Hats can be any of a number of different forms of headwear. Hats may provide protection, but they can communicate the wearer's fashion sense or perform ceremonial roles, such as reflecting the wearer's office or rank.
Hats are worn for a plethora of different reasons in modern times - but these hats hold a very rich history behind them and held great symbolic significance back in the day.
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In this article, we shall go over the different points in history and culture where hats have held great meaning and value.
The origins of the first hats, although unclear, seem to date back to Ancient Egypt.
Thebes, Egypt, about 3200 BCE, produced some of the most popular and earliest depictions of headgear. Because many upper-class Egyptians shaved their heads, they wore headdresses to keep cool.
Plant-fiber hats are related to Europe's and Anatolia's historic rural traditions. Mercury's cap appears to be made of neatly plaited straw in an early statue.
Classical Athens and Rome artisans wore conical caps with felt crowns in the shape of eggs. The material that protruded from beneath the band became a brim.
This headgear was a symbol of the plebeian class in Rome, and it was given to a freed slave.
Except in severe weather or when hunting or traveling, upper-class men rarely wore hats.
In his old age, the emperor Augustus Caesar established a new fashion by never leaving the house without a hat.
In Egypt, simple kerchiefs and caps were draped over the head and brow, falling to the shoulders.
The asp symbolized kingly might, the feather for sovereignty, were insignia of status on helmet caps.
Men and women used hats made of fabric throughout the early medieval era, such as the chaperon, a loose hood for both men and women.
Women's hats were more elaborate around the 15th century. Between 1460 and 1480, the hennin, or steeple headdress, was fashionable in France and Flanders.
Turbans and the so-called butterfly headdress of transparent gauze lifted above the head with long pins were also worn by women.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, men wore two distinct types of headgear. One was a low-crowned hat with a wide brim turned up on three or two sides or cocked. Aristocrats, cavaliers, and gallants favored this style.
The other style was a rigid, high-crowned round hat worn by Dutch burghers, as well as English and American Puritans.
In the 18th century, European and American ladies wore the calash, a large bonnet that resembled the extension top of a calèche, or French carriage.
The silk top hat was invented in Florence around 1760 and first appeared in England in 1810.
After the French Revolution, this rigid, round hat with a cylinder crown supplanted the tricorne as the customary gentleman's clothing. The expanding middle classes quickly adopted other sorts of headgear.
In 1850, the bowler, named after the London hatter who invented it and known in the United States as a derby, was introduced.
Workingmen and youngsters wore cloth caps with visors as a matter of course.
The soft felt hat became popular in the United States during the last part of the twentieth century.
In the 1960s, many men and women in the West stopped wearing hats, and hairstyles became increasingly important.