Hat Styles Guide: The 22 Most Popular Types of Hats, Explained

With so many different hat styles on the market, it can be hard to know where to start. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with all the different types of hats to choose from, take a look at this hat style guide. We’re breaking down the 22 most popular hat styles, and you’re sure to find one you love! Types of hats have changed over time, but these hat styles have remained classics for good reason.


Now one of the most popular hat styles on the market, baseball caps became popular in the 1860’s when the Brooklyn Excelsiors first wore a version of the six-panel hat style. This type of hat features a mid-sized bill in the front and five to six panels of fabric that are finished with a small button on the top. Baseball caps are great for everyday wear as they’re a durable hat style that offers good sun protection for your face. And the variety of materials and subtle styles of baseball caps make this a hat style that can be dressed up or down for many occasions.

Shop our favorite water resistant Baseball Cap made from organic cotton


Also known as sun hats, beach hats are made for bright days outside. This popular brimmed hat style is made from lightweight materials such as straw or raffia to offer a respite from the heat of the day. Perhaps most importantly, the large circular brim of sun hats offers protection from dangerous UV rays that can harm your skin. Beach hats are all about combining style and function, so they’re made from quick-drying materials that can handle being tossed in the sand or in your beach bag.



The beret hat style originated in the 17th century in the Basque country between Southern France and Northern Spain. This area is home to the Pyrenees mountains, and Berets are still commonly worn there today. Often thought of as painter hats or artist hats, berets are made of wool, cotton, or synthetic materials (we only make 100% cruelty-free wool berets). This round, soft, and slightly poofy hat style offers insulation from heat and cold along with a classic French style.


Boater Hats

The boater hat, also know as a skimmer hat, is a summer hat that was most popular in the 1800’s and 1900’s. A classic skimmer hat is made from straw and features a small to medium sized brim, a flat top, and a ribbon around the crown. Boater hats have a timeless style that makes them a great choice as a warm-weather hat that can be worn on the water and to more formal occasions. At Conner Hats, we’ve revamped the boater hat style to meet functional needs as well as high style. Crafting with sustainable materials, we’ve developed skimmer and boater hats that are water resistant, quick drying, and a few styles that even float!

Shop Boater and Skimmer hats

Boho Hats

Drawing from the laid back, hippy style of the 60’s, boho hats are one of the the most popular floppy hat styles. Perfect for the free spirit looking for a new music festival hat, this wide brim hat type has a classically cool vibe that’s easily dressed up or down. With many different colors and brim sizes, the boho hat style is flattering for many face shapes. Plus, floppy hats offer great sun protection for the hat lover that’s always on the go.

Shop sustainably made Boho Hats

Bowler Hats

Originating in Britain in the 1800’s, bowler hats were created to solve the issue of top hats that fell off too easily when riding horses. Bowlers hats quickly gained popularity in the USA and became known as derby hats. For the same reason as bowler hats gained popularity in Britain, derby hats were put to good use in the American Southwest where horse riding and other rough activities made top hats unsuitable. This durable hat style is made with hard felt and sports a shorter brim. Made iconic atop the head of Charlie Chaplin, bowler hats remain a classic hat style today.

Shop our most popular cruelty-free wool Bowler Hat styles

Bucket Hats

Also known as boonie hats, bucket hats are a hat style that’s no stranger to hard work. Boonie hats gained popularity during the Vietnam War, and are now commonly used for sun and rain protection. This soft hat has a medium sized brim and and chin strap, so the protection it offers from the elements stays put all day long. It’s supreme comfort and packability make the bucket hat a good choice for travel.

Shop waterproof Bucket Hats

Cloche Hats

The close fitting, bell shaped cloche hat style brings you back to a different time, when speakeasies were in use and the roaring 20’s were in full swing! Often know as a flapper hat, cloche hats are a soft and comfortable hat style made from wool. They come in many colors and sport embellishments around the crown to fit any style.

Shop best selling Cloche Hat styles

Fedora Hats

Fedoras may have gained popularity in the 20’s, but they’re still one of the most popular types of hats today. An iconic symbol of Frank Sinatra, the fedora hat has evolved over the years into slightly different hat styles such as the Pork Pie, Trilby, Snap Brim, and Stingy Brim. This classic hat has a timeless style that’s characterized by a small brim that turns up at the back. Our own revolutionization of the fedora hat style has led us to create classic styling with a variety of sustainable and high quality materials for a selection of fedoras make to last a lifetime (and tread lightly on the environment).

