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Blog / Style & trends / What is a Bucket Hat—History, Definition, and Product Inspo

Style & trends

What is a Bucket Hat—History, Definition, and Product Inspo

What is a Bucket Hat—History, Definition, and Product Inspo
Karlina Rozkalne

By Karlina Rozkalne

5 min read

Wondering what is a bucket hat? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a short, all-encompassing guide to discover its history, how to style it, and which bucket hats are best for print-on-demand customization.

Developed over a century ago as a purely practical piece, bucket hats have since become an expression of personal style. But there’s more than meets the eye—let’s delve deeper into this trendy hat.

What’s a bucket hat?

A bucket hat is a soft, wide-brimmed hat that resembles an inverted bucket. Traditionally made from heavy-duty cotton fabrics like canvas or denim, it was created around the 1900s to protect fishermen and farmers from the rain and sun. Over time, bucket hats have evolved into a popular fashion accessory worn by people of all ages for practicality and style.

A short summary of the bucket hat’s history

The bucket hat is also known as a fisherman hat because it was initially created in the early 20th century for fishermen and farmers who needed protection from the weather.

a group of men in a boatSource: The Guardian

Since then, the bucket hat has transitioned from practical outdoor wear to a fashionable accessory for many different styles. During the 1960s and 1970s, it symbolized youthful rebellion among hippies and surfers. 

a collage of a woman wearing a hatSource: Reloved Studio

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Although bucket hat popularity waned in the 1980s, the 1990s and 2000s saw a resurgence, especially thanks to the hip-hop community. Artists like LL Cool J, Missy Elliott, and other music icons made it an emblem of urban culture and hip-hop.

a woman blowing a bubbleSource: Vogue

Nowadays, bucket hats are embraced by high-fashion brands, too. Dior, Valentino, Burberry—you name it. Nearly all haute couture houses have their own variation of the stylish accessory. Designer bucket hats are often made from the same materials as mainstream bucket hats (cotton, tweed cloth, etc.) but have brand logos to elevate them.

Bucket hats continue to be cherished across generations for their practicality and aesthetic. With their popularity growing each year, they’ve become a must-have addition to your personal wardrobe and your store’s offering.

Top 5 best bucket hats for customization

We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best bucket hats you can customize with Printful. They’re all well-suited for outdoor activities, no matter the weather. These bucket hats will keep your head warm and dry on rainy days and cool when the sun is blazing.

All hats on this list can be personalized with embroidery, which gives them a premium feel and look. You just have to decide which material, shape, and price you prefer. 

Bucket Hat I Big Accessories BX003

a man and woman wearing hatsSource: Printful

Price: $15.95 (standard embroidery) or $19.45 (unlimited color embroidery)

Available techniques: Standard embroidery, unlimited color embroidery

Fabric: 100% cotton twill

This bucket hat is 100% cotton and has 4 sewn-in eyelets for breathability. It’s made from a rather thin material, which gives the hat a soft feel and a casual fit. It features a 3 ¾″ (7.6 cm) crown and a 2 ¼″ (5.1 cm) brim, providing ample protection on hot days. 

To see how the hat looks in real life, check out the bucket hats designed by our customers.

All-Over Print Reversible Bucket Hat

a woman wearing sunglasses and a hatSource: Printful

Price: $22.95

Available techniques: Sublimation (also known as all-over printing)

Fabric: 100% polyester

Because this hat can be worn on both sides, it’s ideal for those who love to switch up their style. It’s made from 100% polyester that’s breathable, moisture-wicking, and perfect for printing, ensuring your designs look sharp and vibrant. Plus, this fabric is OEKO-TEX 100 standard certified. These hats come in two sizes, S/M and L/XL, and are printed, cut, and hand-sewn by our in-house team.

Here’s how these hats look on our clients.

Organic Bucket Hat

a woman wearing a hat and sunglassesSource: Printful

Price: $19.95

Available techniques: Standard embroidery 

Fabric: 100% organic cotton twill

This classic-style bucket hat is a testament to timeless fashion and environmental responsibility. It’s made from 100% organic cotton twill certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and OEKO-TEX 100 standard. Available in four colors, it provides options to match different outfits and moods. This hat will be a lovely addition to any eco-conscious wardrobe.

Some examples of how this hat looks in real life.

Denim Bucket Hat

a woman in white shirt wearing a black denim bucket hat

Source: Printful

Price: $17.95 (standard embroidery) or $21.45 (unlimited color embroidery)

Available techniques: Standard embroidery, unlimited color embroidery

Fabric: 100% cotton

Our customers love this bucket hat’s texture and feel. It’s not stiff, as you could expect from denim, but has a softer feel. This hat comes in 4 colors: black, classic, and light denim, plus a combo of light and classic denim. For your comfort, there are 4 eyelets and a sewn-in sweatband. Denim hats are the best hats for embroidery because the fabric holds the weight of embroidery well.

Here’s an example of a personalized denim bucket hat.

customer’s review of the denim bucket hat

Source: A customer’s review in our catalog

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Distressed Denim Bucket Hat

a man wearing a black distressed denim bucket hat with embroiderySource: Printful

Price: $18.95

Available techniques: Standard embroidery

Fabric: 100% cotton

This bucket hat features a twist on the classic design—a wide, distressed brim. This detail adds a touch of rugged charm to the hat, perfect for those who appreciate a unique, slightly lived-in, or contemporary look. Same as the previous denim hat, this one comes in 4 colors: black, classic, and light denim, plus a combo of light and classic denim.

Here are custom embroidered hats from our customers.

How to style a bucket hat?

To nail the bucket hat trend, you can pair the bucket hat with sneakers for a casual everyday look. You can also add a playful twist to your outfit by choosing custom hats made from unusual materials or adorned with eye-catching patterns. For versatility, pick a hat in solid or neutral colors.

Time to design your own bucket hat

The bucket hat is one of those accessories that has cemented its place in the fashion landscape, effortlessly bridging the gap between casual and high fashion. It’s worn by many nationalities, all ages, and for various purposes. This hat is among the evergreen trending products.

If you’re inspired by the bucket hat’s rich history and versatility, it’s time to add one to your own wardrobe and online store. Browse all the bucket hat options with Printful in our catalog.

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By Karlina Rozkalne on Feb 23, 2024

Karlina Rozkalne

SEO Content Writer

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.