Hat Terminology


Terminology | Sizing Information | Glossary

DelMonico Hatter has been in business for over 100 years and has expert knowledge about different styles of hats. This hat terminology guide is a complete glossary of different hat styles as well as information about the history of each hat.

Brim
The horizontal part of a felt or straw hat. The brim may be turned up, turned down, or up in the back and down in the front. Hats with the brim up in the back and down in the front are called "snap brims"

Crown
The vertical portion of a felt or straw hat. Many times there is a crease or "pinch" in the crown. For more information about the different types of crowns please see the "Crown Types" section below.

Hat Band
Many hats are trimmed with a decorative band that wraps around the crown of the hat. These bands can be made from a variety of material with the most common being grosgrain or leather. Some say that the origin of the hat band can be traced back to the death of Prince Albert in 1861. Many men wore a black band around their hat as a sign of mourning. Eventually this hat band lost it's association to Prince Albert's Death and became a fashion statement instead.

Sweatband
Inside of pretty much every hat made is a sweatband. The sweatband has two main functions, the first and foremost is to provide a comfortable fit and feel for the hat. The second function is to prevent sweat from getting into the material of the hat itself. Some sweatbands are made from genuine sheepskin or cowhide leather, others are made from a cotton or padded sweatband. Some modern sweatbands even feature an elastic or adjustable band for more comfortable fits.

Lining
The interior of many hats are lined with a hat liner, typically made from a satin material for a comfortable fit and to help protect the hat against any sweat and stains. Satin liners are the standard for most dress felt hats. Summer hats or packable hats may be fully unlined to help keep the hats flexible and breathable.

Snap Brim
A snap brim is a type of curved brim often found on fedoras or hats with similar shapes. The shape of the brim allows for it to be worn up or snapped down.


Crown Types

Teardrop

The Teardrop crown is blocked with a teardrop shape, narrower at the front of the hat and rounded towards the back. The front is typically pinched. The front of the hat is blocked higher and slopes down slightly towards the back.
Centerdent

The centerdent crown is the most common crown shape for fedoras. It is a simple crease that runs from the front of the hat to the back. Most often the front of the hat has pinches in the sides at the front.
Cattleman

The cattleman crown is a western style crown seen on the open road style hat worn by Lyndon B. Johnson as well as a number of classic western hats.
Open Crown

In the early 19th century, rather than being blocked into a specific crown block, many hats would come with an "open crown" shape. These hats were made from a softer felt which allowed the wearer to custom shape it themselves. This gave the hats a more unique look for each wearer. Today these hats are still available however the current popular custom is for most hats to be pre-blocked into a specific crown shape in production.
Round Crown

The round crown is similar to the open crown style. However, rather than being a soft, flexible felt, the crown is a hard block intended to stay in the round shape. The most popular style of hat which uses this block is the Derby/Bowler style hat.
Telescope

The telescope crown is is a round shape crown similar to the end of a telescope. It has a ridge along the outside and a raised part in the middle. This crown is most commonly seen on porkpie style hats.
Bubble

The bubble crown is a unique crown. It is similar in shape to the centerdent however rather than running as a straight crease front to back, this hat is raised in the center of the crease.
Flat Top

The flat top crown is exactly what the name sounds like. Rather than having a shaped or rounded crown, the flat top crown is flat across. This style of crown is seen on top hats and boater hats.
Gus

The Gus crown shape is a dramatic style of crown which is creased from front to back. The front of the crown starts very low and has a steep incline towards the back of the hat. Seen on many western hats including the iconic styles of hats worn by famous western actor Tom Mix.
Optimo

The optimo crown is a shape unique to panama straw hats. The construction of this crown usually allows the hat to fold in on itself and roll up. This makes the hats packable and ideal for travel  Unlike most crown types, this style is not seen in felt hats.
Diamond

The diamond crown is similar in style to the teardrop. However rather than being shaped into a teardrop shape, the crown has a 4-point diamond shape to it. 1 point in the front of the crown, and three at the back of the crown.
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Hat Sizing


For more information about how to find your proper head size see our Hat Sizing Section.

American Hat Sizing
American hat sizes run from a size 6 5/8 through a size 8.

