A bucket hat is a soft cotton hat with a wide and downwards sloping brim which is worn by both men and women. The brim offers shade from the sun for the eyes and face. The hat is usually made from heavy-duty cotton fabric such as denim or canvas. Two metal eyelets are commonly placed on each side of the hat so that it is cool to wear on hot days.
The bucket hat is Irish in origin, being traditionally worn by fishermen and farmers as protection from the rain. It was quickly adopted by the English upper classes for country pursuits like walking, wildfowling and fishing as, when folded, it could fit inside a coat pocket. Today, it is part of the traditional Irish folk costume, together with the flat cap, grandfather shirt and Aran sweater.
In the 1960s and 70s, tweed cloth "Irish walking hats" were popular accessories for men as an alternative to the stingy-brim fedora and pork pie hat, the short brim being more in keeping with the then current fashion of slim fitting houndstooth and mohair suits with narrow lapels.
- In Australia, this hat is referred to as a "giggle hat".
- In Israel, it is known as a "Rafael hat"; as Rafael Eitan, an Israeli general, politician, and former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces used to wear one. A similar type of hat called a tembel hat is dubbed the national hat of Israel as it was worn by Israeli Halutzim to protect from sun burn.
- In Sweden, it is known as a "Beppehatt" or "Beppemössa", since Beppe Wolgers, a Swedish author and artist, used to wear it and made it popular in the 1970s.
- In South Africa, it is known as an "ispoti" and is very popular with urban black youth, representing being streetwise without copying foreign hip-hop trends.
- In the UK., this style of hat is occasionally known as a "Reni Hat" after The Stone Roses drummer "Reni" (Alan Wren), who was easily identified by his bucket hat.
- In the USA, a similar hat is used officially by the U.S. Navy for enlisted service dress uniforms, commonly referred to as a Dixie Cup hat, as in the manufacturer brand of paper cups.
In other uses
- Bucket hats are favored by glider pilots, who require shade in their cockpits but cannot wear wide-brimmed hats because they must be able to see in all directions.
- The fictional character Dale Horvath, in The Walking Dead, is always portrayed wearing a bucket hat.
- The fictional character, JJ Evans in Good Times, often wore a bucket hat in episodes.
- The fictional character Kisuke Urahara from Bleach often wears an iconic green and white bucket hat, along with a pair of sandals, that has given him the nickname
- The fictional character Takeru "T.K." Takaishi in Season 02 of Digimon Adventure wears a white bucket hat.
- The pseudonymous Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas wears a bucket hat.
- The fictional character Gilligan of TV's Gilligan's Island is almost always seen in a red shirt and white bucket hat.
- Rapper Schoolboy Q is known for always wearing a bucket hat, as well as many other musicians in popular culture, such as Wiz Khalifa, Rihanna, Eminem, Mac Miller Joey Bada$$, Earl Sweatshirt, Yung Lean, etc.