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My first Silk Top

Article about: OK, not what you were all expecting no doubt but when I saw it, I had to buy it! I love these student caps from the period, they're so well made and are little gems of German workmanship. Th

  1. #11


    Jerry is correct, there are a number of these caps depicted in the 1943 film The life and death of Colonel Blimp, I was racking my brain where I had seen these type caps before and low and behold I'm watching the film as I type

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  3. #12


    Quote by KRISSE View Post
    Ohw, I never saw such cap before... totally new. But when I should wear it now these days, my mother and my girlfriend would kill me for wearing such a ugly thing...
    I thought the Germans had taste in those days...!?
    As freshmen, American college students during the 20th century had to wear what was called the "freshman beanie" during their frosh year (the tradition pretty much died out with 60's revolution).

    (and yes, that is Flounder from Animal House in the color pic):
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture My first Silk Top  
    Attached Images Attached Images My first Silk Top 

  4. #13


    Id love to see some more shots of that killer green one! The hats themselves are kinda ugly but we all know how I do love that lime green color. Matt

  5. #14


    Very nice, Ben. I had one of these made for myself in Vienna in 1973 out of velvet without, however, the colors of the fraternity. I have no idea what happened to it. I think I later sold it.
    damit, basta.

  6. #15


    Quote by BenVK View Post
    Interesting comment and highlights just how much fashion has changed in the modern era.

    Hats were an integral part of everyday life, especially in Germany. Much status was placed on wearing these student caps for example and also their connection with fencing clubs and the like. You see many embroidered with fencing monograms like the one below.

    You question whether the Germans had taste in those days. I believe that to be the wrong question. It's not a matter of taste as we perceive it now, rather a matter of institutions and fashions from an era we find difficult to comprehend these days. Such hats were worn as a badge of honour and pride, much like the fencing scars upon these young men's faces.

    To understand German Military uniforms, of which the hat was considered an essential element, it's prudent to try and understand German society and heritage as a whole, not just the Military in isolation. Everything is interwoven and influences each other. After all, these student caps are just scaled down and brightly coloured versions of soldiers fieldcaps.

    This is my dogma and doctrine well said by Ben. Student life reaching back to the middle ages was an important feature of especially bourgeois society for which university study enabled a life in the professions, lawyers, doctors, higher officials of the state and so on. The dueling fraternity and the Mensur formed a rite of male passage, proof of virility and honor in its bourgeois incarnation. The bourgeois was unwanted in the most elite regiments, where the nobility nourished their own sense of honor and manly strength in which affairs of honor were also noteworthy.

    Today in Germany and Austria such things are suspect, especially in Austria, where the dueling fraternities are associated with the radical right wing. Such fraternities, however, were suppressed by the Nazis as class laden.

    Der Untertan - Mensur - YouTube

    The film I enclose is an East German critique of this custom from the famous novel of Heinrich Mann, Der Untertan, a withering critique of bourgeois and middle class ills in the Wilhelmine era.
    damit, basta.

  7. #16


    Very interesting!

  8. #17


    Bravo my Friend !

  9. #18


    Very nice cap. I like it (and all the others shown in the thread)

    A custom very similar to the Danish (and the Norwegians and Swedes) still very much alive today. The Danish custom of wearing a student cap, originates from 1856, and the cap were a way of telling university students apart from the "others". The current version (still in use today - 2013) is the version from the 1880s.
    When I graduated I had the privilege to wear a "student cap" (Danish: Studenterhue) for the duration of my summer vacation before I began at university, back in the day, many wore it for the entire length of their study. Mine proudly resides on the mantelpiece

    This is how it looks today: (as in the 1880s)

    My first Silk Top

  10. #19


    There is a small collecting scene in these hats and related items, it is called Studentika. There are some fobs which will have ribbons in the student colors, they are often hocked off as military.I have seen SA fobs and military fobs, they are the same construction as the studentika ones.

    On a humorous not, imagine the studentika scene has forums and they brag about scoring the grouping of the top of the physics class in 1902 , similar to when one of us gets an RK grouping. Or someone breaks up the grouping of the 1882 top of the class student and he gets ran through the mud lol.

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