British Hat Sizing
British hats run on a similar sizing system to American hat sizing however the sizes run one size smaller than the American hat sizes. A British size 7 1/2 would be equivalent to an American size 7 3/8. See the full conversion chart below.

European Hat Sizing
European hats are sized in centimeters typically running from 53cm to 64cm. These sizes each correspond to a US hat size. See the full sizing chart on our Hat Sizing page.

Generic Hat Sizing
Generic hat sizes each cover a range of hat sizes. Size Small runs from 6 5/8 to 6 7/8, Size Medium runs from 7 to 7 1/8, Size Large runs from 7 1/4 to 7 3/8. Size XL runs from 7 1/2 to 7 3/4, and a size XXL runs from 7 7/8 to 8.

Kids Hat Sizing
Kid's heads grow up to 80% of their final size within the first year of their life.

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Glossary



Army Cap

Inspired by various military uniforms throughout the 1900s, army caps are small caps with a close fitting shape and usually short rounded peaks in front, meant to be worn as a casual alternative to a baseball cap. They tend to come in warmer fabrics such as wool or leather, but can also be found in sturdy cotton canvas or even heavier linen for summer. Initially made as menswear, the army cap has more recently become popular with women as well and are a currently fashionable item used by many fashion designers for their runway shows.



Aviator/Trapper Hat

When airplanes were first invented, they were open to the wind! Pilots needed a hat to keep their ears and heads warm in the chilly conditions (and have a place to put their goggles when they weren't in use) so the aviator hat was born. Usually made of leather for extra protection, even as planes became fully enclosed the aviator hats were worn through WWII until they were replaced by caps for commercial pilots and helmets for military. 

Trapper hats are a similar style to the aviator, usually made of leather or wool, but more often lined inside with shearling or animal fur for added warmth. They are derived from the Russian ushanka, and were made popular for winter by fur trappers who worked out in the snow.

Baseball Cap

The modern day baseball cap came about in 1860. It was first worn by the Brooklyn Excelsiors and featured a rounded crown, a long peak, and a button top. The baseball cap was nicknamed the "Brooklyn Style" cap and quickly became one of the most popular hat styles in the world. The earliest caps had a floppy construction and during the 1940s latex rubber was added to the caps as a stiffening material, giving them a more structured look. The peak helped protect the player's eyes from the sun and the team's logo is typically embroidered onto the front of the cap. Baseball caps were traditionally made with a fitted shape however these days they can be found with adjustable backs made from Velcro, snaps, and various other adjustable closures.

Beret

When most people think of berets many things come to mind; France, the military, painters, and more. Berets have been an iconic style of hat for hundreds of years. While the modern beret has only been around since the 19th century, similar styles of hat to the beret can be seen as far back in history as the Bronze Age. The beret is a round, flat hat which is usually made from woven, hand-knit, or crocheted wool. The commercial production of Basque style berets began in the 17th century in the Oloron-Sainte-Marie area of southern France. It was originally just a local craft however in the 19th century beret-making became industrialized and expanded to further regions outside of southern France including Italy and soon after, the entire world. Berets are also seen worn as a part of various military outfits and as a popular fashion item.


Bicorne

A historical hat from the late 1700s, typically worn as a part of the European and American Military as well as by many naval officers. Most famously worn by Napoleon Bonaparte, the hat was worn by many generals during the Napoleonic period. The Bicorne hat evolved from the Tricorne hat but rather than having three points, the Bicorne had two. The hat had a rounded crown with the wide front and back of the brim folded up and pinned together. The front of the hat would feature a cockade. In the early 1800s the style of the hat changed slightly and was no longer worn side to side but rather front to back. The cockade was worn on the right side of the hat and the Bicorne received the nickname of "cocked hat". The Bicorne was used up until the early 20th century as a formal dress hat for certain military and naval forces. Today the hat is seen worn as a part of certain formal dress uniforms in the United Kingdom, worn by the Knights of Columbus, and in various smaller occurrences around the world. 

Biretta

The biretta is believed to date back as far as the 10th century however it may in fact be even older than that. It is a square cap which is constructed with three or four peaks and a tuft atop the hat. It was thought to have originated as an academic cap during the Middle Ages and transitioned into a religious accessory after the synod of Bergamo ordered the clergy to wear the Biretta in 1311. Most commonly worn by Roman Catholic clergy, the hat can also be seen worn by various other clergy around the world including Anglican and Lutheran. The Biretta is also the predecessor to the modern day Mortarboard.

