In the mid-nineteenth century, a gentleman of distinction wouldn't have dared to leave his house without a hat. The most popular style of men's hat was the glossy, silk plush top hat, sometimes called a chimney pot or stovepipe. Equated with authority and success, top hats were worn by the aristocracy, bankers, reputable businessman and politicians. Because of these authoritative associations, top hats were also worn by ambitious men of the lower classes who hoped to make their way in the world. Workers charged with keeping order, including stationmasters and male servants, often wore top hats as part of their professional uniform. Unlike today's top hat, which is worn only in a few formal situations, top hats were an everyday component of the masculine wardrobe.