History of National Hat Day
Though there aren’t any official records of hats before 3,000 BCE, it is believed that they were commonplace long before that. The 30,000 year old Venus of Willendorf figurine may depict a woman wearing a woven hat. One of the earliest known confirmed hats was worn by a bronze-aged man nicknamed Otzi, whose body was found frozen in a mountain between Austria and Italy, where he had been since around 3250 BCE. He was discovered wearing a bearskin cap with a chinstrap made of several hides stitched together, resembling a Russian fur hat.
In the Middle Ages, hats were a marker of social status and used to single out certain groups. The 1215 Fourth Council of the Lateran required that all Jewish people identify themselves by wearing the “Judenhat”, marking themselves as targets for anti-Semitism. On the other hand, hats for women ranged from simple scarves to elaborate hennin, and acted as a symbol of social status. Structured hats for women similar to those of male courtiers began to be worn in the late 16th century. 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, such as hats with wide brims and flat crowns, the flower pot and the toque. In the middle of the 1920s, when women began to cut their hair short, they chose hats that hugged their head like a helmet. These were the cloche hats, whose low brim made it so women had to walk with their chins up, creating an air of independence and self-reliance
National Hat Day timeline
Saint Clement of Ireland discovered felt when he filled his sandals with flax fibers to protect his feet
The bowler hat was invented by Edward Coke, British soldier and politician, as a hat for gamekeepers (someone who takes care of wild animals and birds that are kept for hunting.)
The fedora was invented, its name stemming from the title of a play in which the main character wears the same hat made from felt with a hard brim and a creased center.
The beanie was born and was primarily worn by college students.
National Hat Day Stats
National Hat Day FAQs
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National Hat Day Activities
Wear your favorite hat, of course
We want you to go all-out here. Don’t pretend that your favorite hat is the completely normal baseball cap you wear sometimes. We want you to dig out that super funky hat from the last bar mitzvah you attended and wear it with pride. The more garish and impractical, the better. Did you know that, according to one of the top Dallas PR Firms, there are more cowboy hats in the state of Texas than there are people?
Make a new hat
Yes, you can make your own hat. Hat making is called millinery (the name comes from when high fashion was based in Milan). It was once a respected and common profession, and that’s why we want you to bring it back. You might not be able to make the perfect hat of your dreams like a true milliner, but you can come pretty close. Use felt, sinmay, yarn, leather, or, yes, even paper.
Throw a hat party
Remember when we told you to wear your craziest hat in celebration? Get your friends to wear their own crazy hats and host a shindig! Encourage those non-traditional headpieces. We want to see homemade hats, fascinators, and anything else their beautiful little brains can think of. This party is guaranteed to be a hoot, and it will test your friends’ creativity. Who knows, they just may surprise you!
Why We Love National Hat Day
People look great in hats
Hats are adorable—on everyone. They cover male pattern baldness. They mask bad hair days. They’re a great substitute for dry shampoo. Basically, they’re the perfect solution for anything kind of weird going on in the hair department. And even if you’re not having a hair crisis, they’re still useful. That’s because they allow you to show off your amazing style in a very easy way. Are you jonesing for the sixties to come back? Go for the floppy wide-brim sixties beach bum look or rock the vintage brims! Want to support your team? Grab that baseball cap and show it off with pride.
Hats protect your skin
Not to channel your mom or anything, but have you been to the dermatologist recently? We’ll fill you in, because we see you shaking your heads over there. The two pieces of advice they routinely give are to wear sunscreen every day and to protect your skin from the sun in other ways. Guess what one of those other ways is? It’s wearing a hat, obviously! 90% of skin cancer is caused by overexposure to the sun and could be preventable. The sun’s rays emit UVA and UBV rays. And while UVB are the ones that cause sunburn, UVA can cause wrinkles and cancer. So even if you don’t burn you may be getting too much sun. Aka, rock your stylish hat!
Hats keep you warm
Obviously hats make you look awesome—but they also keep your head warm. And this affects the rest of your body, because you lose about 5 to 10 percent of your body heat from your head. That means that, by putting on a beanie, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. It might seem counterintuitive to put on a hat instead of another jacket, but trust us—it works. Pro-tip: you also lose a lot of heat from your feet, so don’t skip on the socks!
National Hat Day dates