Boater

A hat of many names, the boater hat is one of the most popular hats in the entire world. It is known as a boater hat, straw boater, skimmer, sennit hat, and many other colloquial names. The hat reached its peak popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The hats were traditionally made from the sennit straw with a wide grosgrain hat band. They have a flat top and flat brim. To keep their stiff shape they were dipped and painted with a thick shellac or hat stiffener to help them stay durable and keep their rigid shape. Today the hats are made from a wider range of materials including wheat braid, panama straw, paper straw, or cheap plastic for party store costumes. However, the authentic Italian boater hats are still made from the same Sennit straw. During the peak of their popularity, especially around the 1920s, boater hats could be seen worn by everyone. Today they are most often seen on Barbershop Quartets, rowing teams, or as a popular fashion item. Many famous celebrities were known for sporting a boater hat including actors Harold Lloyd and Maurice Chevalier.

Bowler/ Derby

The Bowler (or derby) hat is a popular style of hat with a rounded crown and a short brim. In 1849 Thomas Coke commissioned the first Bowler hat from Lock & Co. Hatters in London. The gamekeepers on his Holkham Hall Estate had previously worn top hats while riding horseback however they found that low-hanging tree branches would often knock them off their heads. Instead Coke commissioned the Bowler hat to be a close-fitting style hat to help protect his gamekeepers as they rode around his estate. It became a popular style among the working class up until the end of the 19th century. By the 20th century the hat had become a symbol of the middle and upper class in the British Isles. The Bowler has become an iconic style, worn by people such as Charlie Chaplin, Malcom McDowell as Alex in a Clockwork Orange, Oddjob in the James Bond movies, Laurel and Hardy, as well as many other notable celebrities during the 20th century.


Bucket Hat

The bucket hat is a soft, fabric hat with a flat crown and wide downward-shaped brim. The hat was traditionally made from a durable cotton or denim fabric however today they can be seen made from a wide variety of materials including waterproof and sportswear fabrics. They sometimes feature eyelets on the sides of the crown for added ventilation. The bucket hat has the same origins as the Irish walking hats however instead of being made from a thick wool or tweed like the walking hats, the bucket hats are typically made from a lighter cotton and have a less structured shape. During the 1960s the cap made the jump into the fashion world, quickly becoming one of the hottest new trends. By the 1980s the bucket hat had been adopted by the Rap community and remained a part of street fashions through the 90s. This style of hat was also most famously seen as a part of the Mod subculture as well as in the TV show Gilligan's Island.

Cap

A cap is a low-profile fabric hat with a peak at the front. There are many different styles of cap including Newsboy, Ivy, Pub, and many others. While the shapes of these caps differ slightly they are all a similar construction of fabric around the head with a peak in the front. The fabrics used range from cotton, linen, and wool to synthetic fabrics like polyester and other sportswear fabrics. For more information about a specific cap style check out the glossary section for that specific cap.

Chef's Hat

While the exact origins of the chef's hat remain unknown, many believe it originated from the head coverings worn by chefs while working in the kitchen. The chef's hat is called a toque blanche which is French for "White Hat", a very literal naming for this classic style. The modern chef's hat if often attributed to French chefs Marie-Antoine Careme and Auguste Escoffier and featured a high pleated crown which was starched to hold its shape. The different heights of the chef's hats can be used to denote someone's rank in the kitchen and the 100 folds of the hat are said to represent the 100 different ways a chef knows to cook an egg.

Cloche

Created in 1908 by French Milliner Caroline Reboux, the Cloche hat quickly became one of the most popular styles of hat in the world. It reached its peak popularity in the 1920s, seen worn on many women and found in many ateliers. The hat has a rounded crown with a very short peak similar to the shape of a bell. The hat gets its name from the French word for "bell" named after its bell-like shape. The hats were typically made from a soft felt which shaped to the wearer's head giving a close-fit silhouette. Today they are seen made from a variety of different materials including sisal and other straws for summer weight cloches.