Shop our collection of wool, straw, and leather Fedoras

Field Caps

This type of hat is often known as a military cap due to it’s use in the military wardrobe of some countries. In some ways similar to the baseball cap, field caps feature a a flat top instead of the baseball caps rounded top and a stiff, slightly rounded visor. Military caps offer distinction from the common baseball hat while keeping the same durable design elements.

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Gambler Hats

This hat shape is a blend of western and outback style. With a wide brim and distinctive oval crown, gambler hats are made of many different types of hat materials. This makes them suitable for a range of occasions and types of weather. At home in the days of riverboat casinos floating along the mississippi river, gambler hats are a comfortable hat style that offers great sun protection. The modern gambler hat is the perfect style for those who want a taste of western flare in a toned-down style.

Shop popular Gambler Hat styles

Homburg Hat

In search of the Godfather hat? The Homburg hat is the style you’ll want. Worn by Al Pacino in the Godfather movie, the Homburg hat is sometimes known as a gangster hat. This type of hat is easily identified by its crown, which features a deep center dent. Homburg hats are oval shaped with gently curved-up sides. This classy style is the perfect way to level up any outfit.

Shop our favorite Homburg Hat style

Newsboy and Flat Bill Caps

This hat has many names, but all carry its distinctive style. Sometimes called a Ivy, Ascot, or Duck Bill cap, the newsboy or paper boy cap came into style through an act of the government. In 1571, parlament enacted a law that required all men six years and older to wear a wool flat cap. Apparently enforced as a way to stimulate wool consumption, the flat bill cap style has since gained popularity all over the world. With a low profile, this style sports material that extends from the crown all the way to its short brim. Similar to the peaky blinder hat, the newsboy cap is a classic style that can be made with a variety of materials for use in any climate or occasion.

Shop Newsboy Caps and Flat Caps

Outback Hats

The Australian father and and son team at Conner Hats knows a thing or two about outback hats, to say the least. The aussie hat style is crafted for the tough extremes of the Australian outback. While the Australian hat style was made popular by Crocodile Dundee, its durable build goes beyond looks. Outback hats are crafted with hardworking materials like leather and cotton and have a wide brim that dips down in the front and back, offering premium protection from the sun.

Shop Outback hats

Safari Hats

Built to be right at home in hot desert climates, safari hats are a go-to style when looking for a hat with great sun protection. With a gently downward sloping brim that’s medium to large sized, safari hats are made with many materials. If having a lightweight and cool hat is most important, choose a safari hat made with mesh. Looking for ultimate sun protection? Pick from upf 50+ safari hat styles made of hemp and organic cotton.

Shop Safari Hats

Trucker Caps

An offshoot of the ever-popular baseball hats, trucker caps have nearly the same shape as baseball hats, but they have mesh panels for all but the two front pieces of fabric. Trucker hats are usually adjustable via snaps along a back strap, and are a hat style that’s gained mass popularity.

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Panama Hats

This straw hat style originated in Ecuador and gained popularity during the 19th century, when many miners in the California Gold Rush travelled through Panama. With a thick weave and a medium sized brim, panama hats were the answer to the need for sun protection in hot tropical areas. The light color and beautiful weave of panama hats makes them a great match for fabrics like silk and linen. And that puts the panama hat style right at home at any warm-weather occasion.

Shop our favorite Panama Hat stye

Pith Helmets

Originally created as helmets for tropical military forces, pith helmets have a distinct, round crown and are made from breathable materials- usually straw. This type of hat is sometimes seen on postal service workers in the United States and is also quintessential to safari expeditions and tropic explorations.

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Steampunk Hats

A segment of victorian-era fashion, steampunk hats celebrate the 19th centuries advent of steam powered machinery and beautiful victorian clothing. Steampunk hats are regaining popularity as fashion statement all on their own. Using classic hat styles like top hats and bowler hats, steampunk style adds cogs, chains, and lace to create eye-catching and unique hat styles.

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Top Hats

Ah, the shining icon of true class. Top hats are perhaps the most widely know type of hat. With a tall crown and a small brim, top hats were originally used by the highest members of society in the 1800’s. Now, this novelty hat is the epitome of formal attire (or a fun occasion)!

