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Main Blog Post

March 14, 2021

Hat Styles & Descriptions

Apple Cap

The apple cap is simply a larger version of the newsboy cap as described further down the page. It is divided into 8 panels and finished with a sewn button on top.

Ascot Caps

The Ascot cap is a variation of the ivy and flat caps and is characterized by a more rounded crown profile that is often stiffer and made from wool or felt.

baseball cap

Baseball Cap

The baseball cap is an American tradition and is one of the most common hats seen on people’s heads around the world. Simple, casual, and easy to wear, they are great grab and go hats. They have a short to medium size bill that can be curved or flat in front that is normally attached to 6-quarter panels ending in a button at the top.

Beanie / Stocking Cap / Watch Cap

The beanie is a knitted close fitting cap typically made of wool or cotton created to provide warmth to your head in cold weather. Throughout the years many different variants have been created such as the long stocking cap. This style is the same as the beanie just with a longer crown meant to be too large and hang off the top or side more for style than warmth.



The Beret is a round, soft, flat crowned style with extra material around the edges for a slight “poof”. They are commonly made of wool, cotton, and acrylic fibers and are stereotypically associated with painters or artists. Many times they have what can be described as a short apple stem coming out of the top. They can be worn in many different ways, either flat across the top of the head, or hanging to one side or the other. They have roots as militaristic garb, and a Special Forces division even uses the term in their name, the “Green Berets”.


Big Brim / Floppy Hats

Big brim and/or floppy hats are exactly what the name implies. They have become more popular and fashionable recently and are great pool hats for women. These brims can get up to 10 inches but more often are between 4 and 6 inches. They come in a variety of colors and are typically made of paper-braids or tweed material because it is slightly stronger and can support the weight of the brim better. Most always the crown style is the simple unformed rounded shape.

boater hat

Boater / Skimmer Hat

The boater, or skimmer, hat is a style that many love and few actually wear. It is commonly associated with barbershop quartets, proper boating or sailing events, and men’s formal summer wear from the late 1800’s to mid 1900’s. It is made of straw with a small to medium sized brim, a shorter crown, and a flat top. It is typically embellished with a two-tone ribbon around the crown. The hats worn by the Gondoliers in the canals of Venice are very similar with the exception that they normally have a thinner and wider brim, and the ribbon extends off the back of the hat in two tails.

bowler hat

Bowler / Derby Hat

The bowler hat is an iconic style that is typically seen in movies set in the 1800’s and early 1900’s . Bowler hats cannot be mistaken. They are typically a hard felt hat with a short brim of around 2 inches and a rounded crown.

Bucket / Boonie Hats

While I have seen both spellings of the word in many different catalogs and Internet sites, the more common and proper seems to be the “boonie” variation. This style, originally made popular in the Vietnam War is comprised most often of cotton/twill/polyester/canvas and is a soft wide brimmed hat that can be rolled up and easily packed. It features a flat crown on top, a wide floppy brim, a chinstrap, and sometimes has sewn-in loops around the crown to stow small pieces of gear. The most common brim size for this hat is between 2.5 – 3.5 inches.

Cloche Hats

The cloche has become a very popular style in recent years and is being produced in every material. It is a close-fitting bell shaped style that is round at the top and often flares a little at the bottom. It is typically embellished around the crown.

Dad Hats

Dad hats are awesome vintage accessories that scream laid-back style. These relaxed baseball caps are usually canvas or cotton with a slightly curved brim. The dad hat also sports an adjustable strapback closure, making it one-size-fits-all. Dad hats make great additions to any sports-luxe ensemble and can be used to add a vintage twist to any casual look.

