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How to Style Bucket Hats (Outfit Ideas)

The bucket hat is an interesting part of fashion history. It’s an accessory that has been around for over a century and it has gone from the trenches to the runways in a relatively short amount of time. Whether your style is more suited to the rugged outdoors or the finest restaurants, bucket hats are a great way to complete your look and show off your style. There are many ways to style bucket hats that will match your personality and your wardrobe. Find ways to create outfit ideas using these hats and find your own fashion sense. Once your know how to style bucket hats, you’ll know that you can always add that little something extra to whatever you’re wearing.

Woman outside in a bucket hat

What Is a Bucket Hat?

Bucket hats are full hats that cover the entire head and have a full brim all the way around. The brim is downward-sloping. Often, bucket hats are made with cloth, though in newer styles they are made with plastic and faux fur as well. Bucket hats have a shape that literally resembles a bucket placed over the head. They sit somewhat low on the head to provide coverage for the face. That’s because originally, bucket hats were made to shade the eyes from the sun. In more modern versions, they’re used for style.

History of Bucket Hats

Like many fashion items, the bucket hat didn’t start out as high style. It began its life as a practical hat that was worn mostly by farmers and fishers living in Ireland in the early 1900s. The wide, downward-pointing brim kept the sun out of their eyes. The foldable, floppy style made it easy to store. 

The high functionality of the hat caught the eye of military officials. They introduced their own version of the bucket hat to soldiers in the 1940s. The hat really became widely used by soldiers during the Vietnam War in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Fashion Hats

Bucket hats made the leap into popular fashion in the 1960s. Bucket hats were worn with the mod looks of the day, a style characterized by bright colors and slim silhouettes. 

In the 1980s, bucket hats made their debut in the hip-hop community and soon became a staple of artists like LL Cool J. Other performers, including Run-DMC, also wore these hats. Bucket hats continue to be a part of hip-hop fashion. They have been worn by many huge recording artists, including Jay-Z. 

Bucket Hats in Pop Culture

One of the most famous bucket hat wearers of all is probably Bob Denver of “Gilligan’s Island” fame. As Gilligan, Denver constantly wore a floppy, white bucket hat that paired beautifully with his red sweater. The bucket hat had been around in popular fashion for a while at this point but being on TV regularly really put the hat in the spotlight.

Pink bucket hat

Bucket hats went high fashion in the 1990s, going from utilitarian and military styles to pop culture looks to the designer runway. Shows like “Sex & the City” that frequently showed off high fashion looks included the bucket hat on popular characters, including lead Carrie Bradshaw, proving that bucket hats could be high-end and high fashion. 

In more recent times, modern stars known for their streetwear style, including Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber, have kept the bucket hat on the style scene.

Types of Bucket Hats

From the early days when they were worn by fishers, bucket hats have been adapted for many different practical and fashion purposes. Some types of bucket hats have emerged on the fashion scene with their own distinct look and characteristics. How many of them will you try wearing? 

Fisherman’s Hat

boderier Sun Hats for Women Summer Casual Wide Brim Cotton Bucket Hat Beach Vacation Travel Accessories (Beige)

The classic, foldable bucket hat with the floppy brim is also known as a fisherman’s hat or fisher’s hat. The TV show “Gilligan’s Island” popularized this style, though this design and function is much closer to the historical bucket hats that were worn first. This style of bucket hat is made with cloth, usually cotton, so that it can easily be folded. It has a standard brim that is somewhat floppy and a somewhat flat crown.

Play around with classic fisherman hat silhouettes in all your looks. This style of bucket hat has also gone high fashion, so it’s available in a variety of pattern, color and material options. Try wearing this style of bucket hat with jeans and a white t shirt to create a casual look. It will also look good with sweaters, polo shirts and more dressy casual or business casual looks. You can even play with this silhouette in high fashion looks and pair it with designer label clothing (or at least, clothing that looks like it could be designer label). 

Anthropologie has a selection of classic bucket hats that echo that traditional floppy, fisherman’s hat look. Their storefront has several colorful designs that are perfect for creating high fashion looks and beachy summer styles. Anthropologie updates its storefront with the newest fashions to keep you in style. The prices range from affordable to a little uncomfortable but there are sales, discounts and special bargains available periodically, so you can always wait until the hat you’ve got your eye on is a little bit less pricey.

