Bucket hat

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Line drawing of a bucket-shaped hat showing ventilation eyelets.

A bucket hat (also known as a session hat, fisherman's hat or Irish country hat ) is a headwear design with a wide and downwards sloping brim. Typically, the hat is made from heavy-duty cotton fabric such as denim or canvas, with two metal eyelets placed on each side of the hat for ventilation.

It was first adopted as a high fashion item in the 1960s, and with subsequent revivals in both street fashion and on the catwalk. It is popular festival gear in the present day, also known as a "session hat" and is favoured by fans of bands such as Sticky Fingers (band), The Stone Roses and Oasis.


Australian boy wearing tweed bucket hat, 1917.

The bucket hat or fishing hat emerged in 1900.[1] Originally made from wool felt or tweed cloth, these hats were traditionally worn by Irish farmers and fishermen as protection from the rain, because the lanolin from the unwashed (raw) wool made these hats naturally waterproof.[2] From the interwar years onwards, these "Irish walking hats" were quickly adopted internationally for country pursuits because, when folded, they could fit inside a coat pocket. If the hat fell in the mud, it could be easily cleaned with a damp sponge, and it could be reshaped using steam from a kettle.[2] In the 1960s, it was widely seen in the TV series Gilligan's Island and was often worn by members of the Mod subculture.[1]

The modern bucket hat is derived from a tropical hat made from olive drab cotton that was issued to the US Army during the Vietnam War. These lightweight hats became popular among civilians for use in sports such as fishing, and as sun protection.[3]

Barbra Streisand – shown here with Elliott Gould and son Jason Gould – wearing a fashionable oversized bucket hat in 1967

Fashion accessory[edit]

In the 1960s, the bucket hat was adapted as a laming the pillbox, bakerboy, and cloche styles, suiting the fashion for more bouffant hair.[4] Milliners such as Lilly Daché created designs in felt or other stiffer fabrics to capture the "mod" look.[5] The older tweed Irish walking hat remained popular among professional men until the 1970s,[6] and was notably worn by Sean Connery's character in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

The hat became popular with rappers in the 1980s and remained part of street fashion into the 1990s. More recently, it has re-emerged as a fashion catwalk item after being sported by celebrities such as Rihanna.[7]

Regional names and variations[edit]

  • In Bulgaria it is popular as "idiotka" (Bulgarian: идиотка), which means "idiot hat".[8][9]
  • In Australia, this hat is referred to as a "Bucket Hat" and not a "Giggle Hat", contrary to popular belief. "Giggle hat" can be used to refer to a "Boonie Hat", which is commonly worn by the Australian army or gardeners.
  • In Israel, it is known as a "Rafael hat", after Rafael Eitan, an Israeli general, politician, and former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, who 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 sunburn.
  • 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 Argentina, it is known as "sombrero Piluso" (Piluso hat).
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • In Russia, the hat is called "panama" (панама).
  • In Tanzania, it is very popular among elders, especially among the Iraqw people.
  • In the USA, a similar hat is used officially by the US Navy for enlisted service dress uniforms, commonly referred to as a Dixie Cup hat, as in the manufacturer brand of paper cups.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

The fictional character Detective Lieutenant Louie Provenza of the television series The Closer and Major Crimes frequently wears a white bucket hat while at crime scenes.[10][11][12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Stalder, Erika (2008). Fashion 101: A Crash Course in Clothing. San Francisco, CA: Orange Avenue Publishing. p. 55. ISBN 0979017343. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Irish Country Hat
  3. ^ "Hat Shapers Hat Dictionary". Hat Shapers. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "{Hat Week} A Brief History of 20th Century Hats (part 2)". Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage. Tuppence Ha'penny. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Marcus, Jonathan D. (8 March 2013). "Fashionable Display at Boca Museum". Sun-Sentinel. Broward County, Florida. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Kiplinger
  7. ^ Cartner-Morley, Jess; Elan, Priya (15 July 2014). "Bucket hats: what's the appeal". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Идиотка in bulgarian dictionary
  9. ^ Идиотка Bucket hat in the Bulgarian Wikipedia
  10. ^ Sharpe, Mina (June 23, 2014). "MCTV Exclusive – G.W. Bailey Talks Major Crimes and The Sunshine Kids Foundation". MajorCrimesTV.net. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  11. ^ See image: Morris, Robert (January 19, 2013). "Actor from 'Police Academy,' 'The Closer' to ride as Bacchus". Uptown Messenger. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  12. ^ See image number 4: defyingnormalcy (October 4, 2013). "Fashion Remix: Major Crimes, Episode 02.04". Major Crimes (blog). LiveJournal. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  13. ^ TNT (October 10, 2013). "Fan Question - Provenza's Hat ¦ Major Crimes ¦ TNT". YouTube. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of bucket hat at Wiktionary
  • Media related to Bucket hats at Wikimedia Commons