Shop Top Hats

Wedding Hats

Your special day requires a one-of a kind hat. From fancy fascinator hats to matching styles for the entire bridal party, wedding hats add a special touch to any ceremony. Wedding hat styles vary greatly depending on the wedding location. For warm weather events, beach wedding hats offer respite from the shade without compromising style. Throwing a black tie event? Choose a wedding hat that rises to the occasion.

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Western Hats

This iconic style of the American southwest features a very wide brim crafted to keep the elements away from your face. Usually sporting a brim that turns up on the sides, the classic cowboy and cowgirl hats are made for function above all else. Western hats are made from a variety of materials for different uses. Waterproof cowboy hats are one of the best types of hats for rainy days on the ranch. And lightweight straw cowgirl hats are best for dusty and hot mid-summer days.

Shop Western Hat Styles


Home of our 1 acre food forest project

We decided to grow our own corporate responsibility right next to our original hat warehouse in St. Augustine, Florida. This food forest is a place for people to see Permaculture principals in action, a place to learn about food security, regenerative agriculture and more. The site was designed by world renowned permaculture designer Geoff Lawton.

>> See more here

On April 22nd, 2015 (Earth Day) we added 15KW (58 solar panels) to our St Augustine warehouse. Currently this is powering 100% of our electric needs. Powering business by the sun is a dream come true and because of you we were able to achieve this.

check our solar output here.

Ditching single-use plastic is one of our primary goals at all levels of Conner Hats. Americans use 1500 plastic water bottles every second. For us, this really drives home the fact that we need to do our part to limit the production of plastic.

Reducing single use plastics is important for many reasons. Huge amounts of plastic end up in our waterways and ocean. Birds and sea life mistake it for food and many die from ingesting or choking on plastic. It also breaks down into very small pieces which are eaten by fish. We then eat the fish and the PCB’s, dioxins and other toxic chemicals can end up in us.

Things we can do to help might seem small, but everything helps. Choose products that use no or minimal plastic packaging. Recycle everything you can. Say no to plastic straws. Use Reusable bottles and cups. Use reusable grocery bags. Let your favorite take-out restraint owner know that there are cheap alternatives to plastic and petroleum foam.

Besides a whole new line of hats made from recycled plastic bottles we have also stopped the use of single-use plastic connectors to connect our hang tags; we use a biodegradable string instead.

We asked our Conner Hats metal emblem supplier to stop individually bagging each tiny emblem in a plastic pouch, instead they are sent flat on sections of cardboard. This alone stops the production of thousands of tiny single use plastic pouches.

All of our packaging is single use plastic free including our new biodegradable backing tape.

Clothing/Hat garment labels are generally woven synthetic material that will last 1000+ years and pollute. We have recently chosen to use organic cotton printed with vegetable dyes for our inner labels, even our inner size labels ore now made from paper. These labels will eventually turn back into soil. We have been thinking about the end of life for our hats. After they have been used for many years and if they are made from biodegradable material like organic cotton, hemp, raffia straw or wool they could be composted and turn back into healthy soil for your garden. Stay tuned for a video on this soon. So now we are excited to sell many hats from biodegradable materials, no single use plastic, compostable tags and labels and even new biodegradable tape for our boxes, all of it will eventually and turn back into healthy soil!

It’s our job to care about what touches your head, that’s why many of the sweatbands and linings are made from third party tested organic cotton and are AZO dye free. All of our deluxe stretch terry hat bands have been third party tested and do not contain AZO dyes or Formaldehyde.

Further details on some of our hat materials:

Cruelty Free Wool
Starting March 2018 we will be changing our wool hat production to Cruelty Free wool. This means that we went back into our supply chain and only source wool from farms that do not practice Mulesing. Mulesing is the removal of chunks of skin on the buttocks of the sheep to stop a disease called Flystrike. Over 20 million Merino lambs are Mulesed in Australia each year. Hopefully by educating people on this topic Australia might consider the alternatives to this cruel practice.

Hemp is very easy to grow and is three times stronger that cotton. Hemp crops don’t require much water and can be grown without herbicides, fungicides or pesticides.

Organic Cotton
We third party test our organic cotton to confirm OCS certified 100 and AZO Free.

We test our leather to confirm No Organic biocides, Azo Dye-Free, No Prohibited Metals, No Flame Retardants, Formaldehyde-Free, No Chromium (VI)

Some people may have a problem with leather for environmental or humane reasons. We use leather because it’s an excellent hat material. It’s extremely durable and some of our leather hats are still in use over 40 years later. Look for a link to our blog here on this subject in the near future.