Kangol

Kangol Unisex-Adult's Bermuda Casual, Black, M

The Kangol bucket hat was made famous by rapper LL Cool J in the 1980s. He was known for his bucket hat. The Kangol style he wore had a somewhat rounded crown with a button at the top and a somewhat less large brim. He became famous for the look and his style quickly caught on.

This is a quintessential item in streetwear looks and hip-hop fashion. Try wearing a Kangol bucket hat with athleisure clothing and sneakers to capture a trendy hip-hop look. White sneakers and athletic sneakers are a staple of hip-hop fashion that add a pop to any outfit and always manage to draw the eye.

Kangol style bucket hats with more rounded crowns, along with other trendy bucket hat styles, are available through Vans. The Vans storefront has a great selection of styles in multiple colors and patterns in a big range of different designs. Vans offers very affordable fashion and frequently offers sales and special discounts to make the fashion eve more affordable. 

The storefront is updated regularly with the latest styles as new options become available. Keep checking to see what’s new in bucket hat looks and you’ll never run out of Kangol and other casual styles to wear when you shop here.

Military

GLORYFIRE Boonie Hat Military Tactical Boonie Hats for Men Women Hunting Fishing Outdoor Camo

Bucket hats were adopted by various militaries as early as the 1940s. They were issued to U.S. troops during WWII. One notable style from this era is the Daisy Mae hat, which was issued to the U.S. Navy. In this version of the hat, the brim was slightly extended. Late, the “Boonie” hat version of the bucket hat was introduced during the Vietnam War. Even Vietnamese soldiers began wearing the hat. This version had a flat crown, a stiff brim and several loops around the crown that could be used to hold bits of leaves and twigs to better camouflage soldiers.

Military-inspired fashion looks will likely never go out of style. The neutral colors, camouflage and elements of military fashion can be worn as a whole style or mixed and matched with other styles to create an interesting look. Miliary-inspired designs are often seen in high fashion runway looks, so you know it’s hard to go wrong when you draw your style ideas from here. Try pairing a military style bucket hat with combat boots and a black leather jacket to create an edgy, rock and roll sort of vibe. This is a popular look that is often seen on the streets of big cities like LA and New York.

You can also add a military bucket hat to a glamorous, high fashion look with skinny jeans, ankle boots and a colorful cropped jacket and graphic T. This creates cool, high-end casual style that works well for all sorts of different settings. You’ll look like you’re ready for fashion week if you learn how to integrate military inspiration into your outfit ideas.

Wolf & Badger has a huge selection of bucket hat styles that include designs made in the classic military silhouettes of the past. You can also find bucket hats in more neutral color shades here that echo these military styles. The hats here come in a huge range of colors, fabric and designs, so it won’t be had to find the style that suits you. In fact, you may find lots of different bucket hats here will make it easy for you to try all sorts of different bucket hat outfit ideas. Wolf & Badget is on the pricier end of the spectrum, especially when compared to some of your other options, but these hats are very well-made and they’re designed to last and last. Isn’t that exactly what you want in good military style?

Short Brim 

Rosoz 2 Pack Bucket Hat for Women Men Summer Travel Beach Sun Hat Outdoor Cap Unisex Bucket Hats Black/White

Short brim bucket hat styles are seen in high fashion looks of all kinds. These hats tend to have a stiffer, shorter brim than more traditional bucket hat styles.

Create fashionable looks with short brim bucket hats by pairing them with chinos, cargo pants and polo shirts or blouses. This creates a bit of a dressier casual look or a more professional look that works well for lunch dates and daytime events. Topping a simple, elegant outfit with a colorful short brim or patterned bucket hat creates a look of effortless, cool style that really works well and will definitely turn heads. Finish off your look with loafers, flats, sleek canvas tennis shoes or closed-toe sandals. 

To find trendy short brim styles and other casual and semi-formal styles that look high fashion, look no further than Ralph Lauren. This is a very recognizable designer label that has been popular in fashion for years and years. You can hardly go wrong with Ralph Lauren bucket hats, which encompass well-known labels such as Polo. 

There’s large bucket hat selection at the Ralph Lauren storefront that includes causal, athletic and may short brim styles that look very much like high fashion. What’s great about Ralph Lauren is that this fashion is actually affordable. The hats here are high quality but they are not high cost, which is just what you want in fashion. 

Structured

HATONHINT Winter Plush Bucket Hat Women Men Warm Faux Fur Fisherman Hats (Alphabet(Colorful))

Structured hats are made to be somewhat stiffer than floppier bucket hat designs. These hats are seen often in high-end fashion designs, such as the Burberry bucket hat. Structured bucket hats are ideal for winter weather looks because they are often a little bit thicker than more classic bucket hats look. 

