There are so many different reasons as to why men wear hats now – from more practical reasons such as covering up a bad hair day and having to do some errands right out of bed, to more superficial reasons such as elevating your overall outfit by adding this much needed accessory to your ensemble. Here, we will be discussing everything you need to know about the different types of hats, the best way to pair these hats with your outfit, and the best occasions to wear a certain variant of the hat. But before we get into today’s different mens’ hat styles, lets discuss the hat’s origins and anatomy to get a better understanding of why we wear them today.
History of Hats
Hats have been worn by people as early as 27,000 to 30,000 years ago. The oldest artifact on record that proves that it was worn is the Venus of Willendorf, which shows a woman wearing some sort of headgear. Hats back then were only worn for practical reasons. People needed it to either keep themselves warm during the winter or to save themselves from the scorching sun while working or getting around.
It wasn’t until much later when status was used to define social status. Numerous civilizations would later be using hats for exactly this reason. The Egyptians were one of the first to use headdresses for their pharaohs and gods. Another more grim example would be back in the Middle Ages, where Jews were forced to wear Judenhats which pretty much had the same effect as branding people with the Star of David. In the 16th century, hats would start to be used as fashion statements by women. Much later on, hats would also be used as protective headgear for sports. There is so much more history behind the different hats we have seen throughout the ages, but we won’t bore you with all those details.
Anatomy of the Hat
No matter what hat you end up wearing for any style or occasion, the different styles and types all follow a similar anatomy. These are the different types and purposes of each of the different parts of the hat.
- The Crown. This is the main part of the hat. The crown us the upper part of the hat is set on the top of your head. Some hats are made of just this part and some may even have a crown shape.
- The Crown Shape. The fedora and some other types of hats have crown shapes that define or elevate their styles. the different shapes are diamond, center crease, teardrop, open, and telescope.
- The Brim/Bill. This is the outermost part of the hat. It starts at the base of the crown and usually comes in different shapes and sizes. A sun hat, for example, would be similar to the fedora in that it reaches all around the base of the crown, but is longer to make sure your face is more prectected from the sun. On the other hand, a baseball hat’s bill only protrudes from the front portion of the crown.
- The Band. This part of the hat does not really serve a practical purpose. It is purely decorational and is placed around the base of the crown, and on top of the brim.
- Decoration. This part is an accent that is added behind the band. A more familiar decorative item that is usually added on to a hat is a feather. Other decorations include beads, tassels, or even buckles.
- The Underbrim. The underbrim is exactly what you think it is based on its name. This is the bottom part of the brim or the bill. Some hats would add a certain texture or design here to show off a little more flavor. Fitted baseball hats also utilize this part to add some color or style to their overall design.
- The Sweatband. This part if found in the inner part of the base of the crown. This is placed here to make sure that the hat fits on to your head comfortably.
- The Inner Lining. This is where luxury can also sort of kick in for the hat. Aside from adding overall comfort to your head, it also adds a protective lining that separates the outer material of the hat from your head.
Aside from the different parts of the hat, there are also other factors that have a big role in its overall anatomy. The material being used for your hat can play a big role in comfort and style of your hat. These are some of the different materials used in hats.
- Cotton Hats. Among all of the materials being used out there, cotton has to be the most comfortable. It offers an easy fit and convenience in a lot of aspects. These are very easy to wash. The most common cotton hat being used now are baseball caps.
- Synthetic Hats. These hats are made from man-made synthetic material that is usually mixed with cotton. The material is very sturdy and is also easy to wash. However, it is far from the comfort that you get from cotton. The upside of synthetic hats are definitely its durability, cheaper price points, and more unique designs.
- Straw Hats. Straw is one of the most versatile materials that have been used by people for the longest time. There are numerous types of straw that will vary in size, durability, and color. Most variants of straw are usually woven into different things, in this case, hats. When purchasing a straw hat, pay attention to the overall quality of the straw and the weaves and finishes of the item to make sure you get a sturdy product.
- Felt Hats. There are two main types of felt hats – wool and fur. Wool felt hats are sturdy but a bit harder to clean as they are pretty sesnitive to harsh conditions. Fur felt hats are probably one of the more luxurious headpieces someone can own. It is usually made with fine fur felt that comes from either rabbits, beavers, or minks. When they make these, they go all out when it comes to luxury and quality.
