Ah the humble bucket hat. It's been one of those pieces that has gone in and out of fashion for almost 60 years, and has become a far cry from it's original use, which was to protect farmers and fisherman from the elements. It may conjur up images of Kevin & Perry for some, or old Florida-based men playing shuffleboard in the sun for others, but one thing's for sure - it's back, and it doesn't look like it's going anywhere any time soon.
Bucket hats weren't always used as a sartorial talking point. Way back in the very early 1900s, the bucket hat was created as a lightweight, easy to carry (and fold up into a pocket) form of protection for farmers and fisherman working outdoors. It was originally intended as protection from the rain, as the downward sloping brim meant rain ran straight down and away from their face. It was then repurposed during the Vietnam war as a means of protecting solider's necks from burning in the sun, and made of a lightweight cotton to help keep their heads cool.
Not long after that, the 60s took it upon itself to turn it from practical piece to fashion staple. Asid from the classic felts and tweeds used to make the bucket hat stiffer and more fashionable, it was also seen on some of the decade's icons, including Hunter S. Thompson and on the head of Bob Denver in Gilligan's Island. The 70s once again revived it, this time at the hands of Elton John (a fashion icon that no one can change our minds about) and Big Bank Hank from The Sugar Hill Gang in '79, opening the door for 80s Hip Hop stars to take the bucket hat into true street style status. We will never forget LL Cool J's iconic fuzzy red Kangol number, or Run DMC's extensive hat collection that included more than their fair share of buckets, and we can thank the rappers of the 80s for putting it firmly on the fashion map.
The 90s are synonymous with the bucket hat, thanks to the rise of eveything from skate culture to brit pop donning them as their fashion statement of choice. Seen on 90s supermodels like Tyra Banks, they were often paired with baggy denim and layered tops.
In the mid 00s Prada made a brave attempt at reviving once again them by trying to disguise them underneath a barrage of peacock feathers and Jay Z wore one in his Big Pimpin' music video which helped them regain some semblance of the cool factor. Still, they didn't quite catch on until the 2010s, when fashion decided the time was ripe for bucket hats to get another return to Vogue via more hip hop and rap stars. Earl Sweatshirt, Kid Cudi and Nas all rocked one at various points throughout the 2010s, before it went dormant again for almost a decade, like a sartorial volcano.
2018 marked the official year that the fashion pack declared bucket hats were in, and they were here to stay. Rihanna wore a Versace snakeskin dress and bucket hat matching combo in 2018 - and subsequently included them in her Fenty X Puma line - and luxury brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton decided they would concede defeat and add a bucket hat to their S/S collections.
Ever since, the bucket hat has never gone back out of style - and it's a huge wardrobe staple for this Summer too. We don't know why we all love it so much - maybe it offers a nostalgic nod, maybe it's because it's actually universally flattering or perhaps it's because we don't need to embark on an exhausting journey of finding one that fits. Whatever the reason, they've been seen on the heads of everyone from supermodels to pop stars in every print, colour and style imaginable and they aren't going anywhere.
Wondering how you can get away with wearing a bucket hat this season? Or maybe you've braved buying one but now have no idea how to style it? We're here to help. It doesn't matter what your fashion aesthetic is - there's a bucket hat for you. Whether you're ultra feminine and girly or love a bit of edgy street style, there is a bucket hat out there just waiting for you.
Wear it with...
An All Black Look
An entirely black look is easy to wear and is a great starting point if you're feeling a bit self conscious about your new headware. You don't need to worry about standing out too much, but you can still let your hat do all the talking. Whether you go for a black bucket hat to make it a chic ensemble, brave a pop of colour, or contrast with a clean white hat, the look is a sure fire effortless street style look.
A 90s Vibe
Keep it in the decade with an entirely 90's inpsired look. Think slip dresses layered over t shirts or cropped tshirts and denim for the perfect easy Summer vibe. Bonus points because it protects you from the sun and nails this seasons aesthetic in one go.
A Soft & Girly Style
If you're a fan of soft romantic dresses and florals, it doesn't mean you have to forgo the bucket hat trend. They work perfectly with long floral dresses and muted clour palettes, so pick one in a pastel hue, or go for a sheer embroidered style to keep with your feminine vibe.
An Edgy Skate Look
Go back to the bucket hat's fashion roots and go for an all out street style look. Oversized everything is your port of call here; baggy tshirts, bermuda shorts, and oversized sweatshirt dresses paired with tube socks, chunky trainers and a statement bucket hat in a bold colour or print help you stick to the bucket hat's OG style.
A Chic Tailored Outfit
If sharp tailoring's more your thing, rest assured - the bucket hat will still work. Go for neutral colours such as white, black or beige to keep it minimalist and pair it with a crisp white shirt and straight leg jeans, or go for a colourful statement or printed hat with a blazer and tailored trousers.