Simply put, hats surround the head, they draw compliments and add to your confidence.

Hats - whether they complete your uniform, provide protection from the elements or spice up your wardrobe - they do one thing the best. They make other people's heads turn. They serve as statement pieces.

No wonder then that hat-making - millinery - has been a career choice of many. Professional hat-makers, called milliners, have been around for centuries. And, it is over those centuries that hats and caps - largely a fashion accessory - have been invented, revived, adopted and adapted in both trickle-up and trickle-down ways.

Now, we all own or have at least heard of baseball caps, beanies, fedoras and ushankas. But, have you heard of The Breton, The Bumper and The Toque?

If your answer is NO, read on for a comprehensive list of hat types, some of which originated as far back as the 19th century and others that we wear even in 2019. So, the next time you spot someone wearing that hat, you will know what that hat is called!


Basic Hat Types


1. Ascot

Brad Pitt beaming in a felt Ascot hat


Typically made from wool or felt to be worn in the fall or winter, Ascot caps are hard round caps similar to flat newsboy caps (see below).


2. Baseball Caps

A baseball cap
Popularized by baseball, the baseball cap is a symbol of America and Americanism
Image Credit: Purple Relic Rhinestone Baseball Cap


The most well-known of all caps is the baseball cap. It is a type of soft cap with a rounded crown and a stiff peak projecting in front. Made to serve a range of occasions, baseball caps give the wearer a sporty and youthful look.


3. Beanie

A pompom winter beanie
Beanies are often adorned by a ball on the crown called pompom
Image Credit: Purple Relic Winter Beanies


Popular with both women and men, a beanie is a cap made from wool or cloth often joined by a button at the crown and seamed together around the sides. The most popular variety is the pom pom beanie which is a winter beanie with a fur ball at the crown.


4. Beret

A soft grey color woolen beret
A beret made of wool
Image Credit: Purple Relic Winter Beret


A beret is a soft, round, flat-crowned hat, usually of woven, hand-knitted wool, crocheted cotton, wool felt, or acrylic fibre.


5. Bowler / Derby

celebrity Taylor Swift donning a black bowler hat
Celebrity Taylor Swift rocking the black bowler hat
Image Credit:


The bowler hat, also known as a billycock, bob hat, bombín (Spanish) or derby (USA), is a hard felt hat with a rounded crown, originally created by the London hat-makers Thomas and William Bowler in 1849.


6. Breton

celebrity Taylor Swift donning a black bowler hat
A Breton-style hat has a distinctive upturned brim
Image Credit: Smartfox at


Breton (or Bretonne) is a hat with a round crown and a deep brim that is turned upwards all the way round, exposing the face. Generally made of straw or felt, Breton hat is typically worn tilted to the back of the head.


7. Bucket / Fisherman

Rihanna totally rocking it in an animal print bucket hat / Breton cap


A bucket hat (variations of which include the fisherman's hat, fiddler cap, Irish country hat, session hat and Breton cap (not to be confused with Breton hat)) is a hat with a wide, downward-sloping brim. Typically, the hat is made from heavy-duty cotton fabric such as denim or canvas, or heavy wool such as tweed, sometimes with metal eyelets placed on the crown of the hat for ventilation.


8. Bumper Brim

Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton waving and holding hands at the 1993 presidential inauguration
The bumper brim worn by Hillary Clinton at the 1993 presidential inauguration was considered a faux pas by fashion critics
Image Credit: Wikipedia


A bumper hat has a prominent tubular brim which is either rolled, stiffened or padded. As with all accessories, how you pair the bumper brim hat is crucial to the complete look.


9. Calot / Juliet

Queen Mathilde of Belgium donning a calot


Brimless and visor-less, a calot (French for 'cap') or Juliet is a close-fitting cap that sits off the face and has a rounded crown that follows the contour of the wearer's head.


10. Cartwheel

Kate Middleton sporting a high crown cartwheel hat while Meghan Markle donning a beret


A cartwheel hat (also cart wheel hat), a type of halo hat, is a wide brimmed circular or saucer-shaped headgear usually with a low crown. Worn at an angle to show off the curve of the brim it is made from a variety of materials including straw and felt. 


11. Cloche

Katie Holmes on the set of "The Extra Man" with a plain cloche; Marissa Miller with a decoratively stylish cloche in the second photo


The cloche hat or simply cloche is a fitted, bell-shaped hat for women that was invented in 1908 by milliner Caroline Reboux. They were especially popular from about 1922 to 1933. Its name is derived from cloche, the French word for "bell".


12. Cocktail

A cocktail hat
Felt cocktail hat
Image Credit:


A cocktail hat is a small, extravagant, and typically brimless hat for a woman. It is usually a component of evening wear and is intended as an alternative to a large-brimmed hat. These hats are often decorated with beads, jewels or feathers, as well as a veil or netting. Cocktail hats were most popular between the 1930s and 1960s.


13. Cowboy

President Donald Trump wearing a cowboy hat - it cannot get more American than this!


