Men’s hats come in many shapes, sizes and fabrics.
Hats are slowly becoming a daily accessory for more and more modern gentlemen, reminding us of a time in America when men wouldn’t leave the house without one.
Hats are crafted with the finest materials, like Harris Tweed, murino wool, ripstop, genuine Panama straw, lambskin leather, Italian suede, fur felt hats, beaver fur hats and 100 percent wool top hats. Hat styles include iconic fedoras inspired by bygone gangsters, woolen ivy caps designed in the Irish tradition and safari hats and Outback hats made just for adventurers along with Western hats for the cowboys.
So to make it easier for you, we’ve broken down the basic hat styles, offered a little background history, and provided some pointers for adding them to your wardrobe.
The Cowboy Hat
The cowboy hat is an American icon and can be immediately recognized as such anywhere around the world. They are typically made in felt, leather, or straw and have very wide brims. The cowboy hat as we know it wasn’t invented until 1865, by John Batterson Stetson. The first model was called “The Boss of the Plains,” and it was a high-crowned, wide-brimmed hat without any indents or creases in the crown. The spread of the cowboy hat relies as much on popular culture and Eastern perceptions of the West as it does the actual hat-wearing habits of cowboys.
However, that’s not to discount the usefulness and eventual dominance of the cowboy hat among ranchers. The felt was waterproof and the shape of the crease and indents could be adjusted for the climate, to either hold air in or dispel it. It became a symbol of rodeo clowns, some police units, Western entertainers like Buffalo Bill, and characters in Western movies. It was a hat designed for use in the West, and eventually became synonymous with it.
There are many variations on the cowboy hat, most of them adjusting either the indent and crease pattern, or the brim roll or snap. All of them, however, share at least two characteristics: a high crown and a wide brim. When wet, felt can be adjusted, and will stay in the shape that it dries in, so many different styles of cowboy hat crowns emerged. Many were particular to certain ranges or ranches.
Cowboy brims range from flat brims, to edges that are completely rolled over, to sides folded at a right angle. They usually feature a slight snapping down in front and up in back. Cowboy bands are often decorative and made of leather or ribbon.
A fedora hat is the most stylish of all hats and are generally known for their high quality. The fedora was most popular during the first half of the 20th century. However, it has resurfaced in the past decade or two, probably thanks to Indiana Jones.
The fedora is a broad term that encompasses a variety of crown styles and brim shapes. It’s classic good looks, the ability to suit a wide variety of people, and the many celebrities seen wearing it only add to the appeal. A fedora is typically creased lengthwise down the middle of the crown, then “pinched” near the front on both sides.
A good felt (or straw) fedora has a sturdy but flexible brim that can be “snapped up” or “snapped down” in the front or back, allowing you to mold the brim and achieve the perfect, slightly-askew shape.
The Panama hat is a traditional brimmed straw hat of Ecuadorian origin. Similar in shape to the trilby (down in the front, curled up in the back), but with proportions more similar to the classic fedora. Traditionally Panama hats were made from the plaited leaves of the Carludovica palmata, a palm-like plant rather than a true palm.
The rarest and most expensive Panama hats can have as many as 1600–2500 weaves per square inch. These hats are known as Montecristis, after the town of Montecristi, where they are produced. The Montecristi Foundation has established a grading system based on a figure called the Montecristi Cuenta, calculated by measuring the horizontal and vertical rows of weave per inch. A “superfino” Panama hat can, according to popular rumor, hold water, and when rolled for storage, pass through a wedding ring.
The working man’s cap. Flat caps were very common for North American and European men and boys of all classes during the early 20th century and were almost universal during the 1910s-20s, particularly among the working ‘lower’ classes. A great many photographs of the period show these caps worn not only by newsboys, but by dockworkers, high steel workers, shipwrights, costermongers, farmers, beggars (such as Oliver Twist), bandits, artisans, and tradesmen of many types. This is also well attested in novels and films of this period and just after.
The Ivy Cap
The Ivy cap, or flat cap, is similar to the newsboy, only without the floppy 8 panels and the button on top. This style, which traces its history from Southern Italy, Northern England, and parts of Scotland, also wins the awards for the most names. It is also referred to as a cabbie cap, longshoreman’s cap, cloth cap, scally cap, Wigens cap, ivy cap, golf cap, duffer cap, driving cap, bicycle cap, Jeff cap, Steve cap, Irish cap, Paddy cap…in Scotland as a bunnet, in Wales as a Dai cap, and in England and New Zealand, as a cheese-cutter. Cloths used to make the cap include wool, tweed (most common), and cotton. Less common materials may include leather, linen or corduroy. The inside of the cap is commonly lined for comfort and warmth.
