Hats are head coverings that can be worn casually, for protection from the weather, or for special occasions, such as religious ceremonies and high-profile events. They can be made from different materials; you can have plastic, cotton, wool, or felt hats. And both men and women wear hats, though men’s hats were more commonly required during the first half of the twentieth century.\n\nMuch like a crown proclaims royal birth, hats can indicate social status. Headwear can also be an indicator of one’s job, with many police and military officers, postal service workers, and religious figures wearing a hat as part of their uniforms.\nIt’s unclear when and where hats originated, but some of the earliest depictions trace back to Ancient Egypt. \n\n- __Ancient Egypt__: Some of the most common and earliest depictions of hats were from Thebes, Egypt, in 3200 BCE. As many upper-class Egyptians maintained shaved heads, headdresses were worn to keep them cool. \n- __Roman Empire__: Hats—such as the skull-like cap, pileus—were worn in Rome. The Phrygian cap, worn by formerly enslaved Greeks and Romans, became a symbol of freedom during the American Revolution and the French Revolution. \n- __The Middle Ages__: Hats became a marker of status and were used to target certain groups. The Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215 required Jewish people to identify themselves with specific hats and other garments.\n- __Rise of milliners__: The term “milliner” was first used in the sixteenth century. The word became more common by the eighteenth century as the best hats were made in Milan, Italy. \n- __Women’s fashion__: Prior to the nineteenth century, women largely wore handkerchiefs or loose bonnets. In the first half of the 1800s, these bonnets became larger and more ornate with various trimmings. By the end of the century, more styles were created for women. \n- __Modern use of hats__: Hats were a common and expected facet of men’s fashion through the 1960s. Today, most hats are worn casually as a fashion accessory. However, there are a few high-profile social events where hats continue to be worn, such as horse racing. Royal Ascot in Britain and the Kentucky Derby in the US require attendees to wear hats.\n\nTo understand the countless hat styles and their differences, you first need to know the various parts of a hat: \n\n1. __Brim__: This is the horizontal piece of the hat that wraps around the crown.\n2. __Button__: Similar to the bits found in shirts and pants, hat buttons typically sit on the top of the crown to connect the various panels. \n3. __Crown__: The top part of a hat that wraps around the ball of the wearer’s head. \n4. __Eyelets__: These are small holes in hats that create ventilation. \n5. __Inner lining__: The material on the inside of the hat. In structured hats, like ascots and top hats, this piece is called the buckram.\n6. __Sweatband__: Used inside the hat to collect sweat. This is most common in hats worn for fitness or sports, though some summer hats may also have a sweatband.\n7. __Underbrim__: The underside of the brim or bill, which can be structured, as with snapbacks, or unstructured.\n8. __Visor or bill__: Instead of a brim, some hats use a bill that protrudes from the front. The visor can be flat or slightly curved to provide shade. \n\nThere are many different types of hats worn throughout history and the world. Here are 34 styles of hats, most of which are still worn today:\n\n1. __Apple cap__: A larger version of the newsboy cap, it has eight panels and has a button sewn on top. \n2. __Ascot cap__: A variation of flat caps with a stiff, round crown and made from wool or felt.\n3. __Baseball cap__: One of the most common hats, particularly in the United States. These casual and easy-to-wear hats have a short-to-medium bill, which can be curved or flat in front, and typically have six panels that connect under a button at the top. If the size is adjustable by two plastic pieces that snap together, then that baseball cap is called a snapback hat. If the panels are all mesh, except for the front two panels, and it has a snapback, then that is a trucker hat.\n4. __Beanie__: A knitted cap made of wool or cotton and usually worn as a winter hat. A similar variation is the long stocking cap, which has a longer crown that is meant to hang off the top or to the side, while the beanie remains fitted at the crown.\n5. __Beret__: A soft, round hat with a flat crown, typically made of wool, cotton, and acrylic fibers. \n6. __Boater hat__: These straw hats have a short crown and flat top, and are often worn by barbershop quartets. Boater hats are very similar to the hats worn by gondoliers in Venice (which have a thinner and wider brim and a ribbon hanging off the back). \n7. __Boonie hat__: A floppy, wide-brimmed hat made from cotton, twill, or canvas. They originated during the Vietnam War where they were worn by soldiers. \n8. __Bowler hat__: Also known as the derby hat, they have a hard felt with a rounded crown and short brim. \n9. __Bucket hat__: Made from heavy cotton, denim, or canvas, these hats have a wide, sloping brim and occasionally metal eyelets around the crown for ventilation. Bucket hats gained popularity among New York hip-hop artists in the 1980s.