The Tyrolean hat (German: Tirolerhut, Italian: cappello alpino), also Bavarian hat or Alpine hat, is a type of headwear that originally came from the Tyrol in the Alps, in what is now part of Austria and Italy.
There are various forms of Tyrolean hat. Frequently the hats are decorated with a coloured, corded hatband and a spray of flowers, feathers or "brush" at the side of the crown. The traditional "brush" is made of the tail of the chamois goat. It takes a variety of forms, and may often be combined with feathers.
The Tyrolean hat became even more well known thanks to Edward VIII who, after his abdication, frequently stayed in Austrian Styria and often wore a hat of Tyrolean style, although it did not come from there.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Tyrolean costumes developed a certain degree of uniformity in their appearance. In the local village costumes of the Tyrol, the various styles of Tyrolean hat have survived since the 1830s/40s, albeit similar to those of contemporary fashion. These original forms vary from the tall, relatively narrow-brimmed hats of North Tyrol which were dented on top, to the small, wide-brimmed hats of the South Tyrolean wine country.
Later the Tyrolean hat became the image bearer of "Tyrolean culture" as a tourist symbol, influenced also by folk music bands who wore fanciful "local" costumes. The musician, Billy Mo, wrote a song in 1962 called I prefer to buy a Tyrolean hat, which reinforced the link between the hat and traditional Alpine (brass band) folk music. In 1965, a comedy musical appeared under the same title.
Andreas Hofer, wearing the typical, broad-brimmed flat hat of the South Tyrolean type (posthumous portrait, mid-19th century)
Self portrait with Tyrolean hat (Selbstporträt mit Tiroler Hut), Lovis Corinth
Tyrolean hat with Volksmarching pins
- "[T]he pointed, green, felt hat with a hand-wide brim, which came from South Tyrol, especially from the Ziller valley, earned such a reputation that it was referred to as a Tyrolean hat." Heinrich Heine: Reisebilder II: 1828-1831 : Kommentar, Volume 6. Akademie Verlag, 2003, p. 232 (N.B.: the Ziller valley lies in North Tyrol)
- Kilgour, Ruth Edwards (1958). A Pageant of Hats Ancient and Modern. R. M. McBride Company
- Lexikon der Herrenmode, Musterschmidt, 1960
- Ich kauf mir lieber einen Tirolerhut. Moviepilot.de