GUIDE TO TIMELESS MEN'S AND WOMEN'S HAT STYLES
Classic hat styles that survived the centuries' ever-changing fashion and still favored in our hatless era. You'll find a brief description, history, a tidbit of fun facts, and the different names referring to the same hat style.
FEDORA, TRILBY HATS
Love it, or hate it, fedora is one of the most well-known hat styles. A fedora hat has small soft brim, generally 1.5" - 2.25" wide (stingy brim, large brim fedora). The brim can be curled up all around, or just in the back with the front turned down. Fedora hat has a pinched crown and a dented crown top, mostly a center-crease, but can be a teardrop shape. Most often decorated with a simple accent of a ribbon band with a small side bow, a pin or feather. A trilby is a narrow, stringy brim fedora hat. Originally designed for a women's role, Princess Fedora Romazov, played by Sarah Bernhardt in the French play Fédora in 1882. Though, her hat was a soft wool felt hat, it did not resemble what we know today as a fedora. It seems that a savvy New York hatter, Knox began to advertise his wool felt hat style made for men as a hat designed for American men to be worn for any and all occasion, and called it a fedora, referencing the theatrical sensation and the lavish, elegant French fashion.
Who do you do you think of when you say "BERR-ay"? Military, a French painter, the Scottish, Rastafarians, Beret Girl or Olivia Flaversham? A beret is a soft round flat brimless cap made of wool felt, though, can be knitted or crocheted. Berets are simply accented with a stem (the little thing on top), a pomp pom, or badges, and worn with a slant to the side or back.
BUCKET HAT, BOONIE, BOONEY, BUSH HAT
Bucket style hats are made of cotton or synthetic material. Soft, flat crown with soft down-sloping, usually stitched small brim, 1.5" - 2.5" wide. Boonies have wider, sometimes dimensional, and stiffer brims. A chin cord is often attached. The crown maybe vented with sewn eyelets or metal grommets with mesh. Boonie hats may have mesh panels on the upper section of the crown. Bucket hats and boonies are very plain, except for a pocket, side snaps, foliage loops and occasionally a neck cape. (Stetson No Fly Zone Bucket Hat) Bucket and boonie hat styles are worn by military personal, favored as a fishing hat. Style your bucket hat with badges, patches, pins.
BEANIE, SKULLY, TOQUE, KNIT CAP
A beanie is a knit or sewn, seamed, cap. While men's beanies are very simple skull caps with occasional patches or logo embroidery; women's beanie styles vary more and can be adorned with rosettes, pleating, pom poms, or rhinestones. This hat style is brimless, though, radar beanies, have a small bill. Slouchy beanies, and ponytail beanie hats are favored variations of this classic hat style.
BOATER, BASHER, SKIMMER HAT
This hat style was originally made of stiff sennit straw for men. Boater hats have a square look with flat crown top, straight short crown walls and flat small brim. Very popular formal hat style at the turn of the last century. It is embellished with a solid color or striped grosgrain band. Women's boater hats are made of softer straws, like raffia or paper braid, with different embellishments.
BOWLER, DERBY HATS
This classic hat style is named after this men's hat style's original hat makers, Thomas and William Bowler. The bowler hat is a round crown felt hat with all around curled up short brim. Grosgrain ribbon with narrow side bow accent the derby hats, sometimes a small feather above the bow. Though originally, it was a stiff hat like a top hat, now there are more soft wool felt bowlers. Oddly, this British hat design was adapted and favored in the Americas by upper- and working-class men, cowboys and outlaws. The tall bowler hat style is still traditionally worn by indigenous women in Bolivia, Peru and Chile.
The ascot cap is a round, formed cap for men. The cap is formed from one piece of material. Ascot caps are not lined inside. The small bill built into the crown to give its rounded shape. This hat style is made of a variety of materials for cold and warm weather. Most popular are the wool felt ascot caps, but leather, suede, straw and poly-knit ascots are also available.
FLAT CAP, IVY CAP, DRIVING CAP, WOOLEN FLAT CAP
This hat style referred to by many names depending on regions. It is also a round shape cap like an ascot cap, but it has a flat tapered top. Generally made of three panels, top and two sides. This cap style is worn all year round, thus, made of a variety of materials, wool felt, leather, cotton. Flat caps are lined. The small bill is incorporated into the crown, sewn in or with a snap bill. Some winter flat caps designed with ear cover that folds into the crown. Duckbill caps are a combination of an ascot and a flat cap. Rounded crown made of sections of materials, usually six panels. The bill is also incorporated into the cap. Wool felt duckbill caps are lined, while summer style duckbill caps are not.