Duckbill Caps

The Duckbill cap is another more recent variation and is a hybrid style between an Ivy and an Ascot style cap. It typically features a more rounded top towards the back that ends at the front in a more exaggerated down sloping curve meeting the up sloped bill. This forms a shape that looks similar to the bill of a duck giving the style its name.

fascinator hat

Fascinator Hats

Following the royal wedding the fascinator made a huge comeback and suppliers couldn’t produce them quick enough. The fascinator is a headband style hat that can be as simple as a bow on top of a headband or as ornate and large as one wishes. They can also be described as “cocktail hats” but the main distinction is that they are either worn with a headband or clipped to the hair.

fedora hat

Fedora Hat

Stingy – Classic – The fedora is a broad term that encompasses a variety of crown styles and brim shapes. It’s classic good looks, the ability to suit a wide variety of people, and the many celebrities seen wearing it only add to the appeal. It is characterized by a short to mid sized brim with an upturn in the back. The front can be either turned up or down and styles that let you do both are called snap-brims. See also: Trilby

fitted hat


The term “fitted caps” refer to baseball caps that are usually measured in 1/8” increments for an exact fitted size. Typically worn by the MLB. There is alos Flex-Fitted that flex to larger sizes.

gambler hat

Gambler Hat

The Gambler style features a medium to wide brim of about 3 inches that typically has either a tight turned up lip around the edges or a slight turned up western flair at only the sides. It tends to have a flatter profile when looking at it from the side and is made in just about every material. The one distinct feature that defines the Gambler hat is the large oval shaped crown. Most are just rounded in the middle but a slight pinch at the center can also be found similar to that of an optimo style.

homburg hat

Homburg Hat

The homburg hat is an interesting style not seen too often these days. The overall shape of the hat is an oval, with a turned up lip around the brim of the style and generally curved up sides. The primary feature of the hat is the center-dent crown though. It has also been called the Godfather hat as it was seen on Al Pacino in the movie.

ivy cap

Ivy Caps / Flat Caps

The ivy cap and flat cap are a distinctive style that is growing in popularity among more fashion forward and trendy youth. The ivy cap is distinguished by a low profile with a slightly rounded top that extends to the front of the hat and is sewn to the bill. Sometimes the bill sticks out a little for a different look while other times the crown and bill are perfectly matched. They can be made from any material but most often are constructed from wool, cotton, or polyester. It has the name flat cap because when laid on a table with the back of the style folded underneath it, it becomes perfectly flat.

kettle brim hat

Kettle Brim or Up-brim

A Kettle-brim hat is a women’s style and though the name may not sound familiar, it is a hat most everyone has seen. They have a simple, yet classic look and can be made in any material. The style is distinguished by a symmetrical circular shape, a short to medium brim that has a half to one-inch upturn at the edges, and a rounded crown. Often they are accompanied by a bow, or a ribbon around the crown and can have chinstraps as well.

lifeguard hat

Lifeguard Hat

The lifeguard hat is a very popular style due to it’s very large brim and great sun coverage. They are almost always made of some type of straw, be it raffia, rush, palm fiber, or other. Most lifeguard hats feature a center-dent crown shape and a wide, flat, or down sloping brim. One important thing to consider is though they are known for sun coverage, most lifeguard styles do not feature UPF protective fabrics.

Mao, Private or Military Cap

The Mao cap or private cap is a military looking style and is essentially a minimalist, stubby baseball cap. Features of this style are a short brim of between 2 and 3 inches and a crown that is also short and around the same size with a flat top. These caps can be worn by both men and women and are a great alternative to the standard baseball cap.

newsboy cap

Newsboy Cap 

The newsboy cap is a style that is referred to as having 6 or 8-quarter panels that form into a larger, rounder version of the traditional ivy or flat cap. It is typically finished with a button atop it and sometimes it will have a snap on the brim. Currently very popular with both men and women.

Novelty Hats / Caps

Novelty hats are styles that are mock-ups of the original thing. Such as a fake policeman cap, or fireman, or the madhatter hat. These are for fun and costume.

outback hat

Outback / Aussie Hat

The outback hat is characterized by a wider brim, usually starting at about 2.5 inches, and a flatter, slightly less parabolic profile than the safari . Often there is a slight upturn on the sides giving a western or “outback” feel to it. Crown shape may vary but most often you will see a teardrop, also called “C” crown, shape.

panama hat

Panama Hats

The Panama hat is one of the more beautiful and timeless styles around. Technically Panama hats come from Ecuador, not Panama, but the widespread use of these hats during the construction of the Panama Canal granted them the name we all use today. Panama hats are not one style. Instead, they are characterized only by their material, Toquila Straw. A Panama hat can be made into any shape or style using it’s distinctive straw and depending on the fineness of the fibers used can be priced up to tens of thousands of dollars. All that said, when people talk about the Panama hat they tend to think of the wide-brimmed plantation or fedora style that is most common.


