A hat is a head covering. It can be worn for protection against the elements, for ceremonial reason, religious reasons, for safety, or as a fashion accessory. In the past, hats were an indicator of social status. In the military, they may denote nationality, branch of service, rank and/or regiment. Some hats have a protective function. As examples, the hard hat protects construction workers' heads from injury by falling objects, a sun hat shades the face and shoulders from the sun, and a Ushanka fur hat with fold-down ear-flaps keeps the head warm. Some hats are worn for ceremonial purposes, such as the mortarboard, which is worn during graduation ceremonies. Some hats are worn by members of a certain profession, such as the Toque worn by chefs. Some hats have a religious functions, such as the turban worn by Sihks.
One of the first pictorial depictions of a hat appears in a Thebes tomb painting which shows a man wearing a conical straw hat. Other early hats were the Pileus, a simple skull cap; the Phrygian cap, worn by freed slaves in Greece and Rome; and the Greek petasos, the first known hat with a brim. Women wore veils, kerchiefs, hoods, caps and wimples. St. Clement, the patron saint of felt hatmakers, is said to have discovered wool felt when he filled his sandals with flax fibers to protect his feet.
In the Middle Ages, hats were a marker of social status and used to single out certain groups. The 1215 Fourth Council of the Lateran required that all Jews identify themselves by wearing the Judenhat (“Jewish hat”), marking them as targets for anti-Semitism. The hats were usually yellow, and were either pointed or square.
In the Middle Ages, hats for women ranged from simple scarves to elaborate hennin, and denoted social status. Structured hats for women similar to those of male courtiers began to be worn in the late 16th century. The term ‘milliner’ comes from the Italian city of Milan, where the best quality hats were made in the 18th century. Millinery was traditionally a woman’s occupation, with the milliner not only creating hats and bonnets but also choosing lace, trimmings and accessories to complete an outfit.
In the first half of the 19th century, women wore bonnets that gradually became larger, decorated with ribbons, flowers, feathers, and gauze trims. By the end of the century, many other styles were introduced, among them hats with wide brims and flat crowns, the flower pot and the toque. By the middle of the 1920s, when women began to cut their hair short, they chose hats that hugged the head like a helmet.
The tradition of wearing hats to horse racing events began at the Royal Ascot in Britain, which maintains a strict dress code. All guests in the Royal Enclosure must wear hats. This tradition was adopted at other horse racing events, such as the Kentucky Derby in the United States.
Extravagant hats were popular in the 1980s, and in the early 21st century, flamboyant hats made a comeback, with a new wave of competitive young milliners designing creations that include turban caps, trompe-l'oeil-effect felt hats and tall headpieces made of human hair. Some new hat collections have been described as "wearable sculpture." Many pop stars, among them Lady Gaga, have commissioned hats as publicity stunts.
One of the most famous London hatters is James Lock & Co of St James's Street. Another was Sharp & Davis of 6 Fish Street Hill. In the late 20th-century museums credited London-based David Shilling with reinventing hats worldwide. Notable Belgian hat designers are Elvis Pompilio and Fabienne Delvigne (Royal warrant of appointment holder), whose hats are worn by European royals. Philip Treacy OBE is an award-winning Irish milliner whose hats have been commissioned by top designers and worn at royal weddings. In North America, the well-known cowboy-hat manufacturer Stetson made the headgear for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Texas Rangers.
The Philippi Collection is a collection of religious headgear assembled by a German entrepreneur, Dieter Philippi, located in Kirkel. The collection features over 500 hats, and is currently the world’s largest collection of clerical, ecclesiastical and religious head coverings.
|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 Basque people, 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.|
|Boudoir cap||A type of decorative cap mainly worn in the 19th and early 20th century with sleepwear or lingerie.|
|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.|
|Breton||A woman's hat with round crown and deep brim turned upwards all the way round. Said to be based on hats worn by Breton agricultural workers.|
|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").|
|Capirote||A conical pointed hat with eye holes. Most associated with the Ku Klux Klan, but used elsewhere in other contexts (such as the example illustrated, featuring people from Nazareno processing during Holy Week in Spain).|
|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 worn by more traditional Roman Catholic clergy.|
|Cartwheel hat||Wide-brimmed and shallow-crowned hat, normally worn at an angle. Popular from 1910s but most closely associated with 1940s-50s fashion.|
|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.|
|Draped turban||A fashion dating back to at least the 18th century, in which fabric is draped or moulded to the head, concealing most or all of the hair. Original designs were said to be inspired by the turbans of India and the Ottoman Empire|
|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.|
|Half hat||Millinery design that covers only half the head – particularly popular in the 1950s.|
|Halo hat||Semi-circular or circular design that frames the face, creating a 'halo' or 'aureole' effect.|
|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.|
|Mushroom hat||Hat with a distinctly downward-facing brim similar to the shape of a mushroom or toadstool. Popular from the 1870s, but particlarly associated with the Edwardian era and Dior's "New Look".|
|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.|
|Peach basket hat||A woman's hat resembling an upturned fruit basket. Usually lavishly trimmed, it achieved notoriety in the early 1900s.|
|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.|
|Picture hat||Also known as a Gainsborough hat and garden hat, this is an elaborate women's design with a wide brim.|
|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.|
|Pillbox hat||A small hat with straight, upright sides, a flat crown, and no brim.|
|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.|
|Sailor hat||A flat-crowned, brimmed straw hat inspired by nineteenth century sailors' headgear.|
|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. Larger, taller, and heavily ornamented brims were present in France and the Papal States.|
|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 typically in Roman Catholicism.|
Parts of a hat
A hat consists of four main parts:
- Crown - The portion of a hat covering the top of the head
- Peak (British English), visor (American English), or bill, a stiff projection at the front, to shade or shield the eyes from sun and rain
- Brim, an optional projection of stiff material from the bottom of the hat's crown horizontally all around the circumference of the hat
- Puggaree (British) or sweatband or hatband (American), a ribbon or band that runs around the bottom of the torso of the hat. The sweatband may be adjustable with a cord or rope at the top and is on the inside of the hat touching the skin while the hatband and puggaree are around the outside.