Organic Raffia
The Raffia palm found in Madagascar has the longest leaves in the plant kingdom and can grow to eighty feet long. No need for water or pesticides, just cut the leaves needed and they grow back.

Toyo was originally made in japan from shellacked rice paper. We use 100% recycled paper with a non-toxic waterproof resin to keep them protected. It’s a machine made material made in China and hand woven into beautiful hats.

Repreve® Recycled Plastic
We use Repreve material for our recycled hats and they contain about 5 recycled plastic bottles worth of plastic. The fabric is light weight, UPF 50+ and waterproof. More importantly it’s made from recycled plastic bottles, straws and other single use plastics that could have ended up in our environment. It uses 70% less energy and 90% less water to produce our recycled fabric verses a virgin material.

>> Find out more about repreve® here

That’s right, most of our fabric hats have Bloom Algae Foam inside of the brims and some crowns. So instead petroleum based foam we use Bloom Foam that is made from cleaning algae blooms that pollute fresh water and turned into usable foam for many types of products including our hats. You may not see it, but it is there and goes with one of our slogans “ It’s what’s on the inside that matters”.

>> You can find out more hereHats made with Algae

Our safety standards are guided by the question:

“Is the hat safe enough for a baby to chew on?”

All of the dyes and paints used to color our hat materials are third-party tested, nontoxic lead free

Our USA wool felt hat production meets our non-toxic standards. The stiffener is made from food grade shellac and the color dyes are safe for the environment, all exhausted waters used are put in the public sewer for normal treatment.

Our wool hat production in China has been third- party tested and no Azo dyes are used and no toxic chemicals in the hat bodies. We trust our factories to keep our high standards but just in case we do third party tests from time to time to confirm both in USA and China.

Our packaging has recently improved with new biodegradable packing tape so all of our packaging is fully compostable and nontoxic.

First of all, it’s important to realize that the difference between organic and conventional cotton isn’t just the lack or use of pesticides and insecticides in the farming process. Conventional cotton is also subjected to numerous chemical baths and treatments when the fabric is loomed and prepared for cutting. Additionally, conventional cotton uses dyes that sometimes contain heavy metals. We use only nontoxic dyes in our organic cotton.

Conventional cotton farming takes a huge toll on our planet, being responsible for a full quarter of the insecticides used worldwide. Some of the most toxic pesticides are also used on cotton, and people consume those pesticides in foods containing cottonseed oil.

Choosing organic cotton helps to support organic farmers and gives motivation to conventional farmers who are trying to convert to organic practices. Spreading the word to friends and family also helps to raise global awareness about the benefits of choosing organic cotton. Hopefully, over time, this can reduce the amount of chemicals consumed by conventional cotton farming and help contribute to a healthier planet.

Byron Bay, N.S.W. – Australia
Home of our founders and design inspiration

Byron Bay is the home town of our founders and it’s famous original Australian hat brand, BC hats. Bill Conner, after a very successful 50 years decided to close his factory and retire to spend more time in the surf. His son, Will Conner still designs Conner hats from Byron Bay and both Will and Bill are very much involved in the local community. Bill planted 2000 native Hoop Pine trees on his 20 acre property nearby as a carbon credit for his business. He stayed true to an Australian made product and his hats are loved worldwide and landed on famous customers from Michael Jordan to Olivia Newton John and many more. His hats are sure to become collectors items as no new hats will be available after the last one sells.

>> Shop BC hats

We offset a percentage of our carbon footprint by planting and maintaining 2000 native hoop pines on our family owned property about 35km from the factory.

Our factory is a fume free zone. We use only nontoxic glues in our manufacturing. Australia is a very worker friendly country and we all have lots of fun creating shade for people.

Our small, family run operation uses mostly Australian and New Zealand raw materials.

We have received a Declaration of Conformance for all of our leather used:

Customer: B. C. Leather Pty Ltd
Bovine Leather suitable for Hats


No banned substances have been used in manufacture, and the leather shall not contain the following, including: Organic biocides (PCP or TCP) from fungicides Aromatic Amines from Azo Dyes Sensitising Disperse Dyes Prohibited Metals Arsenis, Nickel, Cadmium, Mercury or Chrome V1 (Hexavalent Chromium) Flame Retardants (Brominated) Formaldehyde