GATSBY CAP, NEWSBOY CAP, EIGHT-PANEL CAP, APPLE CAP, BIG APPLE HAT, NEWSIE HAT, BAKER BOY, PAGE BOY, PAPER BOY, CABBIE,
All the names referencing this hat style leaves little to tell about its history and construction, but he it is: The gatsby cap is made of eight wedge panels. The panels are long and folded under to give a full round slouchy look. The wedges can be of different materials or fabric patterns to give a unique look. There is a button accent on the newsboy cap at the center of the wedges. The bill is small and often snaps to the overextended crown. Another great classic hat style that is still in fashion.
This classic hat style kept its name, but its characteristic style has changed over time. Originally a woman's hat style with very short curled brim, and a low, flat crown with a crease along the edge. Then the crown became even shallower, and the porkpies of the 1920's had a flat brim. Now it was a hat style for worn by men. The next variation was the telescope crown, where the whole crown top was set-in lower than the edge, that popped up while worn. The crown height and brim width increased, and even the only constant simple ribbon band with a side bow changed, and colorful feather accents were added. The straight or slightly tapered crown sidewall and the flat crown top remained constant until now. Porkpie hats are in fashion again, and you can find all its variations made of wool felt or straw.
Gambler hats look similar to porkpie hats. The crown is flat with a crease along the edge. The side of the crown is straight. The brim is wider, and the edge is tightly curled up. The gambler style was a western dress hat for men made of felt. Today's straw gambler hats became a favored golf hat style for men and women.
TOP HAT, TOPPER, HIGH HAT, STOVEPIPE HAT
Tall cylindrical crown with flat top, and curled brim. Grosgrain ribbon band with a side bow accent this hat style. Originally top hats were made of beaver felt, but less expensive top hats were made of hatter's plush, silk. Abraham Lincoln famously wore a silk stovepipe top hat. The making of the toppers caused hatters to go mad due to mercury poisoning. Likely this is the reason why the Mad Hatter is wearing a top hat. While in the mid-19th century everyone wore a top hat, nowadays it is reserved for special events and occasions.
CLOCHE HAT, FLAPPER HAT
Cloche hats are bell shaped. The first cloche hats were brimless and had a very deep crown that came down below the eyebrows and had minimal decoration. Later, a small up-turned brim and more embellishment was added. This 1920's hit hat style is still loved, though, the crowns are not as deep, and the brims are a little wider.
WESTERN HAT, COWBOY HAT, COWGIRL HAT, CATTLEMAN HAT, TEN-GALLON HAT
These tall crown, wide curled brim hats evolved from the original Boss of Plains hat created by John B. Stetson. Stetson's hat had a round dome crown with a wide flat brim, lightweight hat made of beaver fur. Cowboy hats today are made of all types of materials, with varying crown shapes, cattleman, Montana Peak, Carlsbad crease. Brims are turned or curled up on the sides and turned down on front and back. The Stetson brand is still associated with cowboy hats, we forget that Stetson also offers other hat styles.
Genuine Panama hats are hand-woven in Ecuador from toquilla straw. Panama hats are graded based on the number of weaves per square inch. The woven hat bodies are blocked and embellished by hat makers all around the world. These hats are lightweight, light color, pinched front, creased crown hats with medium slightly downward sloping brim.
GAUCHO, BOLERO HAT
Gaucho style hats were worn by cowboys -gauchos- in South America. The gaucho sombrero was made of black wool felt, with wide flat brim, a shallow flat crown and chin cord. A bolero hat is practically identical, generally without a chin cord, and more associated with Spanish dancers. These hat styles have flat medium to wide brim and a low, flat crown.
TRAPPER HAT, USHANKA, AVIATOR, PILOT HAT, BOMBER HAT
These round, fitting hat with earflaps have been around for centuries because they are the warmest most protective hats against frigid weather. Trapper hats have long fold down ear flaps and extended neck cover. The first ushanka hats were made of leather and lined with fur. Today, felt, knit, synthetic materials are also used with faux fur lining. Although, there are slight differences between these styles, the one common feature is the earflap. The earflaps can be fastened under the chin ("down flap"), above the crown ("up flap"), or behind the crown ("ski flap").
PITH HELMET, SOLA TOPEE, SAFARI HAT
Rigid, but lightweight oval shape helmet originally made of the pith of Sola trees. Characteristics of the pith helmet is its medium down-sloping dimensional brim, stiff dome crown with side vent holes, and chin strap. The shape of crown varied later by region, civilian or military issued styles, and were made of cork. However, today's safari hats have little in common with these famous pith helmets.
SAFARI HAT, AFRICAN SAFARI HAT
Women's Safari Hat Styles, Men's Safari Hat Styles
Felt safari hats replaced the pith helmets, first with round crown, then with tapered, creased and pinched crown, like a fedora. Their brim is still down sloping, medium to wide brim. Today's safari hats are made of felt, wool felt, straw, canvas, and performance fabrics. The side vent holes also remained from the classic pith helmet, however, often mesh sidewall is used to provide better ventilation. Men's Safari Hats, Women's Safari Hats.
