How To Wear A Bucket Hat - And Look Good Doing It!
The bucket hat is sort of the Marmite of the headwear world: some love it, some hate it, and the argument divides the nation. The bucket hat’s return to fashion is no mean feat, considering it wasn’t invented with looks in mind. Conceived in the early 1900s as a means of protecting fishermen from the rain, it went on to shield the necks of troops in the 40s. It wasn’t until the Mod movement of the 1960s that the bucket hat found itself at the forefront of fashion and, since then, it has been worn by everyone from hip-hop royalty to anyone looking for some additional street cred. Commonly associated with modern-day festival fashion, it’s pretty safe to say the bucket hat has gone through many evolutions.
It can be tough to work out how to wear a new item of clothing and make it look good at the best of times but, considering the polarising nature of bucket hats, it’s even harder in this case! Want to brave the bucket hat but not quite sure how to pull it off? Don’t fret: we’re here to help! Now that the 90s are cool again, check out our top tips for how to wear your bucket hat that won’t make you want to burn the photos afterwards.
What are bucket hats?
In the ever-turning cycle of fashion styles, the 1990s is the most recent era to face revival. While some styles from the 90s certainly don’t need to make a reappearance any time soon (we’re looking at you, double denim!), others are making a welcome return to our wardrobes. Bucket hats are one of these styles. Popularised by Mods in the 1960s and immortalised by hip-hop groups like Run DMC, these comfortable hats aren’t just for fishermen anymore.
A bucket hat consists of a crown and band usually made from panels of fabric. The brim of the hat angles down and, when turned upside down, it looks remarkably like its namesake. They’re usually made of soft materials and don’t have much, if any, structure to them - the perfect casual caps indeed. Whether you’re dusting off your old one from back in the day or you’re brand new to the trend, styling a bucket hat can be as easy as 1,2,3.
The do’s and don’ts of bucket hats
It can be really tricky to style a new item of clothing, particularly with fast fashion trends changing like the wind. Let’s be real, we’ve all come across old photos of ourselves and been left gobsmacked at our questionable fashion choices from yesteryears! When it comes to pulling off this hip piece of headwear, the aim of the game is to not look back in ten years and cringe. So, with that in mind, here are some essential do’s and don’ts to help keep your style game on point.
Do think about the colour and pattern of your hat. While there are ways to pull off some really cool patterned hats (like this Pink Floral Bucket Hat), you need to make sure you do it right to prevent a fashion faux pas. Clashing patterns can be really cool when paired with the right outfit but, if this is your first foray into the world of bucket hats, you might want to stick to colours and patterns you’re confident with. A plain, neutral colour (such as black) will go with almost everything in your wardrobe, or a simple repeating pattern such as green camo can become a statement in itself. And hey, if your hat sports your favourite brand logo? Even better. Pick up this Ellesse Black Bucket Hat to complete any outfit!
Don’t shy away from wearing your hat. Confidence matters and is your best friend when it comes to wearing something new. After all, it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it that truly counts. Put it on and rock the style - you look great.
Do consider the dress code. In order to not look like the class clown, make sure you rock the bucket hat in an appropriate environment. You might not want to wear it to a wedding or formal event, for example, but feel free to wear it as part of your everyday wardrobe, to the beach, or while relaxing with friends. In fact, this rule can be applied to all hats. Planning a romantic first date when lockdown is lifted? We’ve put together a list of five hats men should never wear on a first date to help you avoid any fashion disasters. Remember, you want to make an impression - but not for the wrong reasons!
Don’t listen to the naysayers! Some people might mock your bucket hat, but don’t let that dent your confidence. If you look great, feel great, and your hat brings you happiness, that’s all that truly matters!
Style inspiration 1: Oversized and comfy
When it comes to this baggy style, you’ve got to go big or go home! Style a pair of oversized jeans with a big t-shirt and top the look off with a bucket hat for the ultimate comfy and casual look that has serious roots in the 1990s. Mix and match colours and patterns for an avant-garde approach, or go monotone with a black or white bucket hat for a look that’s put together but not too try-hard.
For a style that screams ‘festival vibes’, pair your bucket hat with an oversized colour block shirt, or bring the beach with you wherever you go with a funky palm tree print. Whatever shirt you go for, the key here is to keep things as casual as possible - and there’s no better way to achieve this than with a baggy fit and an eye-catching print! We recommend choosing a short sleeved shirt, leaving it unbuttoned, and pairing it with a plain white tee. The relaxed brim of the hat complements the relaxed fit of the shirt, while the open button look makes for a totally chilled out feel. Timeless, stylish, and super comfortable - what’s not to love?
Style inspiration 2: The classic t-shirt and jeans
In our opinion, you can’t go wrong with the combination of a good pair of well-fitted jeans and a nice t-shirt. If you’re looking to put a spin on the classic, pop on a bucket hat for a playful vibe. Accessorising with hats can really make or break an outfit and, when it comes to bucket hats, this is a winning combination. Spice up your outfit by throwing a denim or biker jacket over the top to give your outfit a super trendy edge.
The beauty of a jeans and tee combo is how versatile it is. By simply swapping out your shoes for something more formal (and perhaps ditching the hat!), you can go from hanging out with your mates to having dinner with your partner without the need for an entire outfit change. In this case, the bucket hat only serves to elevate the look, but the timeless nature of the outfit itself makes it a solid choice in its own right. This means you can don or ditch the hat at your leisure and still look stylish, perfect!
Style inspiration 3: Go crazy
Most importantly: have fun!
Our final (and most important) tip for how to wear a bucket hat is to have fun with it! Fashion is a means of self-expression and is there to be enjoyed, after all. As long as you’re having fun and you think you look good, go for it!
While we can’t get enough of this versatile piece of headwear, we also understand that bucket hats might not be for everyone. Find some ideas in our ultimate guide to baseball caps or have a look at our entire selection of hats guides for more inspiration. To give your wardrobe that extra je nais se quois, why not check out our range of men’s clothing to find your next fashion hit?