Men's Fashion | The Reconnoisseur

James Lock & Co sola topi

Elephant-damaged pith helmet? Here’s where to get a new one

James Lock & Co sola topi


October 08 2009
Julian Allason

Through some deformity of character, I cannot bring myself to wear a baseball cap. For travel to countries with truly punishing climates, my grandfather’s sola topis offer a stylish alternative. Clearly this is no isolated eccentricity, however.

Recently attempting to replace one damaged by an elephant, I discovered that such is the demand for pith helmets that suppliers have been obliged to place orders with the sole remaining Vietnamese factory to manufacture them in Foreign Devil sizes. Available in white and sand (pictured), £23.48. (The khaki version may lead to misunderstandings with officials in certain African countries.)

For a sola topi made to gubernatorial standards with pugaree band and leather chin strap, James Lock & Co, the royal hatters in St James’s, offers them at £199.

See also

Safaris, Hats