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A hat is an article of clothing that is worn on the head, either for protection from the weather, from a physical environmental effect (such as the hard hat) or to present a formal, sporty, rustic, or adventurous appearance. Hats come in many shapes, sizes, and colors.

Although there are many words for hat, the different terms associated with the object represent the different styles of hats.

A baseball cap.
  • A beret is a style of hat which has has a slightly-elastic rim that keeps the hat secured around the head, with an upside-down trapezoid-shaped cloth piece attached. A beret is commonly worn with one side down and the other side up, resulting in a wedge shape. Military forces, and in particular the revolutionary Che Guevara have made this style of hat popular.
PD Image
A military beret.

  • A cap is a type of hat that either conforms to the shape of the head, or is an extruded hat with very little or no brim. A baseball cap (or "ball cap") is similar but has an extruded brim only in front, often with space for a monogram above it.

  • A conical straw hat is one which is shaped like a cone, and bears a strap that secures around the chin. This style hat is stereotyped as being worn by farmers in Eastern culture, particularly China or Japan.
  • A cowboy hat is one with wide brim, usually curved upward at the sides in order to maintain a flat level front. The top of the hat has a dimple in the middle, creating a mountain-valley-mountain like shape.
  • A derby hat and a bowler hat are similar in shape; they offer a short brim and a round dome on top.
  • A fedora is a hat which has a fairly-wide flexible brim and a square-like extension on top, with a "pinch" in the middle on either side. The fictional character "Indiana Jones" is known for wearing this style of hat.
  • A garrison cap is a hat which has an envelope-like shape, and is significantly longer than it is wide. When worn upon the head, the sides fit around the top of the head while the top of the hat remains at a point. The shape is similar to a triangular prism. This style of hat is worn usually by military officers, and some enlisted forces.
  • A hardhat is one made of a strong material (such as polyurathane, or a composite plastic) designed to be worn around construction sites. On the inside is an adjustable band, or strap which holds the hat to the wearer's head. The strap, however, is not directly mounted to the hat but is mounted using parts underneath the hat to provide a shock-resisting gap.
  • A sombrero is a hat with an ultra-wide floppy brim. Sombreros are often made from a woven material.
  • A stovepipe hat is a tall flat-topped hat, with an average size brim: Abraham Lincoln is usually depicted as wearing this style of hat. The hat worn by the character Uncle Sam is similar. A top hat has the same appearance, but is shorter in height. This style of hat is also recognized as a magician's hat.
An ushanka with the ear-flaps down.
  • An ushanka is a cylindrical furry-hat that fits over the head and has two ear-flaps to provide coverage in the winter.
  • A visor is part of a hat, usually consisting of the brim and a strap that can be fastened, or a plastic headband that mostly encompasses the head. It is worn to obscure the sun's light from the eyes, as it does not provide cover for the rest of the head from the forehead on up.