When Hetherington wore his top hat in 1797, he was arrested. According to the court rolls, "Hetherington had such a tall and shiny construction on his head that it must have terrified nervous people. The sight of this construction was so overstated that various women fainted, children began to cry and dogs started to bark. One child broke his arm among all the jostling." Not long after the top hat became the hat to wear. It's considered at the height of fashion today. This article details out where to find top hats for sale.
The first place to look for a top hat is at a hat shop. There, you will find more than one style of top hat, from the silk top hat, the Town shell, the Town shell high crown and the drab shell. One of the best places to look in England is the venerable Lock and Co Hatter which was founded in 1676. The silk top hat the company sells is actually a renovated antique as silk top hats are no longer made according to the Lock and Co site. Another place to buy top hat is Silk Top Hats which is located in 's-Hertogenbosch (North-Brabant), The Netherlands. The company sells both renovated silk top hats as well as new ones that have been made from silk plush.
An antique store would be a place to find a top hat. The hat may be in varying states of condition. It might be a good idea to have the hat inspected by an expert before buying it. That expert could inform you as to whether it was actually an antique or a replica as well as whether the hat is in a good enough condition to be restored.
Auctions are another possible source for top hats. The hats, there, may be in good condition or less so. If you are able to inspect the hat beforehand, that would be advisable. Top hats are available on eBay as well. Since these hats are offered in a virtual fashion, you won't be able to inspect it beforehand. Try to get as much information from the seller as you can and perhaps, even additional pictures. Try to get images of the labels, if there are any. Show the pictures to an expert if you are not sure.