Deer Stalker/ Sherlock Holmes

The deerstalker is a very literally named cap. Its original use was by hunters as they stalked deer. The deerstalker is a fabric cap with a front and back peak and side earlaps which can be tied up atop the hat or worn down. The purpose of the dual peaks was to protect both the face and the back of the neck from the sun during long periods outside. This came in handy especially for hunters who spent a lot of time outdoors. Many traditional deerstalkers were made from a wool tweed with a herringbone, houndstooth, or tweed pattern for camoflouge. Today most hunting hats are either red and black or orange and black for the safety of the hunters. When most people think of a deerstalker cap they immediately think of Sherlock Holmes. While Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never described Holmes as wearing a deerstalker exactly, he is described as wearing an ear-flapped travelling cap. When the stories were illustrated many drew Holmes wearing the Deerstalker cap and ever since it has become his iconic style. In addition to Sherlock Holmes wearing the deerstalker, it is now seen as the stereotypical detective's hat.


Fedora

The word Fedora comes from a play of the same name written by French author Victorien Sardou. The play premiered in 1882 and starred a young Sarah Bernhardt in the role of Princess Fedora Romazov. In the play Bernhardt wears a soft felt hat with a center crease in the crown. This style became known as the Fedora and became an extremely popular women's hat style. In 1924 Edward, Prince of Wales, began wearing fedora style hat and the style of fedoras was adopted by men. It became a popular style for its fashionable look along with the fact that it provided good protection against the elements. In the early to mid-20th century the Fedora was at the peak of its popularity. However as the fashions shifted to a more casual style after the 1950s, the fedora became less popular until the beginning of the 21st century where they began to grow again in popularity. As celebrities and hipsters began wearing hats again, the popularity of fedoras skyrocketed. They also saw a brief resurgence of popularity with the Indiana Jones franchise and Harrison Ford's iconic Indiana Jones Fedora. Many celebrities have been noted for wearing a fedora including Frank Sinatra, Johnny Depp, Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, and many others.

Fez

The Fez has a long and complicated history. Very few other hat styles have as much controversy surrounding them as the Fez does. The fez is a cylindrical, close fitting cap usually in a vibrant red color. They are sometimes adorned with a tassel attached to the top of the cap and often lined with a satin fabric. It is commonly believed that the Fez originated in ancient Greece or the Balkans however the exact origin of the style remains unknown. In 1826 Sultan Mahmud II of the Ottoman Empire began his reforms of the military by changing their uniforms and adopting a western style of dress. The fez was worn with a cloth wrapped around it and the turban was banned entirely. Because of this change the Fez became a symbol of the modern times in the Ottoman Empire. The name is thought to have come from the city of Fez which was known to produce the dye used in the iconic red fezzes. After WWI the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist and the Fez was banned by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the president of Turkey in 1925. This was once again done to try to modernize Turkey and try to adopt more western culture. The Fez had become a highly politicized piece of headwear, some associating it with Royalism, some seeing it as the sign of their oppressors. Today, while the Fez is seen as taboo by some, it is still worn by many including a number of fraternal organizations such as the Shriners.

Greek Fisherman's Cap/Fiddler Cap

The Greek Fisherman's Cap originated as a workwear hat for fisherman and factory workers in the early 19th century. It quickly evolved into one of the most popular hat styles, being worn by workers, politicians, and even movie stars. It is also sometimes referred to as a Fiddler Cap after being worn by Chaim Topol in the film adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof. It was also seen worn by Marlin Brando in The Wild One making it a popular style among the greaser and rocker subcultures.

Gaucho Hat

The Gauchos were known as skilled migratory horsemen. They are a national symbol in Argentina and Uruguay, known for being brave and unruly. The gauchos traditionally wore a felted hat with a round crown and flat brim. Over the years the styles have changed and evolved slightly. The modern day gaucho hat is typically a black felt hat with a wide flat brim and a flat top crown. The hat is also referred to as the Bolero and has had a resurgence of popularity after Beyonce wore them in her world tour along with all of her backup dancers. The Gaucho hat is also similar in shape to the Amish style hats.