Below is a complete list of hat styles
|Ascot cap||A hard men’s cap, similar to the flat cap, but distinguished by its hardness and rounded shape.|
|Akubra||An Australian felt hat with wide brim.|
|Ayam||A traditional Korean winter cap mostly worn by women in the Joseon and Daehan Jeguk periods (1392–1910).|
|Balaclava||Headgear, usually made from fabric such as cotton and/or polyester, that covers the whole head, exposing only the face or part of it. Sometimes only the eyes or eyes and mouth are visible. Also known as a ski mask.|
|Balmoral bonnet||Traditional Scottish bonnet or cap worn with Scottish Highland dress.|
|Barretina||A floppy fabric pull-on hat, usually worn with its top flopped down. In red, it is now used as a symbol of Catalan identity.|
|Baseball cap||A type of soft, light cotton cap with a rounded crown and a stiff, frontward-projecting bill.|
|Beanie||A brimless cap, with or without a small visor, once popular among school boys. Sometimes includes a propeller.
Note: In New Zealand, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, “beanie” also or otherwise refers to the tuque.
|Bearskin||The tall, furry hat of the Brigade of Guards’ full-dress uniform, originally designed to protect them against sword-cuts, etc. Commonly seen at Buckingham Palace in London, England. Sometimes mistakenly identified as a Busby.|
|Beret||A soft round cap, usually of woollen felt, with a bulging flat crown and tight-fitting brimless headband. Worn by both men and women and traditionally associated with France and the military. Often part of [European?] schoolgirls’ uniform during the 1920s, 30s and 40s.|
|Bicorne||A broad-brimmed felt hat with brim folded up and pinned front and back to create a long-horned shape. Also known as a cocked hat. Worn by European military officers in the 1790s and, as illustrated, commonly associated with Napoleon.|
|Biretta||A square cap with three or four ridges or peaks worn by Roman Catholic (and some Anglican and Lutheran) clergy.|
|Boater||A flat-brimmed and flat-topped straw hat formerly worn by seamen. Schools, especially public schools in the UK, might include a boater as part of their (summer) uniform. Now mostly worn at summer regattas or formal garden parties, often with a ribbon in club, college or school colors.|
|Boonie hat||A soft, wide-brimmed cotton hat commonly used by military forces. Also known as a bush hat and similar to a bucket hat.|
|Boss of the plains||A lightweight all-weather hat, with a high rounded crown and wide flat brim, designed by John B. Stetson for the demands of the American frontier.|
|Bowler / Derby||A hard felt hat with a rounded crown created in 1850 by Lock’s of St James’s, the hatters to Thomas Coke, 2nd Earl of Leicester, for his servants. More commonly known as a Derby in the United States.|
|Bucket hat||A soft cotton hat with a wide, downwards-sloping brim.|
|Busby||A small fur military hat.|
|Campaign hat||Also known as a “Smokey Bear” hat. A broad-brimmed felt or straw hat with high crown, pinched symmetrically at its four corners (the “Montana crease”).|
|Capotain||A hat worn between the 1590s and 1640s in England and northwestern Europe. Also known as a “Pilgrim hat” in the United States.|
|Cappello romano||A round wide-brimmed hat formerly worn by Roman Catholic clergy.|
|Casquette||A small-peaked cap often worn by cyclists.|
|Caubeen||An Irish beret.|
|Chilote cap||A woven cap, typical of Chiloé Archipelago, that is made of coarse raw wool and usually topped by a pom-pom.|
|Chullo||Peruvian or Bolivian hat with ear-flaps made from vicuña, alpaca, llama or sheep’s wool.|
|Chupalla||A straw hat made in Chile.|
|Cloche hat||A bell-shaped ladies hat that was popular during the Roaring Twenties.|
|Cricket cap||A type of soft cap traditionally worn by cricket players.|
|Sombrero Cordobés||A traditional flat-brimmed and flat-topped hat originating from Córdoba, Spain, associated with flamenco dancing and music and popularized by characters such as Zorro.|
|Conical Asian hat||A conical straw hat associated with East and Southeast Asia. Sometimes known as a “coolie hat”, although the term “coolie” may be interpreted as derogatory.|
|Coonskin cap||A hat, fashioned from the skin and fur of a raccoon, that became associated with Canadian and American frontiersmen of the 18th and 19th centuries.|
|Custodian helmet||A helmet traditionally worn by British police constables while on foot patrol.|
