Invented in 1849, the sturdy Bowler (or Derby) was originally designed as a riding hat, made of stiffened felt with a bound, tightly curled brim and a narrow ribbon. It became universally popular in the UK and USA, where its comfortable, resilient, aerodynamic shape made it the first choice for cowboys, outlaws, soldiers, tradesmen, police and bankers. The Bowler has recently become fashionable again. Yet it is the most misunderstood of hats. Many of us somehow acquire false preconceptions about it being too formal, comical, uncomfortable, pretentious or unfashionable. It is none of those things! Also the safest hat to wear in a typhoon.