Use structured hats to create stylized semi-formal looks that can be worn at nighttime or for more dressy and important events, such as a business lunch or a meeting where you want to make a good impression. A structured hat looks great with a suit or a slacks and blazer outfit combination. This adds a bit of flair to your style but still help your maintain a professional and polished look that works well for all sorts of different events and occasions. 

Find more structured bucket hat styles at Express. These hats have a very high fashion look to hem but they are also affordable. Find hats here in high fashion prints, in great-looking wool fabrics and in designs that really look like they just came off the runway. Best of all, these hats are actually affordable even though they look like costly high fashion. In other words, you get the best of fashionable looks but without high fashion prices. 

Bucket Hat Outfit Ideas

Ready to start wearing a bucket hat as part of your normal look? There are many ways to style a bucket hat to look casual, professional, glamorous or practical, depending on the look you want. Explore different possibilities for wearing a bucket hat and soon, you’ll be styling this accessory as part of your wardrobe like a fashion expert. 

Athletic

Nike Sportwear Bucket Hat (L/XL, Light Bone/White)

 

Many well-known athleticwear companies also make lightweight, ventilated bucket hats that allow the head to breathe and add a touch of style to any athletic look. Who says you can’t be ready to exercise and stylish at the same time? Wear a bucket hat for biking, hiking, playing sports or even working out. There’s a huge selection of lightweight, athletic-friendly styles available to choose from.

When you want an athletic style of any kind, Nike is always a great choice. One of the most famous names in athletic clothing, Nike has a great selection of bucket hat styles in different colors and designs. There are hats here with classic Nike branding, with sports team branding and with no branding at all, so you can choose whatever look suits you best. 

The selection of bucket hats in different materials and sizes here is huge, so it would be hard not to find an athletic bucket hat you can learn to love. Nike is always adding new styles to the store as trends come and go, so keep checking ack to see what’s new in bucket hats and other accessories to keep your athletic style looking hot and fresh at all times. 

Beach

Crochet Raffia Bucket Hat - Summer Straw Beach Hat Fringed Sun Hats for Women Men

Bucket hats are a great way to top off any beach outfit. They pair well with bikinis, cover-ups and maxi dresses, common beach attire, as well as with swimming trunks, chinos and button-up shirts. Choose a tie dye bucket hat or pastel color scheme to catch that beachy vibe, as will a bucket style in a straw hat design. A cotton or denim bucket hat always wears well on the beach. Because these designs are made to be comfortable, you may find your favorite bucket hat when you’re shopping for beach style.

American Eagle is a great place to start looking if you want bucket hats to complete your beach style. There’s a big selection of beach-ready styles here in straw and cloth versions. Hats here are available in different color options in some styles and all the hats here are trendy or traditional…but either way, they’re highly stylish. 

American Eagle is a well-known brand that offers very affordable fashions that look good, so this is a good choice when you want to find a great hat but you don’t want to spend a whole lot of money on it. 

Casual

CACUSS Women's Cute Cotton Foldable Floral Bucket Hat Rolled Brim with Bowknot(Blue)

Any casual look can be finished off with a bucket hat. Wear it with jeans and T-shirts, shorts and tank tops, shirt dresses or jumpers. Choose a somewhat floppy bucket hat style and it will complete any casual style.

If you want trendy casual style and bucket hats are affordable prices, turn to J. Crew. This site is known for having stylish clothing that is affordable and well-made. The online store is always being updated with the latest fashions to match the latest style trends. There’s a good selection of casual bucket hat styles here, so you can keep your look fresh and hip. 

Cocktail

Black Cats in Daisies Unisex Casual Bucket Sun Hat Fisherman Cap for Fishing Hiking Camping

When styled the right way and worn with the right confidence, bucket hats can be a nice topper to any cocktail outfit. Celebs like Rihanna have managed to pull this off beautifully, providing a blueprint for how others can do this as well. Pair a cocktail dress with a bucket hat in a shiny metallic shade, bright white or basic black. If the bucket hat fits well and it’s made with quality materials, it will be a nice match for your semi-formal cocktail dress. Men can pull off the same trick and pair a bucket hat with a tailored suit. A semi-formal bucket hat is a great way to look effortlessly stylish and cool. 

When you need a bucket hat that will look great with cocktail wear and semi-formal styles, turn to Ugg. This brand may be famous for their shoes but they also offer a selection of great-looking hats. The hats here are made with leather, wool and other materials that add a little bit more polish to any outfit. 

