The success of Laurel and Hardy's comedy rested not only on their comic timing, their slapstick comedy and their on-screen chemistry but also on their physical appearance - as well as their physical contrariety, they enhanced this ludicrousness with other small touches. Stan kept his hair short on the sides and back, but let it grow long on top to create a natural "fright wig", occasionally scratching his head at moments of shock or wonderment and simultaneously pulling up his hair. To achieve a flat-footed walk, he apparently removed the heels from his shoes and, when talking to Hardy,he would frequently look at his partner's forehead instead of his eyes, enhancing his apparent simplicity.
Inescapably, the trademark of Laurel and Hardy's image was the bowtie and the bowler hat. The quasi-British formality of this headgear is in keeping with their politeness - whatever happens to them, they are always gentlemen - "Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy." Laurel and Hardy's bowties and bowler hats have become as iconic an image in the history of comedy as Charlie Chaplin's hat and cane and Groucho Marx's trademark moustache and glasses.