Pirate hats are among the most important elements of a pirate ensemble. And we are not talking just cosplays or parties. Even real pirates valued them greatly back in the day, as a style statement but more for practical purposes. The following is a list of some of the headwear worn by these feared seamen.
Tricorn Hat: The tricorn hat was a round, dome-like cap that featured a wide brim pressed up to the cap on all sides, thus forming a triangle. Pirates wore these hats with the pointy end at the back of the head. The tricorn was a practical hat, especially at sea and in inclement weather. The turned-up portions formed gutters that helped direct rainwater away from the face and deposited it over the shoulders. This hat was worn by the Spanish during the 17th century war with the French. It soon became popular in France and subsequently all over Europe.
Bicorn Hat: The bicorn hat was similar to a tricorn hat only that the brim was pressed up on two sides instead of three. It was worn primarily by American and European naval officers. To start with, the bicorn had a broad brim, with the front and the back halves turned up and pinned together and forming a semi-circular shape. Later it became triangular in shape and the two ends more pointed giving it the name “cocked hat.” Some bicorns were made in such a way that they could be folded flat which enabled them to be tucked under the arm when not in use.
Small-brimmed Hats: There is a theory that some pirates wore hats with a small brim as they seemed more practical. These hats served as mini-tricorns and protected the head from the sun and rains. Today, they are among the most common pirate hats found in costume shops.
The Scarf: The most classic piece of pirate headwear is arguably the scarf, which was simply tied in skull-cap fashion. It protected the head from the sun and kept longish hair off the face. Some pirates wore a hat over the scarf.
Caps: Pirates wore caps too. The most famous was perhaps the Monmouth cap, a knitted fulled wool cap that resembled a watch cap. It was originally manufactured in the town of Monmouth, Wales, and hence the name. Another was the montero cap which featured a small peak and sides that could be let down over the ears. Then there was the "thrumm" cap, which was made of fur or shaggy wool; it was warm, waterproof and did not blow off in strong winds.
At Costumes and Collectibles, we offer some amazing pirate hats, clothing and accessories. Check them out!