OUTBACK HAT, AKUBRA, AUSSIE HATS, AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK HAT
Similarly, to the American cowboy hats, the Australian outback hats were created for wind, rain, and sun protection. Akubra hats are the original outback hats. Outback hats have wide brims like cowboy hats, but brim on the sides is flat, while the front and back of the brim slope down. The top of the crown has a slight crease or flat. Outback hats were made of high-quality leather, felt or canvas.
FASCINATOR, COCKTAIL HAT
This fantastic headpiece has been in vogue since the 16th century. This headpiece really has no other purpose than to fascinate. Worn forward and off center on the head, usually leaning to the right. Beautiful fabric and sinamay shapes embellished with feathers, loops, flowers, tulle, dotted netting in stunning color.
KENTUCKY DERBY HAT, DRESS HAT, CHURCH HAT
The Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks is the greatest event in the United States to show off the stunning, colorful, over-the-top ladies' dress hats and fascinators every year. These large beautifully adorned hats are true fashion statements. Though, Kentucky Derby is best known, these spectacular fancy hats are worn to all horse races. Hat contest is on opening day in Del Mar. And if you don't make it to the races, have your own Derby party.
The small, brimless pillbox hat was Jackie Kennedy's signature hat style. In style since the 1930's, but a very fashionable hat during the 1950's and 1960's. A simple hat style with straight sides and flat, or structured crown. Made of wool felt, fur, velvet, satin braid. Simply adorned with a flower or a veil.
BIG BRIM HAT, LAMPSHADE HAT
Lampshade style hat has a tapered crown with a flat, or rounded crown top and a flared brim of varying width. Popular in the 1950's. Today's lampshade hats most often have a rounded crowns, still have downward flaring brims, usually 3" to 4" wide. The round brim frames the face beautifully, thus, this hat style remains popular. Big brim lampshade hats are made of straw, paperbraid, polybraid and wool felt. Summer big brim hats may have a split - butterflied - brim to give flexibility to the otherwise firm brim.
FACESAVER HAT, BACKLESS HAT, LOUNGING HAT
Face Saver hats have a narrow or brimless back. The brim on the front is wide to provide good sun protection. The wide brim narrows on the sides and disappears toward the back. Facesaver hats are made of straw, polybraid, cotton and synthetic fabric for summer wear. Facesaver hat style is great for driving, beach chair lounging due to the narrow brim or brimless back. Facesaver hats with ponytail holes have become popular in the last few years.
LARGE BILL CAP, LARGE BILL FLAP CAP, LONG BILL CAP
Round crown ball cap with wide and relatively flat bill (brim) often 180 degree wide. A neck cape is generally part of this hat style; the neck flap can be detachable. Size is adjusted with sizer and toggle. Some large bill cap styles have a chin strap. Large bill caps provide excellent sun protection, as they shade face, ears and neck. Made of lightweight material, such as nylon, microfiber or polyester. They make great hiking hats and fishing hats.
BEACH HAT, FLOPPY HAT, SUN HAT, CAPELINE, WIDE BRIM HAT
A capeline style hat has a round, dome crown, and flat wide brim. Brim is 4" or wider. Usually with very little adornment, such as a ribbon band, or a chiffon scarf. Beach hats are designed for sun protection. The wide brim shades shoulders, neck, face and ears. Made of straw, paperbraid, or cloth. Capeline style wool felt floppy hats are also favored during fall and winter season.
UP-TURNED BRIM HAT, KETTLE BRIM HAT, BRETON, BRETONNE, PADRE HAT, BUMBER BRIM HAT
This classic women's hat style generally has a round crown, and all around turned up brim. Breton straw or felt hats were first worn by Breton farmers. Those original bretons had wide brim with large portion of the brim turned up. Kettle brim hat style looks lovely on all women regardless of face shape. Bretons are worn tilted back creating a halo around the face. Made of straw, felt, velour, cotton, sewn poly-ribbon. A favored style by ladies for golf. Kettle brim hat a simple with no or little adornment.
SUN VISORS, VISOR, VISOR HAT, SPORT VISOR, VISOR CAP, CROWNLESS HAT, OPEN CROWN HAT
Sun visors hats provide great alternatives for sun protection headwear for those who do not like wearing a hat. There are many sun visor styles available from smaller bill sport visors to wide bill, and even all around brim open crown hats. Sun visors are made with a variety of closure types, velcro, elastic, coil lace, clip on. Women sun visors generally have a round or rounded bill, while men's sun visors have square bills.