Glengarry

A traditional Scottish hat, the Glengarry is a tight-fitting fabric hat made from a thick wool material. The side of the cap is decorated with a rosette cockade and the top of the hat typically has a small pom-pom as decoration. Long ribbons hang off the back of the hat to finish the look. The origins of this cap are slightly unclear however most believe it to have originated from the Glengarry Fencibles, a local militia who were known to wear Glengarry style caps. The caps eventually made their way into the mainstream uniform of the Scottish military by 1850s by which point they were the standard dress. This style of cap is worn by the Royal Regiment of Scotland and is worn both as a part of Scottish military dress as well as civilian Highland dress. It can be worn both formally and informally and is sometimes worn as an alternative to the tam o' shanter.

Helmet

The helmet is one of the oldest styles of head covering. Originating as a part of military uniform, the helmet has been worn for thousands of years as a method of protecting one's head. The name originates from the word helm, a medieval word for protective combat headgear. Some of the earliest examples can be seen as far back as 900BC, worn by Assyrian soldiers. They wore leather and bronze head coverings to help protect themselves in battle. This custom of wearing helmets into battle has continued until modern day, with most military uniforms still including a protective helmet. Today these helmets are made from lightweight plastics and high tech materials however the use is the same as it's been since the Assyrians first used them. Today helmets are also seen used as head protection for numerous other dangerous activities. They are worn by bikers, rock climbers, miners, horse jockeys, baseball players, hockey players, as well as numerous other types of sporting activities. These helmets range in materials and as technology improves so do the helmets. But their core purpose remains the same, protecting the head from injury. Some helmets cover the top of the head like a bike helmet while others cover the entire head, offering more protection like a medieval helmet or baseball helmet.

Homburg/Godfather Hat

The homburg is a felt hat with a centerdent creased crown and a stiff brim with upturned edge. The hat is traditionally trimmed with a grosgrain hat band. The hat was made popular by Edward VII after he brought one back from Bad Homburg, a district of Hesse in Germany. This is also where the hat's name originated from. After bringing this hat back with him, many copied the style leading to a massive surge in popularity of this style. During the 1930s, Anthony Eden (who would later become prime minister) became known for wearing a Homburg style hat. This gave rise to the nickname "the Eden" hat or sometimes simply the "Anthony Eden". The hat had another spike in popularity when in 1953 Winston Churchill wore this style at his inauguration as prime minister. This broke the tradition of the prime minister wearing a top hat for the inauguration and dramatically increased the popularity of the homburg style hat. The other most notable wearer of this hat was Al Pacino in The Godfather movie which is where this hat gets its other nickname of the Godfather Hat.

Irish Walking Hat

The Irish Walking Hat is a style of bucket hat made from wool. The hats were originally worn by Irish farmers and fishermen for rain protection. The unwashed wool that these hats were made from was naturally waterproof due to the lanolin found in the wool. They were foldable and durable styles. The crown has a stitched construction and a down-shaped brim which helped protect against the elements. Most notably this style of hat was worn by Sean Connery as Indiana Jones Sr. in the Indiana Jones movies.

Ivy Cap

Because of its popularity, the Ivy cap goes by many different names. Some call it the English driving cap, others call it the flat cap. However, the term flat cap, while often used to describe an ivy cap, is also used by some while referring to newsboy and pub caps. The ivy cap is constructed with a single top panel of fabric and a tailored side seam. The front of the cap features a short peak. The caps are made from a variety of materials ranging from cotton and wool to thicker materials like leather or suede. Depending on the styling and materials these versatile caps can either be worn casually or formally. For more information about the history of caps see the Caps section of the glossary.

Jockey Cap

The Jockey's Cap or Equestrian Helmet is a protective helmet used by those riding horses. They are made from a structured, protective helmet underneath with a front peak and are covered with a paneled cloth covering. These close fitting caps are designed to protect the wearer should they fall off of their horse. Most competitive riding events require the riders to wear certified helmets that have been designed and tested to ensure they will protect the wearer. Helmets are also worn outside of competitive events and many states require riders under a certain age to wear a helmet while riding.

Longshoreman Cap

The Longshoreman's cap is similar in shape to the Ivy style cap but instead has a slightly wider front peak. The front of the cap is also sewn further back on the peak rather than on an ivy cap where the front is usually sewn close to the edge of the peak.
Mortarboard

Flat, square head-cover worn by professors and students for solemn academic occasions.

