The many different types of Hats
worn over the Centuries

How many different types of hats are there?

Over the years that I have been working in Millinery, I have researched way back to when cavemen used pelts to keep their heads warm. I have learned that since then, over the Centuries, man has adopted many different types of hats and styles that depict the fashion of the time. It is impossible to list them all, but I will endeavour to inform you of all that I am familiar with. I am sure that there are styles that weren't even recorded in our history, but those that have, are of great interest to me, and I hope that they are to you also.

There are many different types of hats. They can be practical, part of a uniform, frivolous, pretty, elaborate, over the top, outrageous, and often some of these features are put together to create one hat. The many varied styles of hats can be worn for a number of reasons. Some being just for fun, some to shade from the sun, some to be protected from the cold, some as an essential accessory to a uniform, but the modern haute couture millinery is mostly worn to compliment an outfit, usually worn for special occasions such as Weddings, Ladies Lunches or Thoroughbred Horse Racing Carnivals.

I love them all! To list every type of hat, I would have a huge list, and as I don't profess to know them all, I will list those that I do know, and as you read on you will see how many types of hats there really are. Mind you, I am still discovering more as my research continues.

Practical Hat are those which are serving a purpose. - not that any hat is not serving a purpose - but I would classify them as worn for a useful reason and not just to look good.

Some Practical Hats could include those worn as part of a uniform, this could be a school uniform, Marching band or sporting club uniform, a work uniform, such as those worn in food preparation, namely, a chefs hat, McDonald's staff and so on. Airline Pilots, military, police, naval, air force, are issued with a uniform Hat. This, of course, is questionable as to the practicality of these types of hats, but it does indicate a position of authority. The defense services usually have a number of hats, which include the Dress Hat, as well as those worn in combat, often a beret type and a helmet type. These hats can also distinguish between rank and status within the particular service. A Sergeant in the Army would wear a different type of hat to the Private or the General.

School hats are usually brimmed for summer and a type of beret for winter. In Australia school children are not permitted to play in the playgrounds without a hat during our hot summers.

Sporting Groups choose hats that are appropriate for the particular sport. Cricketers wear a helmet while batting, a peaked cap or a bucket hat while fielding, and for their dress uniform the Australian team wears the "baggy Green" which is a Green woolen baggy peaked cap with the Australian Coat of Arms in the front and is a very prized part of the Australian Cricketer's uniform.

The food preparation industry includes their hats as uniform, applicable to occupational, health and safety issues, mainly so that the hair is covered and not able to drop into what ever they are preparing. Industrial factories and Construction workers all wear hard hats to eliminate injury in the workforce.

As with School hats, the outdoor worker is often issued with head covering to avoid the ailment of the weather.

The term "Hat maker" would more likely be used for this type of hat, and the term "Millinery" is more used for ladies Haute Couture hats and while these types of hats don't strictly fit in the category of Millinery, many of the styles are replicated to become a fashionable millinery style.

Millinery techniques - types of hats

Other practical types of hats, that are worn to protect from the weather, range from the knitted beanie to the elegant felt cloche or tam-O-shanter, and while they are in the class of a stylish hat, they are still serving its purpose. Even the common garden hat, which is usually a very practical and cheap straw or fabric hat, can look somewhat elegant with the addition of any decoration or ribbon.

Personally, I think every hat has some practicality. It may not be in a really practical way, but how do you define the word 'practical'. My view is that if it looks good, it's 'practical', because it is doing the job intended. As I said, I love hats, and I would dearly love to see the fashion of the past where no woman left home without some type of headdress. A pipe dream, I know, but wouldn't it be nice? And good for the Millinery industry as well!

In millinery terms, the less practical types of hats, which would predominantly be ladies hats, include those which are worn as a compliment to an outfit. It maybe a small headdress which teams with a sexy evening gown, a sophisticated formal dress, or bridal fashion for either a bride or her attendants. There are many different types of hats, rather than headpieces, which fall into this category as well, and they could be any shape or size, so I guess the occasion for which they are worn would determine their practicality. The Mother of the Bride or Groom, and any wedding guest's hat could be in the classification of non-practical, but usually look great when teamed with the right outfit.

The tuition that I am offering in the following pages are mainly women's hats, however, no matter what type of hat we refer to, the concept is very similar. It can be a crown with a brim, a brimless hat, a beret, or a peaked cap, the instruction for making any of these types of hats are the same whether it be made for the male or female head. Obviously, the decoration will differ, the head sizing will be larger, but in general the man's hat is made in the same manner as that of a woman's.

Listed are the many different types of hats, spanning over centuries, and each have different means of technique to produce. Given time, you will find links to "how to make" some of the styles which are worn currently, however, you will also find that some hats are named by several different names, so you are assured that repetition will occur.

To find an alphabetical list of different types of hats worn throughout the centuries dating back to Ancient Egypt, Greek and Roman times, please click to the following page

Back to Types of Hats - Alphabetical list A - D