\n10. __Cowboy hat__: Associated with the American West, these hats are made of felt, leather, or straw and have very wide, turned-up brims. The most common crown shape is a pinched C or teardrop shape. A popular kind of cowboy hat is the stetson. \n11. __Cloche hat__: This hat has a bell shape, with a rounded top that flares at the bottom. They often include an embellishment around the crown. \n12. __Duckbill cap__: A hybrid between an ivy and ascot cap, it features a rounded top toward the back with an exaggerated slope toward the bill, looking similar to the bill of a duck.\n13. __Fascinator__: Largely associated with royal weddings in the UK, fascinators have a headband style or are clipped to the hair. They employ ornate decorations of all shapes and sizes.\n14. __Fedora__: Fedora hats come in a variety of sizes but are largely viewed as having a short-to-mid-sized brim with an upturn in the back. The front can be turned up or down, or both if it has a snap-brim. While these “retro” fedoras are traditionally men’s hats, women also wear this style. \n15. __Fez__: There’s disagreement about where the fez originated. One of the possibilities is that it came from Fès, Morocco. They are usually red and a tapered, cylinder shape with a tassel on top. \n16. __Fitted cap__: A kind of baseball cap and the style worn in Major League Baseball (MLB), fitted caps are measured in ⅛-inch increments for an exact fitted size.\n17. __Floppy hats__: Also known as sun hats, these hats feature an oversized diameter, creating shade for the wearer. They typically use paper braids, tweed, or other sturdier materials to hold the weight of the brim. \n18. __Gambler hat__: This hat features a wide brim (about 3 inches) with a tight, turned-up lip at the edge. The crown is typically flat with a large oval shape and may include a pinch at the center or around the edge of the crown. \n19. __Homburg hat__: An oval-shaped hat with a turned-up lip around the brim, curving up further at the sides. The crown has two pinches on either side, creating a center dent. \n20. __Ivy cap__: Also called a flat cap, this is a low-profile hat with a slightly rounded top that slopes down the bill where it is sewn in place. The name flat cap comes from its perfectly flat shape when placed on a table with the back folded underneath.\n21. __Kettle-brim hat__: Almost like a straw version of a bowler, these hats have a rounded crown and medium brim that has an inch upturn around the brim. Some styles feature a bow, ribbon, or chinstrap.\n22. __Lifeguard hat__: Traditionally made of straw, these hats have an exaggeratedly wide, flat brim for sun protection, and a center dent in the crown. \n23. __Newsboy cap__: Similar to the flat cap, these hats have six- or eight-quarter panels that form a rounder shape brim, connected by a button at the top of the semi-flat crown.\n24. __Outback hat__: A flat, wide brim hat with upturned sides. The crown shape varies but typically has a teardrop or C shape.\n25. __Panama hat__: This hat comes from Ecuador but is not defined by one style. What Panama caps have in common is toquilla straw. \n26. __Peruvian cap__: Similar to a beanie, a Peruvian cap, or chullo, has a less-fitted style. It includes a pair of ear flaps on either side that extend into a pair of tassels hanging off the bottom, and may also have a pom on the top.\n27. __Pillbox hat__: These cylindrical hats have a flat crown and upright sides. \n28. __Pith helmet__: Today, this style is associated today with US Postal Service workers. But pith helmets, also known as safari hats, are also tied to the Europeans who wore them in the nineteenth century as they traveled Africa, Southeast Asia, and other regions. Named for the sholapith material they were originally made from, pith helmets are a lightweight, cloth-covered hard hat with a round crown and a brim that slightly slopes downward.\n29. __Porkpie hat__: This hat appears flat in profile but has a slight pinch around the edge of the crown. They have a very short brim that has a slight upturn all around. It’s similar to the gambler, but the porkpie hat is round, and the gambler brim curves up on the sides. \n30. __Tam hat__: A loose-fitting style that hangs slightly off the back or side of the head with a more rounded crown. They can also be a crocheted weave, slightly feeling like a beanie, and very colorful.\n31. __Top hat__: An iconic shape worn more for costume or a formal situation. These hats have a large, tall crown with a flat top and a medium brim. \n32. __Trapper hat__: A winter season hat available in a variety of materials that originated in Russia with fur lining and ear flaps that can be tied up to the top of the crown or tied low around the chin to cover the ears. \n33. __Trilby hat__: Commonly mistaken for a fedora in shape and style, these hats have a very short brim. \n34. __Visor__: A style without a crown, but simply a band that wraps around the head with a bill attached to create shade. There are variations with and without brims of different widths. \nGet a [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com/) and let Tan France be your very own style spirit guide. *Queer Eye*’s fashion guru spills everything he knows about building a capsule collection, finding a signature look, understanding proportions, and more (including why it’s important to wear underwear to bed)—all in a soothing British accent, no less. \nHats are a versatile fashion piece used to cover heads in a variety of situations—from everyday wear to special occasions.