Newsboy

The newsboy cap gets its name from its wide popularity among newsboys or "newsies". While it is thought of as a boy's cap, this style was worn by men of all ages during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were extremely popular among the working class however they were not strictly limited to them and could in fact be seen worn by people of all walks of life. The upper class typically wore them for leisure activities such as golf and driving, while the working class adopted the hats for everyday wear. It is traditionally a 6 or 8 paneled cap with a front peak. The front peak occasionally has a snap front. The shape varies from slim fitting to the wide, exaggerated shape sometimes referred to as the applejack style cap. This style has many different names including the Gatsby cap, poor boy cap, paperboy cap, and many others depending on region. Newsboy caps are most often made from wool and leather for the cold weather and lighter materials such as linen and cotton for the summer weather.


Picture Hat

The picture hat is a large, dramatic hat also known as the Gainsborough hat, the Gainsborough Chapeau, or the Garden Hat. The name of the hat comes from the portraits of society women painted by Thomas Gainsborough throughout the 18th century. These hats range dramatically in style, often changing from decade to decade. The major defining factor for a picture hat is the dramatic size. One of the most famous examples of this hat is the large black and white hat worn by Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in the movie My Fair Lady. This style is also heavily favored by Queen Elizabeth II and much of the royal family. These hats also have secured their place as the style of the Henley Royal Regatta as well as many horse races, including the Kentucky Derby and the Royal Ascot.

Pillbox

The pillbox is a small, round hat with a flat crown and straight sides. It gets its name from the vintage pillboxes which used to be made in the same rounded shape. This style of hat was originally created by milliners in the 1930s and reached its peak popularity in the 1960s when it was worn by style icon and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. They are made from a variety of materials including, wool, velvet, and fur and were often made in solid colors. The Pillbox also is sometimes made with a veil for special occasions.

Pith Helmet

The pith helmet is named for the material commonly used in constructing the hat; Pith. Pith is a spongy material found in the center of many types of plant stems. The pith is extracted from the plants and then dried to use in construction of the pith helmets. The pith is used as the base layer and forms the hard, protective interior of the helmet. Over time many other materials were used in the construction of pith helmets including cork, straw, and other similar materials. The hat was constructed from a stiff interior which formed the base of the hat and was then covered in a fabric, typically cotton, to finish the look of the hat. These hats were used as travel hats by many European countries as well as military attire beginning in the late 1800s. This hat became associated with the British Empire due to it's wide use, however the hat was worn by many European countries and the United States at it's peak popularity.

Pub Cap

The pub cap is a popular style of flat cap, also known as the Duckbill cap. This style of cap has a rounded back which slopes down to the front peak. The crown is typically six-paneled, giving the hat a close-fitting, tailored look. This hat is a popular fashion item and is made from a variety of fabrics for the different seasons. This slightly newer style of cap has increased in popularity during the last decade and has become a very popular style among the younger generations.
Pork Pie

The Pork Pie style hat has been a popular style since the mid-19th century, reaching it's peak popularity between the 1920s-1940s. The hat bears a similar resemblance to an actual Pork Pie, a popular British food. Many beilve that this may be where the hat's name originates from. The first Pork Pie style hats were worn by women and trimmed with ribbons and feathers. In the 20th century the hat transitioned to being more of a men's style hat with the style changing slightly. The Pork Pie is known for it's short brim and a creased, rounded crown. In the 1920s silent film actor Buster Keaton wore many Pork Pie style hats made from both straw and felt. In the recent decades they have become a popular accessory among many jazz musicians, hipsters, and Bryan Cranston as Walter White on the TV show Breaking Bad.

Puritan

The puritan hat, also known as the Capotain or Flat-top hat, was a popular style of hat worn from the 1590s through the mid 1600s. This style of hat was commonly worn by both men and women in England and parts of Europe. While the stereotypical Puritan hat is often depicted with a large buckle on the front, this would not have been accurate as these hats were not adorned with buckles. The hat would have been made from a high-quality beaver felt, often taking two full beavers to make just one hat.

Skull-cap

The Skull-cap is a close-fitting cap, typically knit or made from a fabric with a paneled crown. There are many variations on the skull-cap worn in many cultures for a number of different occasions. Some are worn in religious contexts such as the Zucchetto worn by clerics in Catholic churches or the Kippah, worn by Orthodox Jews. The skull-cap is also worn by many as a casual style hat. It is an incredibly popular fashion item as well as being a practical style for the colder weather.