|Deerstalker||A warm, close-fitting tweed cap, with brims front and behind and ear-flaps that can be tied together either over the crown or under the chin. Originally designed for use while hunting in the climate of Scotland. Worn by –and so closely associated with – the character Sherlock Holmes.|
|Dunce cap||A conical hat, usually tall and narrow, worn by late-19th and early-20th century school pupils as a punishment and/or humiliation. It often featured a large capital “D” inscribed on its side, to be shown frontwards when the hat was worn.|
|Fascinator||A small hat commonly made with feathers, flowers and/or beads. It attaches to the hair by a comb, headband or clip.|
|Fedora||A soft felt hat with a medium brim and lengthwise crease in the crown.|
|Fez||Red felt hat in the shape of a truncated cone, common to Arab-speaking countries.|
|Flat cap||A soft, round wool or tweed men’s cap with a small bill in front.|
|Gat||A traditional Korean hat worn by men.|
|Gatsby||A soft brimmed hat popular in New York after the turn of the century made from eight quarter panels. Also known as a newsboy cap.|
|Garrison or Forage cap||A foldable cloth cap with straight sides and a creased or hollow crown.|
|Gaung Paung||Headwrap worn by the Bamar, Mon people, Rakhine and Shan peoples.|
|Ghutrah||Three piece ensemble consisting of a Thagiyah skull cap, Gutrah scarf, and Ogal black band. Gutrahs are plain white or checkered, denoting ethnic or national identities.|
|Glengarry||A traditional Scottish boat-shaped hat without a peak made of thick-milled woollen material with a toorie on top, a rosette cockade on the left, and (usually) ribbons hanging down behind. It is normally worn as part of Scottish military or civilian Highland dress.|
|Green eyeshade||Once-common wear for office clerks.|
|Hard hat||A rounded rigid helmet with a small brim predominantly used in workplace environments, such as construction sites, to protect the head from injury by falling objects, debris and bad weather.|
|Hardee hat||Also known as the 1858 Dress Hat. Regulation hat for Union soldiers during the American Civil War.|
|Hennin||A woman’s hat of the middle ages. This style includes the conical “princess” hats often seen in illustrations of folk-tale princesses.|
|Homburg||A semi-formal hat with a medium brim and crown with a crease and no dents.|
|Icelandic tail-cap||Part of the national costume of Iceland.|
|Jaapi||A traditional hat of Assam, India. There both plain and decorative japies are Available.|
|Karakul (Qaraqul)||A hat made from the fur of the Qaraqul breed of sheep, typically worn by men in Central and South Asia and popular among Soviet leaders.|
|Kepi||A French military hat with a flat, circular top and visor.|
|Kippah or Yarmulke||A close-fitting skullcap worn by religious Jews.|
|Kolpik||Brown fur hat worn by Hassidic Jews.|
|Kofia||Brimless cylindrical cap with a flat crown, worn by men in East Africa.|
|Kova tembel||Cloth hat worn by Israeli pioneers and kibbutzniks.|
|Kufi||A brimless, short, rounded cap worn by Africans and people throughout the African diaspora.|
|Mitre||Distinctive hat worn by bishops in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion.|
|Montera||A crocheted hat worn by bullfighters.|
|Mortarboard||Flat, square hat. Usually has a button centered on top. A tassel is attached to the button and draped over one side. Worn as part of academic dress. Traditionally, when worn during graduation ceremonies, the new graduates switch the tassel from one side to the other at the conclusion of the ceremony.|
|Pakul||Round, rolled wool hat with a flat top, common in Pakistan and Afghanistan.|
|Panama||Straw hat made in Ecuador.|
|Papakhi||Also known as astrakhan hat in English, a male wool hat worn throughout the Caucasus.|
|Party Hat||A conical hat, similar to the Dunce cap, often worn at birthday parties and New Year’s Eve celebrations. It is frequently emblazoned with bright patterns or messages.|
|Patrol cap||Also known as a field cap,a scout cap, or in the United States a mosh cap.; a soft cap with a stiff, rounded visor, and flat top, worn by military personnel in the field when a combat helmet is not required.|
|Peaked cap||A military style cap with a flat sloping crown, band and peak (also called a visor). It is used by many militaries of the world as well as law enforcement, as well as some people in service professions who wear uniforms.|
