Originally Posted by HarryT
It's a pity that top hats have gone out of fashion. If you read 19th and early 20th century novels, as I do, you constantly read references to people carrying things in them. Businessmen carried documents in their top hat; doctors carried their stethoscope in theirs. Very useful things
. I suspect that's one reason that English doctors continued to wear frock coats and top hats until the mid years of the 20th century - long after they'd gone out of general fashion.
There was another reason for having a hat as well. In the old days if you were holding your hat in your hand you couldn't draw your sword and attempt to kill the other person. So not only did hats serve as an extra pocket but they helped in keeping a meeting civil between men in the old days.