While there are not many official records of hats before 3,000 BC, they probably were commonplace before that. Archaeologists[which?] think that the Venus of Brassempouy from 26,000 years ago may depict a hat. One of the earliest known confirmed hats was worn by a bronze age man (nicknamed Ötzi) whose body (including his hat) was found frozen in a mountain between Austria and Italy, where he'd been since around 3,300 BC. He was found wearing bearskin cap with a chin strap, made of several hides stitched together, essentially resembling a Russian fur hat without the flaps.
One of the first pictorial depictions of a hat appears in a tomb painting fromThebes, Egypt, which shows a man wearing a conical straw hat, dated to around 3200 BC. Hats were commonly worn in ancient Egypt. Many upper class Egyptians shaved their head, then covered it in a headdress intended to help them keep cool. Ancient Mesopotamians often wore conical hats, or ones shaped somewhat like an inverted vase.
Other early hats include the Pileus, a simple skull like cap; the Phrygian cap, worn by freed slaves in Greece and Rome (which became iconic in America during the Revolutionary War and the French Revolution, as a symbol of the struggle for liberty against the Monarchy); and the Greek petasos, the first known hat with a brim. Women wore veils, kerchiefs, hoods, caps and wimples.
Like Otzi, Tollund Man was preserved to the present day with a hat on, probably having died around 400 BC in a Danish bog, which mummified him. He wore a pointed cap made of sheepskin and wool, fastened under the chin by a hide thong.
St. Clement, the patron saint of felt hatmakers, is said to have discovered wool felt when he filled his sandals with flax fibers to protect his feet, around 800 AD.
In the Middle Ages, hats were a marker of social s
tatus and used to single out certain groups. The 1215 Fourth Council of the Lateran required that all Jews identify themselves by wearing the Judenhat (“Jewish hat”), marking them as targets for anti-Semitism. The hats were usually yellow, and were either pointed or square.
In the Middle Ages, hats for women ranged from simple scarves to elaborate hennin, and denoted social status. Structured hats for women similar to those of male courtiers began to be worn in the late 16th century. The term ‘milliner’ comes from the Italian city of Milan, where the best quality hats were made in the 18th century. Millinery was traditionally a woman’s occupation, with the milliner not only creating hats and bonnets but also choosing lace, trimmings and accessories to complete an outfit.
In the first half of the 19th century, women wore bonnets that gradually became larger, decorated with ribbons, flowers, feathers, and gauze trims. By the end of the century, many other styles were introduced, among them hats with wide brims and flat crowns, the flower pot and the toque. By the middle of the 1920s, when women began to cut their hair short, they chose hats that hugged the head like a helmet.
The tradition of wearing hats to horse racing events began at the Royal Ascot in Britain, which maintains a strict dress code. All guests in the Royal Enclosure must wear hats. This tradition was adopted at other horse racing events, such as the Kentucky Derby in the United States.
Extravagant hats were popular in the 1980s, and in the early 21st century, flamboyant hats made a comeback, with a new wave of competitive young milliners designing creations that include turban caps, trompe-l'oeil-effect felt hats and tall headpieces made of human hair. Some new hat collections have been described as "wearable sculpture." Many pop stars, among them Lady Gaga, have commissioned hats as publicity stunts.
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|Ascot cap||A hard men's cap, similar to the flat cap, but distinguished by its hardness and rounded shape.|
|Balmoral bonnet||Traditional Scottish bonnet or cap worn with Scottish Highland dress.|
|Baseball cap||A type of soft, light cotton cap with a rounded crown and a stiff, frontward-projecting bill.|
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||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 inLondon, England. Sometimes mistakenly identified as a busby.|
|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||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 withNapoleon.|
|Bowler / Derby||A hard felt hat with a rounded crown created in 1850 by Lock's of St James's, thehatters to Thomas Coke, 2nd Earl of Leicester, for his servants. More commonly known as a Derby in the United States.|
|Chullo||Peruvian or Bolivian hat with ear-flaps made from vicuña, alpaca, llama or sheep's wool.|
|Cloche hat||A bell-shaped ladies' hat that was popular during the Roaring Twenties.|
|Cricket cap||A type of soft cap traditionally worn by cricket players.|
|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 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||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||A helmet traditionally worn by British police constables while on foot patrol.|
|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.|
|Fedora||A soft felt hat with a medium brim and lengthwise crease in the crown.|
|Fez||Red felt hat in the shape of a truncated cone, common to Arab-speaking countries.|
|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..|
|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.|
|Kippah||A hemispherical cap worn by Jews to fulfill the customary requirement held by halachic authorities that the head be covered at all times.|
|Kufi||A brimless, short, rounded cap worn by Africans and people throughout the African diaspora.|
|Mitre||Distinctive hat worn by bishops in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion.|
|Montera||A crocheted hat worn by bullfighters.|
|Panama||Straw hat made in Ecuador.|
|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.|
|Pillbox hat||A small hat with straight, upright sides, a flat crown, and no brim.|
|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.|
|Rastacap||A tall, round, usually crocheted and brightly colored, cap worn by Rastafariansand others with dreadlocks to tuck their locks away.|
|Santa Hat||A floppy pointed red hat trimmed in white fur traditionally associated withChristmas.|
|Sombrero||A Mexican hat with a conical crown and a very wide, saucer-shaped brim, highly embroidered made of plush felt.|
|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.|
|Toque||(informally, "chef's hat") A tall, pleated, brimless, cylindrical hat traditionally worn by chefs.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Turban||A headdress consisting of a scarf-like single piece of cloth wound around either the head itself or an inner hat.|
|Ushanka||A Russian fur hat with fold-down ear-flaps.|
|Zucchetto||Skullcap worn by clerics typically in Roman Catholicism.|
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