The cowboy hat is a high-crowned, wide-brimmed hat best known as the defining piece of attire for the North American cowboy. Today it is worn by many people, and is particularly associated with ranch workers in the western and southern United States, western Canada and northern Mexico, with many country, regional Mexican and sertanejo music performers, and with participants in the North American rodeo circuit. It is recognized around the world as part of Old West apparel.


14. Deerstalker

Michael Jackson posing in a deerstalker


A deerstalker is a type of cap that is typically worn in rural areas, often for hunting, especially deer stalking. Because of the cap's popular association with Sherlock Holmes, it has become stereotypical headgear for a detective, especially in comical drawings or cartoons along with farcical plays and films.


15. Fascinator

Image 1: Angelina Jolie with a formal fascinator
Image 2: Headwear detail on a bridal fascinator
Image 3: Actress Anna Friel donning a fascinator made out of bird feathers


A fascinator is a formal headpiece for women, a style of millinery, originally of lightweight knitted fabric. Since the 1990s the term refers to a type of formal headwear worn as an alternative to the hat; it is usually a large decorative design attached to a band or clip, sometimes incorporating a base to resemble a hat, in which case it may be called a hatinator.


16. Fedora

Red felt fedora hat
Red felt fedora hat
Image Credit:


A fedora is a hat with a soft brim and indented crown. It is typically creased lengthwise down the crown and "pinched" near the front on both sides. Fedoras can also be creased with teardrop crowns, diamond crowns, center dents, and others, and the positioning of pinches can vary. The typical crown height is 4.5 inches (11 cm).


17. Homburg

Tim McGraw donning a typical Homburg


A homburg is a hat of stiff wool felt, characterized by a single dent running down the center of the crown (called a "gutter crown"), a wide silk grosgrain hatband ribbon, a flat brim shaped in a "pencil curl", and a ribbon-bound trim about the edge of the brim. It is typically found in dark colours, although variations occur. The original homburg conceived in the 19th century was of slightly more generous proportions than seen in 21st-century versions.


18. Newsboy / Gatsby

David Beckham in a flap cap


The newsboy cap or newsy cap is a casual-wear cap similar in style to the flat cap. It has the same overall shape and stiff peak in front as a flat cap, but the body of the cap is rounder, fuller, and paneled with a button on top, and often with a button attaching the front to the brim (as the flat cap sometimes has).


19. Panama

Panama Hat
Image Credit: Wikipedia


A Panama hat is a kind of fedora. It is a traditional brimmed straw hat of Ecuadorian origin that also goes by the names Ecuadorian hat and toquilla straw hat. Traditionally, Panama hats were made from the plaited leaves of the Carludovica palmata plant, known locally as the toquilla palm or jipijapa palm, although it is a palm-like plant rather than a true palm.


20. Pillbox

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in a brown pillbox hat


A pillbox hat is a small hat, usually worn by women, with a flat crown, straight, upright sides, and no brim. It is named after the small cylindrical or hexagonal cases that pills used to be sold in.


21. Sailor / Boater

sailor hat
Image Credit: Purple Relic Straw Sailor Hat


A sailor hat is a brimmed hat. It is sometimes likened to a boater hat with the difference that the sailor has a wider brim than the boater.


22. Toque


A toque is a turban (see below for characteristics of turban) fused with a pillbox that is typically rounded or peaked on one side. Toques use pleated or ruched fabric to create a voluminous turban but have the shape of a rounded pillbox.

toque beanie
Image Credit: Purple Relic Winter Toque


Toques come in many variations. A beanie in the picture above is a knitted toque. The tall, round, pleated, starched white hat worn by chefs is also an example of a toque.


23. Trapper / Bomber / Ushanka

ushanka hat
Image Credit: Purple Relic Bomber Hat with Pom


An ushanka also called an ushanka-hat is a Russian fur cap with ear flaps that can be tied up to the crown of the cap, or fastened at the chin to protect the ears, jaw, and lower chin from the cold. An alternative is to bend the flaps back and tie them behind the head, which is called "ski-style" — this offers less protection from the elements, but much better visibility, essential for high-speed skiing.


24. Turban

A draped turban is a headwear created by winding a length of fabric closely around the head.


Source: GIPHY


A turban hat, similar to the draped turban, is designed by draping fabric to create a hat closely moulded to the head and covers most or all of the hair.


25. Vagabond

A foldable vagabond hat with UV protection
Image Credit: Purple Relic Foldable Vagabond Hat with UV Protection


A vagabond hat is a variation of the fedora with a round crown and a softer floppy brim.


26. Visor

A convertible visor cap
Popularized by the sport of tennis, the visor cap now comes in a variety of styles, including this convertible version
Image Credit: Purple Relic Detachable Visor Hat with UV Protection


A sports visor — also called a sun visor or visor cap or tennis cap — is a type of crownless hat consisting simply of a visor or brim with a strap encircling the head. The top of the head is not covered and the visor protects only the face, including eyes, nose, and cheeks, from the sun.




So, the next time you spot a gatsby, you will know better than to call it an ascot!