|Phrygian Cap||A soft conical cap pulled forward. In sculpture, paintings and caricatures it represents freedom and the pursuit of liberty. The popular cartoon characters The Smurfs wear white Phrygian caps.|
|Pilgrim’s hat||A pilgrim’s hat, cockel hat or traveller’s hat is a wide brim hat used to keep off the sun. It is highly associated with pilgrims on the Way of St. James. The upturned brim of the hat is adorned with a scallop shell to denote the traveller’s pilgrim status.|
|Pith Helmet||A lightweight rigid cloth-covered helmet made of cork or pith, with brims front and back. Worn by Europeans in tropical colonies in the 1800s.|
|Planter’s Hat||A lightweight straw hat, with a wide brim, a round crown and narrow round dent on the outside of the top of the crown. Worn by Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind, and Paul Bettany in Master and Commander.|
|Porkpie||Felt hat with low flat crown and narrow brim.|
|Rastacap||A tall, round, usually crocheted and brightly colored, cap worn by Rastafarians and others with dreadlocks to tuck their locks away.|
|Sami hat||Also known as a “Four Winds” hat, traditional men’s hat of the Sami people.|
|Šajkača||Serbian national hat.|
|Salakot||A traditional hat in the Philippines.|
|Santa Hat||A floppy pointed red hat trimmed in white fur traditionally associated with Christmas.|
|Shako||A tall cylindrical military cap, usually with a visor, badge, and plume.|
|Shtreimel||A fur hat worn by married Hassidic men on Shabbat and holidays.|
|Slouch||Generic term covering wide-brimmed felt-crowned hats often worn by military leaders. Less fancy versions can be called bush hats.|
|Sombrero||A Mexican hat with a conical crown and a very wide, saucer-shaped brim, highly embroidered made of plush felt.|
|Songkok||A cap widely worn in Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, the southern Philippines and southern Thailand, mostly among Muslim males. May be related to the taqiyah.|
|Stetson||Also known as a “Cowboy Hat”. A High-crowned, wide-brimmed hat, with a sweatband on the inside, and a decorative hat band on the outside. Customized by creasing the crown and rolling the brim.|
|Student cap||A cap worn by university students in various European countries.|
|Sun hat||A hat which shades the face and shoulders from the sun.|
|Tam o’ Shanter||A Scottish wool hat originally worn by men.|
|Taqiyah||A round fabric cap worn by Muslim men.|
|Top hat||Also known as a beaver hat, a magician’s hat, or, in the case of the tallest examples, a stovepipe hat. A tall, flat-crowned, cylindrical hat worn by men in the 19th and early 20th centuries, now worn only with morning dress or evening dress. Cartoon characters Uncle Sam and Mr. Monopoly are often depicted wearing such hats. Once made from felted beaver fur.|
|Toque||(informally, “chef’s hat”) A tall, pleated, brimless, cylindrical hat traditionally worn by chefs.|
|Trilby||A soft felt men’s hat with a deeply indented crown and a narrow brim often upturned at the back.|
|Tricorne||A soft hat with a low crown and broad brim, pinned up on either side of the head and at the back, producing a triangular shape. Worn by Europeans in the 18th century.|
|Trucker hat||Similar to a baseball cap, usually with a foam brim and front section and a breathable mesh back section.|
|Tubeteika||A round, slightly pointed cap with embroidered or applique patterns worn throughout Central Asia.|
|Tudor bonnet||A soft round black academic cap, with a tassel hanging from a cord attached to the centre of the top of the hat.|
|Tuque||In Canada, a knitted hat, worn in winter, usually made from wool or acrylic. Also known as a ski cap, knit hat, knit cap, sock cap, stocking cap, toboggan, watch cap, or goobalini. In New Zealand, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, the term “beanie” is applied to this cap.|
|Turban||A headdress consisting of a scarf-like single piece of cloth wound around either the head itself or an inner hat.|
|Tyrolean hat||A felt hat with a corded band and feather ornament, originating from the Alps.|
|Ushanka||A Russian fur hat with fold-down ear-flaps.|
|Vueltiao||A Colombian hat of woven and sewn black and khaki dried palm braids with indigenous figures.|
|Umbrella Hat||A hat made from an umbrella that straps to the head. Has been made with mosquito netting.|
|Zucchetto||Skullcap worn by clerics.|