Smoking Cap

The Smoking Cap, also known as the lounge cap, was a popular hat during 19th century England. They were designed to be worn by men when they were smoking to prevent their hair from smelling like smoke afterwards. They were usually worn inside and paired with the traditional smoking jackets. The smoking cap is a rounded cap made from a soft fabric. The shape is similar in style to the classic Fez but it sits lower on the head. Occasionally they feature a tassel attached to the crown.

Slouch Cap

The Slouch Cap, not to be confused with the military Slouch Hat, is a soft, unstructured cap with a high crown and flexible brim. This style is also referred to as the Garbo hat after the style often worn by actress Greta Garbo in many of her films. It has remained a popular casual style of cap, most often seen in a knit style

Sombrero

Present in both South American and Mexican history but seen worldwide since the 13th century, the sombrero (also known as the poblano) is a traditional wide brimmed hat with a curved up edge, conical crown and is often fitted with a chinstrap to keep it in place. Worn primarily to keep off the harsh sun while working, these hats also protect ranchers and farmers from rain and wind, and the hats can be made from straw or lightweight felt depending on the region. In the Western US, sombreros tend to be highly decorated with embroidery and beading, worn more for traditional celebrations or by mariachi musicians than for workwear. Sombrero used to be a term that only referred to the specific wide brimmed style that is best known but today can refer to any hat with a brim or peak.

Stetson Hat

Stetson is a brand name of fine quality dress and western hats. Often times Stetson Hat is used interchangeably with Western Hat. Stetson is one of the best known Western hat makers in the world leading to many people referring to Western style hats as Stetsons. For more information about the Stetson brand or to see some of our Stetson hats check out our Stetson Category.

Tam-o' Shanter

Originally created from naturally dyed indigo blue fabric in a single hand-knit piece and felted (like a traditional beret), the Scottish tam o' shanter took on a different look when the five bonnet makers of Scotland in the 1500's began making their own variations on the classic look and came up with the flat paneled cap topped with a woolen pom at the center; decorated in clan plaids and named after a famous Scottish poem, the tam o' shanter became the most common daily hat of the working class. In the 19th century military adopted the look and in WWI the tam o' shanter was made from khaki serge cloth to match the Scottish uniforms. Forms of the tam o' shanter or ToS for military use have remained staples of the uniforms for Scotland, Canada, and Australia. Bagpipe bands worldwide also adopt the tam o' shanter in traditional plaids as a respectful nod to the music's origins in Scotland, Academic tams- made from velvet and topped with a properly colored tassle- are also still in use during univeristy events to distinguish doctoral degrees or other high level degrees.


Top Hat

While it may be one of the most popular hat styles, the exact origins of the top hat are slightly disputed. Some believe that it evolved from the flat-topped Puritan (or Capotian) Hat however others believe that it has it's own separate origins. There is a wide variety of the different types of top hats, ranging in shape, construction, and material. The Stovepipe Hat was a tall-crown top hat from the 19th century made popular by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. Another popular style of top hat was the Satin-Collapsible Top Hat. This style was made from a black satin fabric over a structure inside which allowed the hat to collapse completely flat. These hats were worn for formal events, often with a full tuxedo and became popular accessories for opera-goes. They were originally made to be a solid structure however as people went to the opera with them they found a need for more portable ones. The collapsible hat was created so that it could fold flat and slip under the wearer's seat at the opera. Another popular style of top hat is a beaver fur top hat. These hats were constructed from a stiff base of Buckram and then covered with the soft beaver fur for a beautiful finished look. Today top hats are made from a wide variety of materials including wool felt and fur felt. The top hats are luxurious and stylish and have been worn on a number of famous people, both real and fictional, for the past centuries. Some notable wearers include Fred Astaire, Uncle Sam, magicians, Marlene Dietrich, the Monopoly guy, Slash, Willy Wonka, and hundreds of other notable people.

