Hat facts for kids

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Many hats
Many hats
Manisharora6
Over-the-top hat...

A hat is a type of covering for the head, and there are many types of hats.

Hats are different in different parts of the world. Some hats are worn by women, other hats by men, others by both; infants and children may also wear hats, and some hats are not worn by anyone at all. These hats are just used for decoration. People who make hats for men are called hatters, and those who make hats for women are called milliners. The kinds of hats (or caps, which are like hats) worn by different groups within various societies in different countries are very numerous.

Some types of hats or caps are worn as a sign of highly specialised social roles. For example, bishops can wear mitres and some lawyers wear wigs. In some societies, hats are of great political significance, such as the white hat of English Radicals, the Cap of Liberty of the Jacobins of France; and the two political parties in Sweden, the Hats (noblemen) and Caps (common people).

Some examples of hats:

  • baseball cap, for baseball players and many others
  • beret, for fishermen or peasants in parts of western Europe
  • bowler hat, for men practising some traditionally middle class occupations
  • coonskin cap, for some hunters or trappers
  • fedora, a felt hat of a particular shape
  • fez, similar to a tarboush, found in many Islamic countries
  • helmet, either for those serving in the armed forces or for sportsman (e.g. motorcyclists)
  • mitre, for formal use by bishops
  • riding helmet, a helmet for horse riders

Styles

Mode. Hattar. Modeplansch från 1911 - Nordiska Museet - NMA.0033994
Women's picture hats from 1911.
Altes Museum-Tanagra-lady with fan
Ancient Greek statue of a lady with blue and gilt garment, a fan and a sun hat, from Tanagra, circa 325–300 BC.
Inquilinos
Hats as an indicator of social status: a foreman (with horse) wears a hat of greater height than the accompanying inquilino (19th-century Chile).
1822-Millinery-shop-Paris-Chalon
Paris millinery shop, 1822.
Ion Theodorescu-Sion - Iluzie optică, Furnica, 30 oct 1908
Hat fashions have sometimes been the subject of ridicule. This 1908 cartoon by Ion Theodorescu-Sion, which first appeared in a Romanian publication, satirised the popularity of mushroom hats
Douglas Fairbanks at third Liberty Loan rally HD-SN-99-02174
New York City, 1918: A large crowd of people, almost all wearing hats.
Heatfacroty 1
Family-owned hat factory in Montevarchi, Italy, date unknown.
A customer tries on a new hat in the millinery department of Bourne and Hollingsworth on London's Oxford Street in 1942. D6596
Millinery department of Bourne & Hollingsworth, in London's Oxford Street in 1942. Unlike most other clothing, hats were not strictly rationed in wartime Britain and there was an explosion of adventurous millinery styles.
John Paul II Medal of Freedom 2004
John Paul II wearing a zuchetto.

This is a short list of some common and iconic examples of hats.

Image Name Description
Ascot cap Ascot cap A hard men's cap, similar to the flat cap, but distinguished by its hardness and rounded shape.
Balmoral bonnet Balmoral bonnet Traditional Scottish bonnet or cap worn with Scottish Highland dress.
Baseball cap Baseball cap A type of soft, light cotton cap with a rounded crown and a stiff, frontward-projecting bill.
Adidas Beanie 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 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 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 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.
Bowler / Derby 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.
Chullo Chullo Peruvian or Bolivian hat with ear-flaps made from vicuña, alpaca, llama or sheep's wool.
Cloche hat Cloche hat A bell-shaped ladies' hat that was popular during the Roaring Twenties.
Cricket cap Cricket cap A type of soft cap traditionally worn by cricket players.
Sombrero cordobés 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 hat 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 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 Custodian helmet A helmet traditionally worn by British police constables while on foot patrol.
Deerstalker 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.
Hatt.jpg Fedora A soft felt hat with a medium brim and lengthwise crease in the crown.
Fes.jpg Fez Red felt hat in the shape of a truncated cone, common to Arab-speaking countries.
Chapeau berger Peul-Institut d'ethnologie de Strasbourg-2.jpg Fulani hat A conical plant fiber hat covered in leather both at the brim and top, worn by men of the Fulani people in West Africa.
Prince Sultan.jpg Keffiyah 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..
Schutzhelm.jpg 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.
IDF soldier kippah put on tefillin-small.jpg Kippah A hemispherical cap worn by Jews to fulfill the customary requirement held by halachic authorities that the head be covered at all times.
Umaru Yar'Adua VOA.jpg Kufi A brimless, short, rounded cap worn by Africans and people throughout the African diaspora.
Visita di Papa Benedetto XVI a Genova - 2008-05-18 - Primo piano di Benedetto XVI.jpg Mitre Distinctive hat worn by bishops in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion.
Enrique ponce.jpg Montera A crocheted hat worn by bullfighters.
PanamaHatHarryTruman.jpg Panama Straw hat made in Ecuador.
Bust Attis CdM.jpg 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.
Actress Doris Day wearing a pillbox hat in 1960 Pillbox hat A small hat with straight, upright sides, a flat crown, and no brim.
PithHelmetTruman.jpg 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.
Rasta Man Barbados.jpg Rastacap A tall, round, usually crocheted and brightly colored, cap worn by Rastafarians and others with dreadlocks to tuck their locks away.
Santa Hat.jpg Santa Hat A floppy pointed red hat trimmed in white fur traditionally associated with Christmas.
Harry S Truman sombrero.jpg Sombrero A Mexican hat with a conical crown and a very wide, saucer-shaped brim, highly embroidered made of plush felt.
Tophat.jpg 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.
Chef Hat.JPG Toque (informally, "chef's hat") A tall, pleated, brimless, cylindrical hat traditionally worn by chefs.
Peter the Great Reenactor.jpg 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.
Yellowhat.jpg 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.
Sikh wearing turban.jpg Turban A headdress consisting of a scarf-like single piece of cloth wound around either the head itself or an inner hat.
Grayushanka.jpg Ushanka A Russian fur hat with fold-down ear-flaps.
Cardinal zucchetto 2003 modified 2008-15-08.jpg Zucchetto Skullcap worn by clerics typically in Roman Catholicism.

Size

Hat sizes are determined by measuring the circumference of a person's head about 1 centimetre (12 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.

Related pages


Hat Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.