The Peruvian beanie or cap is a style easily recognizable by the two tassels hanging off the bottom of the ear flaps on either side. It shares characteristics with the beanie but has the two large and long ear flaps for extra warmth and a bit of style. They usually have a decorative weave and many times have a pom/ball on the top.

pith helmet

Pith Helmet

The Pith helmet is a classic design that is nowadays a symbol and commonly seen used by our United States Postal Service workers. Many variations of the style exist from the sterotypical version seen at the right to the cloth covered more ornate versions that have been used by explorers and militaries of days past. The term “Pith” comes from the material they were originally made from which is a tissue in the stems of vascular plants but they are also made of cork and in present day many other materials including even toyo or paper.

porkpie hat

Porkpie Hat aka Pork Pie

The porkpie is a stylish hat typically worn today by the more fashion-forward. It has recently seen a rise in popularity due to the show Breaking Bad since it is the trademark hat of the main character Walter White. It is primarily characterized by the crown shape, which is a flat-topped oval with an oval indention that defines the shape. This style can have a medium brim but most often has a very small brim, called a “stingy brim” and can be called by this name. The “Stingy brim” term more often now just refers to the brim size however and is used to describe other styles with a short brim as well.

Race Hat / Derby Hats

Race hats or derby hats are the big ornate styles that you see at the opening days of the horse races. They can also be called derby’s though it is a contextual term because it is more traditionally associated with bowler hats.

safari hat

Safari Hat

The safari style is often confused with the pith helmet that some post-office workers use. The safari style as called by manufacturers however, is defined by a gently downward sloping brim all around, a medium to high crown, and a center dent crown style.

Snapback Hats

The term “snapback” is used when the cap can be adjusted using two plastic pieces that snap together at the back in a variety of lengths.

steam punk hats

Steam Punk Hats

While not a traditional style with history, this category has become popular as of late with Burning Man and other festival attendees and is worth noting. Steampunk is a fictional genre based in earlier Victorian time periods, and the hats are generally characterized by older styles such as top hats and bowlers adorned with various brass ornaments like clock wheels and chains.


The tam hat has increased in style as of late and can be found in many varieties. The base for it however is a loose fitting, crocheted weave style beanie hat that is worn off the back of the head. Aside from some men with dreadlocks or longer hair, this is a style that is usually worn by women.

top hat

Top Hat

The top hat is another iconic style that today is more often used as novelty or in an extremely formal situation. The two main distinguishing features are a large crown that is sometimes convex, and a short to medium brim. Aside from these, there are many variations on the style.

Trilby Hat

The Trilby is similar to the fedora in shape and style with the exception that the brim is quite short or stingy. Trilby and fedora are commonly exchanged terms when talking about the styles so you will usually find what you are looking for when asking for either of these styles.

trucker cap

Trucker Cap

The trucker cap is like the baseball with the exception that it is all mesh except for the front two quarter-panels. It usually has a snapback (see term below) adjustment.

visor hat

Visor Hat

The visor is a great style that is coveted for it’s simplicity and packing ability. The only real criteria for a visor is that the top of the head is uncovered, essentially a hat without a crown. There are now full brims that look like donuts and 3/4 brims where there is a split in the back for a woman’s hair.

cowboy hat

Western or Cowboy

The cowboy hat is an American icon and can be immediately recognized as such anywhere around the world. They are typically made in felt, leather, or straw and have very wide brims. The more iconic shape shows the brim turned up at the sides but they are also sometimes flat. Along with brim size variation, they can have many different crown shapes as well including the pinch crown, “C” or teardrop, and center dent among others. In summation, the most telling factors of a cowboy hat usually tend to be a taller than usual crown and a wide brim up sloping brim.