head wear available for purchase to the public for a cool $149. Chump change if you’re pocketing Heisenberg-level money.

Aretha Franklin’s inauguration cloche

Upstaging the inauguration of our country’s first African-American president is no easy feat, but if anyone came close to doing so in 2009 it was the Queen of Soul and her eye-catching hat.

Made by Detroit milliner Luke Song, Franklin’s custom gray felt cloche featured a outrageously oversized bow (outlined with rhinestones no less) that kept everyone talking well after the event had taken place. Post-inauguration, Franklin’s famous hat has continued to live on. Not only has it inspired a Facebook page, which at last check has over 91,000 likes, but pop star Katy Perry even carried a miniature version of the hat when she attended President Obama’s second inauguration in 2013.

Those wanting to see the famous hat up close need not fret. It currently resides in the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

Indiana Jones’ felt fedora

No matter where Indiana Jones’ travels took him, his felt fedora was sure to always be fixed right atop his head (an amazing feat when you think about how much running he did).

Unlike the many mass-produced versions available on the Internet, Jones’ fedora originally belonged to a treasure hunter named Garth who gave the hat to him when Indy was a young boy.

Along with his leather whip, Jones’ hat remains one of the most iconic symbols in cinema today. In 1989, Lucas Films and actor Harrison Ford donated the character’s leather jacket and fedora to the Smithsonian. Ten years later, the whip was added.

Princess Beatrice’s fascinator

It’s no secret that our friends across the pond are crazy about their flashy head wear. But when Princess Beatrice of York stepped out in April 2011 for her cousin Prince William’s nuptials to Kate Middleton, her wedding day hat took flashy to a whole other level.

Designed by famous milliner Philip Treacy (who has also made hats for Sarah Jessica Parker and Lady Gaga), Beatrice’s sculptural bow fascinator drew comparisons ranging from a toilet seat to a pretzel to an octopus.

In the end, all the attention the hat drew paid off in a big way when it was auctioned off for charity for $130,000.