Types of Hats for Men You Should Own
Now that you have a better idea of the diferent types of hats, where they come from, and how they are made, we think it would be a good idea to start discussing the best hats for men that you should own.
There really isn’t any clear definition as to what makes a dress hat today, but we’ll make it easier for you. Based on how it was used back in the day, dress hats would be used for more formal events or attires. Quality material is used for these hats. Some may be a bit harder to pull off, but others are surprisingly fun to pair your outfit with. Here are the best men’s dress hats.
This is probably the most familiar among the dress hats we will be discussing. If we’re being honest, it probably isn’t the most familiar because of how amazing it is. We’ve heard a lot about the stereotype of people who wear fedoras, but don’t let that stop you from making a style statement or wear a practical sun hat for men. If you’re wondering how to wear a fedora, we’ve got you covered. First off, make sure that you get your measurements to ensure you get a good fitting fedora. Though the fedora is a dress hat, you can definitely pull it off with a more casual look and acts as a great summer hat for men. This will look good with either two styles – smart casual or eccentric. Of course, not all people can pull the latter. We’ll leave the final say up to you.
This is often confused with the fedora. The trilby sets itself apart through its crown and its brim. Compared to the fedora, the trilby’s crown is taller and its brim is more narrow. This hat would go better with spring or autumn as the brim usually isnt able to cover harsh sunlight as well as other hats. It also serves more as an accessory to your outfit rather than a necessity.
The Panama Hat
This Ecuadorian accessory is a great partner to have on any of your beach or boat trips. The Panama hat is usually made with quality straw or plaited leaves. It is just one of the perfect sun hats for men. It is comfortable, breathable, and very stylish if worn correctly. Pair it with any stylish beach outfit you plan to wear.
This one has to be one of the harder hats to pair with, but it will definitely elevate your ensemble if used well. You might be able to style this piece with more eccentric fits, but if you want to play it safe, stick with formal. You can pair your bowler hat with any outfit that falls under formal. Just make sure to pair the bowler hat’s color with either your shoes or your suit.
The Ascot or Flat Cap
These two styles are pretty much the same when it comes to the style and shape. The only difference is that the Ascot has a harder felt material. This dress hat is one of the more versatile pieces in this list. It reaches the polar opposites of casual all the way until formal. With this piece though, you can be more adventurous when it comes to the color and you might want to stray away from matching the material or color with your shoes or overcoat. Go with a herringbone fabric or suede for a classier look.
The Pork Pie
This dress hat is one of our favorites. It might be for its style, but it might also be due to its name. Whenever you think of jazz or blues artists who wear hats, your’re probably thinking of the pork pie. The pork pie is characterized by its telescope shaped crown that resemlbes an English pork pie. Its brim is narrow compared to its cousins, and usually folds in. You can wear this hat all year round if you want to. You can opt to wear felt pork pies for colder months and straw ones for summer. Pair it with a semi-formal or smart-casual outfit like chinos, a dress shirt, and a blazer or jacket.
There are so many more dress hats that are out there but we honestly don't think you’ll be needing anything like a top hat for daily use. Have fun with pairing these pieces to class up your casual outfit or add a statement to your formal ensemble.
There are a lot of different things that you can consider as a casual hat, but the general rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t be able to wear that certain hat for a formal event, then it is most likely categorized as a casual hat. This is where we have taken fashion a step further from practicality and move more towards bringing its form and fashion to another level. Although we mentioned that there are some casual hats that you simply cannot wear with a formal outfit, there are actually some exceptions to that rule. Here just some of our favorite casual hats that you should consider for your wardrobe.
The Baseball Cap
If you’re a sports fan, then we’re sure you’ve already got one of these. If you aren’t, then you might consider getting some local pride and get a representation of your home city or team. You might also want to consider just taking a look at different baseball caps and pick a color or design that you like. This is one of the most comfortable hats that you can wear. It is available in different sizes with flexible options to ensure a snug fit. Unless you’re a pro athlete being drafted to a team, you might want to keep this away from anything that resembles a formail outfit. Ballcaps will go with almost anything else though. This will add color to any of your laid back outfits and you might even come off as stylish on those lazy days.