Preppy

DOCILA Womens Sun Protection Hats Stylish Winter Foldable Checks Bucket Cap Casual Daily Head Cover Sombrero De Copa Femme (BeigeKhaki)

Capture a preppy, polished look by topping your outfit off with a more structured bucket hat. You want something with a less floppy design and a stiffer brim. This is a great way to complement cute sweaters, vests, blouses, slacks and classic preppy styling. 

Boohoo has several bucket hat tyles that truly capture the preppy look. Their storefront offers bucket hats in a number of different materials and styles, from casual to semi-formal looks. The selection includes high fashion, reversible, structured, quilted and colorful looks that will suit any style and help you create a number of great looks.

Professional Glam

Bucket Hats Furry Cheetah Elegant Leopard Fashion Print Women Men Plush Cap Warm Faux Fur Soft Outdoor Fisherman Hat Adjustable Winter Spring( Black/Brown

 

Add a touch of high-end glamor to an outfit with a bucket hat. Since these hats have become high style, they have become an amazing accessory for glamorous professional looks. Pair it with fitted slacks and an oversized blazer or a pencil dress with a cropped jacket to add a little bit high fashion to your business looks.

When you want to add that little bit of something extra to your professional look and maybe glam up your style a little big, New Look can help. They have a wide range of different bucket hat styles available that can help you add professional polish to your outfit to really give yourself that extra touch of something special. 

The selection of bucket hats here includes a range of different fabrics, prints, colors and styles, so you can find a hat to suit your personal fashion sense and show off a little bit of your personality. After all, fashion is all about showing the world who you are. The right accessories and the right bucket hat can definitely help you do that. Whether it’s a printed bucket hat, a hat in a bright color or a hat made with interesting material, you can find it at New Look, a store that’s all about looking forward to a new era of fashion.

Street

Womens 1920 Vintage Fedora Bowler Cloche Bucket Church Derby Party Hat Fall Winter Floppy Ladies Black

Bucket hats have been a part of street style for decades. Wear whatever is hot ad fresh in fashion and finish it with a bucket hat to look truly trendy. A bucket hat is a great way to add that final pop to your streetwear outfit to bring everything together and create that perfect cool look. If you want to try the bucket hat trend or see what’s hot with this accessory, street style is exactly where you should look.

When you want the latest in streetwear fashion, Urban Outfitters is a great place to find outfit ideas and get a look at what’s on trend. Even if you aren’t looking to buy, you can look at the items available here to get a sense of what people are wearing right now. Urban Outfitters keeps their inventory up to date with the latest items n the style scene. That includes bucket hats. 

You can find a selection of them here in multiple colors and designs to see what’s trendiest right now with this accessory. There’s a big selection of bucket hats here in all sorts of different materials, designs and colors. So if you are in the mood to shop, you should definitely find something here to suit your style and help you start experimenting with all sorts of bucket hat looks. 

Summer

The Hat Depot 300N Unisex 100% Cotton Packable Summer Travel Bucket Hat (L/XL, White)

Capture a cool, casual summer vibe by topping off a summer sundress with a bucket hat. A matching or contrasting bucket hat will add a pop of fun fashion to your outfit and it has a practical purpose as well: it shades your head and face from the hot rays of the sun. Summer hats also look great with casual summer suits, board shorts and cargo pants. 

TJ Maxx has a great selection of cute, summer-friendly styles that you can enjoy wearing. There are a lot of bold prints, vivid colors and pretty designs here that can keep you in style all summer long. TJ Maxx is known for providing up-to-date styles that reflect all the current fashion trends so you can’t go wrong when you’re shopping here. 

The storefront is updated as new styles become available and the best part? Everything here is very affordable. TJ Maxx prides itself on offering fashion at prices that anyone can afford to pay, so it’s not hard to find something here. You can also keep an eye out for sales that make buying a bucket hat even easier. It’s not hard to stay on trend when fashion doesn’t come at a high price.

Winter

2 Pieces Women Fuzzy Bucket Hats Smile Teddy Style Vintage Cloche Winter Faux Fur Hat Outdoor Fisherman Caps for Teen Girls (Black, Beige)

Fur and knit bucket hats are a beautiful addition to any winter look. A thick bucket hat is a great match for a woolen sweater or faux fur poncho. Bucket hats can add a little more color and style to any winter look but they also add warmth by helping prevent heat loss through the head, which is definitely a good thing to have in the winter. 