Toque

1. Small hat for women with no brim, or small turned-up brim.
2. French term for a chef's hat.

Trilby

Many people think of a trilby as being its own style of hat however it is in fact a type of fedora. The trilby features a very short brim and the front is usually shaped down rather than many other fedora styles which come with a snap brim. The Trilby also sometimes features a shorter crown, giving the hat a smaller overall shape. The trilby style used to be known as the rich man's hat however now it is a popular choice in everyday fashions, especially by the hipster culture.

Tricorne

The tricorne hat design can likely be traced back to the 16th century in Spain when the wide brimmed round hats worn by the Spanish soldiers were pinned up at the sides to allow men at arms to hold their muskets without bumping them into their hats. The style was then adopted by the French, where King Louis XIV made the style popular with both the military and civilians. It remained a popular daily European style through the 18th century. In the United States, the hat was also used as a daily style by some, but was better known as a military style used in the American Revolution and by militiamen. President James Monroe was the last President to commonly wear the tricorne. In the 18th century the style evolved into a less complicated bicorne style before completely falling out of fashion. Today, it is part of the ceremonial dress of many groups including historical recreationists, royal guards, and formal military dress. It is a key feature fo academic dress in Portugal, part of the formal uniform of the Canadian Parliament, and a popular accessory for US celebrations. Most often made of thick stiff felt and trimmed in ribbon or cording, the hat can be worn with or without a ribbon band and feather depending on the usage.

Turban

The turban has a long and storied history but most agree it originated in the Middle East sometime in or before 570-632 AD. Most commonly worn by Muslim males of the era, it grew in popularity and became a prominent style among Moors and North Africans, then was adopted by Greek travelers who made it a popular form of headwear that was used well into the 20th century. Modern turbans are worn today in many cultures worldwide and is the primary headwear of the Muslim and Sikh faiths. Small stretchy pull-on turbans or silk head wraps are popular among women while larger styles are mostly seen as specific to a culture or religion and are still primarily for men only. Traditionally a turban is made from long lengths of lightweight cloth but can be smaller and tighter to the head or larger and more complex depending on the regional fashion and purpose of use. Colors can also vary in both meaning and importance. The color and style of turban should be researched before attempting to wear one, as many religions and cultures place importance on the use of the turban.

Veil

A veil is a piece of cloth used to cover the head and sometimes face. Often transparent, the veil has been a part of dress for thousands of years. Veils can be seen in almost every culture in some form or another dating back to ancient Mesopotamia and Greece where they would be worn as a status symbol. A type of veil called the flammeum was worn as a part of Roman wedding outfits and this tradition of wearing a veil for a wedding is one that has continued to today. Some hats are constructed with veils attached sometimes as a tulle or netting however the traditional veil is a separate piece on its own. Veils are also most notably seen as a part of religious custom. They can be seen in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and a number of others.

Visor

In the broad sense of the term, a visor is a surface that protects the eyes. The most common version of this is the headband style visor with a peak in the front of the cap for sun protection. However there are many other types of visors which help protect against different things. The peak of a cap is also referred to as the visor. Visors are often worn for outdoors sporting activities where the eyes require protection however they are also worn in professions where the eyes are under a lot of strain. A green plastic visor was worn by accountants, copy editors, and other similar professions to offer protection from early incandescent lights. This helped lessen the strain on the eyes and make it easier to work.

Western Hat/Cowboy Hat

The western hat is the symbol of the North American cowboy and takes a heavy influence from Mexican culture. The modern day western style hat began to take shape as early as the 1800s with John B. Stetson creating his Iconic "Boss of the Plains" style hat in 1865. Western hats grew in popularity over the following decades, becoming a popular style for ranchers, rodeo participants, and many western singers. These hats have become one of the icons of the "old west" and for over a century have withstood the test of time.

Yarmulke

Also called a kippah or kippa, the yarmulke is a small brimless cap usually made of smooth cloth worn by Jewish males. The term "kippah" literally translates to "dome" and the term "yarmulka" in Yiddish translates roughly to "in awe of the king"; the caps are worn to acknowledge and be humbled in the constant presence of the divine above. The color and fabric of the kippah can sometimes signify different religious movements- crochet, suede, velvet, satin, and even ornately decorated kippah exist for different uses and levels of conservatism. It is seen as a sign of respect for non-Jews to wear a kippah whenever they are inside a synagogue or participating in a Jewish ceremony. Most synagogues and other Jewish religious gatherings will have kippah available for wear.

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