These are very similar to the baseball cap and only have a few characteristics that differentiate them from each other. The snapback has six panels compared to the ballcap’s five; it also has a flat bill compared to the ballcap’s curved bill. Lastly, the snapback is aptly named for its adjustable snap located at the back of the cap to make it fit for any size. This one is a hat that some receive when they are kids and continue to wear as they grow older. You can opt for a nice snug fit or get one that's a little bit oversized to suit your style. We recommend pairing this with any of your streetwear fits.
The Dad Hat
This one is yet another cousin of ballcaps and the snapback. A dad hat is stylish, retro and very laid-back. It is distinguishable by its adjustable strapback rig located oppositie the bill. This is a great hat to wear with any laid-back outfit that you have.
This is the most essential hat any man should own, especially if you live in an area with cold weather. You can wear this for almost the entire year. You might want to set it aside for summer though. As long as its cold out, you can pull the beanie off with absolutely any outfit. You might want to stick with more neutral colors such as black, white, gray, or navy blue. But if you want to be a bit more expressive with your outfit, go for something bright that won’t clash too much with your outfit. When purchasing a beanie, make sure to also pay attention to the material and stick with something that will serve your purpose. Make sure it doesn’t irritate your skin and make sure that your ears and head are warm enough when wearing it.
The Trapper Hat
The trapper hat is one of the most warm and comfortable hats that you could wear on a cold winter day. It offers a retro look that doesn't seem to go out of style. Its materials are usually made of either sheepskin or leather for its outerskin, and has real or faux for that serves as its inner lining to keep you warm. Imagine a warm furry blanket keeping your head warm while still looking good.
The Bucket Hat
Who knew that the 90’s would make a comeback in the weirdest way? Bucket hats were huge back in the 90’s and people still love them now. What started out as a hat that fishermen would wear, turned out to be a style staple that was big among skateboarders, rappers, and a lot of other pop groups. This makes for a great mens summer hat. It can be paired with almost any streetwear fits that you have. If you want to give it a shot, you can pair it with something as simple as a plain shirt, shorts, and sneakers, or you can try out something a bit louder by pairing it with your bomber jacket and your best pair of sneakers.
Final Tips on How to Wear Men’s Hats
Now that you have a short list of must-haves when it comes to men’s hats, here are a couple of last tips to always remember when you’re doubting yourself. Just like any other article of clothing, make sure you consider this golden rule. Take note of weather, wardrobe, and occasion.
Hats were initially made to protect ourselve from the elements and make us feel more comfortable. It is important to consider the weather when choosing what to wear.
- Winter. If its winter, you’re definitely going to need something keep yourself warm. Set aside those straw material hats and stick with your beanies for casual outfits and felt or leather hats for your formal outfits.
- Spring/Fall. These seasons are somewhat similar and you can actually wear any of your hats when you have that kind of weather. Even winter hats like beanies can even be worn out on cold nights.
- Summer. The last thing you want is for your hat to cause any more discomfort other than the heat you’re getting from the sun. Take out your baseball caps, buckat caps, and dress hats with light material. These all come out as great sun hats for men.
Take a couple of minutes to take a look at your wardrobe and maybe you can just decide for yourself on which hats will accent your outfit well. If you find yourself wearing a lot of formal or semi-formal outfits, then you might want to lean more towards dress hats. If you only really wear suits for some events and end up wearing a lot more casual or streetwear outfits, then you’re definitely going to want to spend a bit more on casual hats to accent your ensemble.
This one should prett much be a no-brainer for most people, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded every now and then. When you’re going out, think of the occasion or event you are going to. When it comes to your dress hats, you might be able to pull it off with casual outfits, but it doesn't quite work the other way around. If you are going to a formal event, you’re going to want to stray away from your casual hats.
There are so many more hats to consider but these are our definite favorites to make sure you are accessorised properly for any of your outfits. Before you know it, you will no longer be using caps for just practicality, but elevate your wardrobe and maybe even show off a little.