Keep your head warm in winter with knit and faux fur bucket hat styles from Mango. This online storefront has a good selection of bucket hat styles made with thicker fabrics in warming styles that will help you keep your natural body heat to stay warm during those cold days. They even have fuzzy bucket hat styles that are fun and warm to wear. A little texture can go a long way in fashion. Texture adds depth to any outfit to make it more interesting.

FAQs

You may still have lots of questions about how to care for bucket hats, when to wear bucket hats and how to make them look good on you. You’re not alone. We collected the answers to the most common questions about bucket hats and we can tell you everything you need to know to become an expert on this style trend. 

What makes a bucket hat a bucket hat?

Bucket hats are distinct for their bucket-like shape. This means the hat is round and deep and fits completely over the top of the head in a bucket-like shape. The brim is somewhat wide and slightly floppy, with a downward-facing slope. Bucket hats are made with a circular crown that may be flat or slightly domed. They are attached to a short piece of fabric in a cylindrical design. The brim is then added. It’s a very simple, straightforward design. Anyone can learn how to make a bucket hat, in fact. You can make a crochet bucket hat in just a few days, depending on how fast you can crochet.

How to properly wear a bucket hat?

There are lots of ways to wear a bucket hat because there are lots of different styles. You can choose something eye-catching like tie-dye or something bold and vivid like emerald green. You can also go for high contrast and wear black bucket hat against a white outfit, or vice versa. Play around with complementing what you’re wearing and choosing colors that complement your personality. 

Try wearing a monochromatic look and match your bucket hat to the color your outfit. You can also pick one color from your outfit and match the bucket hat to this. It’s a simple way to get a great matched look. 

Do bucket hats look good on everyone?

If you have confidence in ourself and in your look, everything will look rea on you. Bucket hats are one of the few accessories that can be styled to look almost any way You can wear bucket hats to many different occasions and they are very easy to wear with other looks. Anyone can wear bucket hat styles and show off a little flair for style. With the right styling and the right accompanying clothing, a bucket hat becomes a highly stylish choice.

How should bucket hats fit?

Bucket hats are designed to cover the entire head, sitting just above the ears. You should be able to pull the hat down over our forehead if you want or tilt it somewhat back to cover the back of the neck down to the top of the neck. 

To get a proper hat size measurement, wrap a soft tape measure around your head at the widest point. The tape should go around your head above your eyebrows. Measure twice to make sure you get the right number and record the width of your head down to the eighth of an inch. 

Use a hat size chart to convert the measurements into standardized hat sizes. This makes it easy to shop for hats online and get the right size for your head every time. Be sure to check your head measurement against the manufacturer’s size chart. Though sizes are generally standardized, some hat makers may use slightly different measurements, so you should always check their charts before you buy a hat size.

Can you wash bucket hats?

In the earliest designs, bucket hats were made to be practical, tough hats that could be folded up, easily stored and washed at will. To this day, many bucket hat styles are made in cotton, denim and other machine washable materials that wear well and resist wear. Some styles, however, are made with much less washing machine-friendly fabrics. To be sure, always check the tag in the hat to see what it’s made of and what the fabric care instructions say. 

In many cases, you can hand-wash bucket hats or take them to the dry cleaner to get them cleaned up if they’re dirty. 

Can you wear a bucket hat to play golf?

Bucket hats are well-suited to outdoor and athletic activities of all kinds. They’re also known for being stylish hats that look good with everything from casual to semi-formal looks. That means that bucket hats are a perfect golf course accessory, if you’re looking for a stylish way to shade your eyes that’s still in keeping with the classic golf dress code. 

What face shape would look best with a bucket hat?

The bucket hat is a popular fashion accessory because it really does look good on any face shape and works with just about any style. This is simply a great-looking, highly versatile hat. But the floppy, brimmed style of the bucket hat works well with square-shaped faces that are strong and angular. It can e difficult to find hats for this face shape, so the bucket hat is a great style friend for these faces. 

Sources:

CR Fashionbook – The History of the Bucket Hat

Editorialist – Bucket Hats Are Here to Stay—Get Familiar With These 11 Easy Outfit Formulas

Hats – Find Your Size

Hats – Here’s How to Find the Right Hat For Your Face Shape

Heddels – Bucket Hats – From Ireland to Gilligan’s Island

Man of Many – 14 Best Men’s Bucket Hats for Summer

Pinterest – Bucket Hat Outift

WikiHow – How to Make a Bucket Hat