History of the Bucket Hat
The "bucket hat" has its roots in Ireland in the early twentieth century. Thanks to its composition in wool or tweed, it became a traditional hat worn by farmers and fishermen to prevent rain and represented the best that the working class could afford. Over time it was quickly adopted by the upper classes of the British aristocracy for walking in the countryside, hunting birds and fishing because, once folded, it could fit into a coat pocket.
Its weather resistance makes it still a traditional Irish garment to this day together with the "grandfather shirt" and the "Aran sweater". Shortly after the first world war and until the beginning of the second, Irish hats spread rapidly internationally thanks to their ease of maintenance; in fact, a wet sponge was enough to use to clean even a mud stain.
Like all comfortable and functional things it ended up being used for military purposes, the practical and lasting qualities of this garment led the US armed forces to introduce it during the Second World War to protect troops from the sun, preventing diseases, heat and glares while aiming with firearms.
Just like so many classic garments and accessories, the military use of the fisherman's hat has seen this utilitarian garment influence the fashion world. By the mid-1960s, fisherman's hats had been embraced by civilians and celebrities. The character of Bob Denver in the mid-1960s sitcom "Giligan's Island" famously wore a khaki fisherman's hat throughout the series, and famed American journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson became famous for regularly wearing a fisherman's hat of white cotton.
The eighties and nineties saw the "bucket" gaining popularity through the cultural movements of hip hop in the United States and the music scene in Britain. Due to the popularity many sportswear labels began producing this type of hats and famous rappers such as Big Hank by Sugar Hill Gang, LL Cool J and Run wore bucket hats from brands like Adidas and Kangol. This urban connection resonated with the ever-growing rave scene in England, leading the 'fisherman' to become almost synonymous with the Rave, Drum N Bass and Jungle movements. Even movies are full of the hats, just think to the character of Sean Connery, Henry Jones Sr., in “'Indiana Jones and the last crusade” or Bud Spencer in “Io sto con gli ippopotami".
In the meantime it also gained popularity among VIPs, let's take Jason Statham and Liam Gallagher as an example, even if Rihanna is the undisputed patron saint of the modern "bucket hat"-