Hat sizes are determined by measuring the circumference of a person's head about 1 centimetre (1⁄2 in) above the ears. Inches or centimeters may be used depending on the manufacturer. Felt hats can be stretched for a custom fit. Some hats, like hard hats and baseball caps, are adjustable. Cheaper hats come in "standard sizes", such as small, medium, large, extra large: the mapping of measured size to the various "standard sizes" varies from maker to maker and style to style, as can be seen by studying various catalogues, such as Hammacher-Schlemmer.
Traditional hat size is worked out by adding the fore and aft and side to side measurements (in inches) then dividing by two. In the UK, an equivalent hat size is an eighth of an inch smaller than in the US.
|size||Youth S/M||Youth L/XL||XXS||XS||S||M||L||XL||XXL||XXXL|
|Circumference in cm||34||43||47||48||49||50||51 - 52||53 - 54||55 - 56||57 - 58||59 - 60||61 - 62||63 - 64||65 - 66|
|Circumference in inches||13⅜||17||18½||18¾||19¼||19¾||20 - 20½||20 - 21¼||21 - 22||22 - 22½⅞||23 - 23½⅝||24 - 24⅜||24¾ - 25¼||25 - 26|
|UK hat size||5||5¾||6||6||6 - 6¼⅜||6 - 6½⅝||6 - 6¾⅞||7 - 7⅛||7 - 7¼⅜||7 - 7½||7 - 7¾⅞||8 - 8⅛|
|US hat size||5⅞||6||6⅛||6¼||6 - 6½||6⅝- 6¾||6 - 7||7 - 7¼||7 - 7½||7 - 7¾||7 - 8||8 - 8¼|
|French hat size||0||½||1||1½||2 - 2½||3 - 3½||4 - 4½||5 - 5½||6 - 6½||7 - 7½||8 - 8½||9 - 9½|
- Pauline Thomas (2007-09-08). "The Wearing of Hats Fashion History". Fashion-era.com. Retrieved 2011-07-02.
- "The social meanings of hats". Press.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2011-07-02.
- "Insignia:The Way You Tell Who's Who in the Military". Defense.gov. Retrieved 2011-07-02.
- "History of Hats". Hatsandcaps.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-07-02.
- Waldman, Katy (2013-10-17). "The history of the witch's hat". Slate.com. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- Johnston, Ruth A. (2011). All Things Medieval: An Encyclopedia of the Medieval World. ABC-CLIO. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- Vibbert, Marie, Headdresses of the 14th and 15th Centuries, No. 133, SCA monograph series (August 2006)
- "Hat history". Hatsuk.com. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
- "History of Women's Hats". Vintagefashionguild.org. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
- Lauren Turner (2012-06-21). "New dress code a hit at Ascots' Ladies Day". Independent.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-29.
- Name * (2012-04-28). "Hats in History: The Kentucky Derby". Hats-plus.com. Retrieved 2013-08-29.
- Millinery Madness: Hat Makers With Attitude
- See Whitbourn, F.: 'Mr Lock of St James's St Heinemann, 1971.
- For an account of the Sharp family's hat-making business, see Knapman, D. - 'Conversation Sharp - The Biography of a London Gentleman, Richard Sharp (1759–1835), in Letters, Prose and Verse'. [Private Publication, 2004]. British Library.
- "Brussels life". Brusselslife.be. Retrieved 2013-04-15.
- "Philip Treacy 'Hatforms' at IMMA Thursday". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 5 April 2001. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
- Philip Treacy: King of Royal wedding hats Irish Independent, 2011-04-29
- Snyder, Jeffrey B. (1997). Stetson Hats and the John B. Stetson Company 1865–1970. Atglen: Schiffer. p. 57. ISBN 0-7643-0211-6.
- "Neue Züricher Zeitung FOLIO". Nzzfolio.ch. 2011-02-08. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
- "Der Spiegel". Spiegel.de. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
- "Philippi Collection". Philippi-collection.blogspot.com. 2011-11-23. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
- "caubeen". Oxford University Press.
- Klinkenborg, Verlyn (2009-02-03). "Season of the chullo". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2011-07-02.
- Location Settings (2011-10-20). "Malema under fire over slur on Indians". News24. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
- Most current dictionaries do not record any offensive meaning ("an unskilled laborer or porter usually in or from India hired for low or subsistence wages" Merriam-Webster) or make a distinction between an offensive meaning in referring to "a person from the Indian subcontinent or of Indian descent" and an at least originally inoffensive, old-fashioned meaning, for example "dated an unskilled native labourer in India, China, and some other Asian countries" (Compact Oxford English Dictionary). However, some dictionaries indicate that the word may be considered offensive in all contexts today. For example, Longman's 1995 edition had "old-fashioned an unskilled worker who is paid very low wages, especially in parts of Asia", but the current version adds "taboo old-fashioned a very offensive word ... Do not use this word".
- Snyder, Jeffrey B. (1997). Stetson Hats and the John B. Stetson Company 1865–1970. Atglen: Schiffer. p. 5. ISBN 0-7643-0211-6.
- "Hat Care". David Morgan. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
- "Puggaree, the hat band, its origins (sic) diggerhistory.com". Diggerhistory.info. Retrieved 2013-08-29.
- "Puggaree: Definition at". Lexic.us. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
- "Helmet sizes". Enduroworld.com.au.
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