The Bucket Hat: Here’s Our Best Picks

  A picture may be worth a thousand words to many, but at Thrilling, we think a suitable accessory is worth a thousand more! From jewelry to a meticulously chosen scarf, accessories are the seasoning that spices up every outfit.

image for article The Bucket Hat: Here’s Our Best Picks

A picture may be worth a thousand words to many, but at Thrilling, we think a suitable accessory is worth a thousand more! From jewelry to a meticulously chosen scarf, accessories are the seasoning that spices up every outfit. So, it’s important to choose versatile ones that can take you across seasons.

Bucket hats are possibly the most talked about yet underutilized accessory in modern fashion. 

Sure, the hot pink Prada bucket hat is cool, but there’s also a much greater charm in having a bucket hat whose brand you can’t tag on your latest post. We’ll take you through the best and most versatile bucket hands our site currently has to offer in this guide! There is truly a hat for every season, person, and occasion in this guide. 

So come along as we preach the headgear gospel!

Don’t Call It a Comeback: The History of the Bucket Hat

Bucket hats are everywhere. They’ve become so ubiquitous throughout modern fashion, it’s easy to forget that bucket hats have been popular for over 100 years… and they don’t show signs of slowing down any time soon. Read on to learn more about the triumphant history of the bucket hat. 

Humble Beginnings

Irish fishermen and farmers in the early 1900s looked towards function instead of fashion when designing the first bucket hats to protect themselves from the rain. 

It’s wide, slanted brim kept the rain off of their faces, while the hat’s easy foldability made it convenient to carry on days when the clear and sunny forecast could change in an instant. Best of all, the bucket hat’s raw wool was naturally waterproof due to naturally-occuring lanolin, a waxy fat. 

Fast forward to the 1940s: bucket hats were used by the United States military to protect army troops from the elements. These were standard issue through the end of the Vietnam war in the 1970s. Meanwhile, bucket hats were embraced by popular culture across the pond in the 1960s as part of the mod movement. Function became fashion, and even Yankee stars like Audrey Hepburn adopted the trend. 

Still, adventurers like gonzo journalism founder Hunter S. Thompson likely wore his classic white cotton bucket hat for function as well while exploring the depths of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” 

A Cultural Phenomenon

Of course, the bucket hat wouldn’t be the iconic, enduringly popular chapeau it is today without Black culture of the 80’s and 90’s. Hip hop artists began wearing bucket hats on their album covers and in music videos, like Run-DMC’s classic “It’s Tricky,” LL Cool J’s How Ya Like Me Now cover, and Kurtis Blow’s Kingdom Blow album. LL Cool J’s red Kangol bucket hat became synonymous with his public persona and helped the Kangol brand—also known for its berets—become a cultural classic. 

Stussy was another popular bucket hat milliner in the late-80’s, worn by artists like the Beastie Boys and ravers in the United Kingdom. Bucket hats remained popular through the 90’s, becoming the “session hat” of Liam Gallagher and Oasis fans as it followed Blossom through five seasons of “very special episodes.”

By the early-00’s, bucket hats were embraced by luxury brands like Prada’s Spring/Summer 2005 collection, which featured a sky-high bucket hat adorned with sparkles and peacock feathers. They endured in popular culture as well, from Missy Elliott wearing a fuzzy bucket hat on her 2002 Under Construction album cover to a new generation of teen pop stars like Mandy Moore, Britney Spears, and Jessica Simpson. Even the cast of Dawson’s Creek found its way to this beloved fashion staple.

Reaching New Heights

Today, bucket hats are more popular than they’ve ever been before. Teen superstar Olivia Rodrigo included a line of pithy bucket hats in her first merchandise drop, BTS heartthrob J-Hope rocked a blush Kangol in their “Dynamite” music video, and bucket hats have become a staple in Netflix Originals like Julie and the Phantoms and Emily in Paris.  

Youth culture aside, high fashion has fallen in love with bucket hats all over again. Kylie Jenner’s matching Prada bucket hat and mini nylon bag brings a colorful spin to an eternal classic, while luxury brands like Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Opening Ceremony, Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, A.P.C., and more continue to bring this cultural phenomenon to new sartorial heights. 

Whether you associate bucket hats with the mod movement, 80’s hip hop, 90’s rave culture, or the superstars of today, you cannot go wrong with a vintage bucket hat that will never go out of style. 

Our Top Picks 

Found the bucket hat of your dreams and now looking for the rest of the outfit to complete the recipe? Head right on over to the rest of our site to sustainably create the wardrobe of your dreams—and we do mean your dreams. Each and every piece on our website is unique, ethically sourced, shipped from over 300 stores in more than 100 cities across the United States. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite bucket hat finds below:

Metallic Silver Bucket Hat

Why choose boring when you can be unique?This  bold and practical bucket hat not only gives you that ’90s and early aughts silhouette, but it also has a zipper pocket to store necessities while keeping you hands free. 

90’s Leather Bucket Hat 

Does your ’90s nostalgia skew more “When Harry Met Sally” than Spice Girls? Then we have the perfect bucket hat for you.Take this hat anywhere! From a walk in Central Park with your Harry Burns to a fabulous lunch at Katz Deli. 

The High-Fashion Bucket Hat 

This sleek and minimal design looks like it was plucked straight from the runway of The Row’s Spring Summer 2014 show. This hat vows to protect you from sun, rain, and boring minimalism all in one go.

Poolside Bucket Hat 

Not all straw hats are made equal. This one offers more of a statement than sun protection. Reminiscent of vintage swim caps, this red and cream hat will upgrade your poolside looks. 

The Preppy Bucket Hatk

Can a bucket hat be preppy? Yes. Enter this gorgeous ’60s black bucket hat that gives ladies-who-lunch vibes. Pairs well with a vintage mercedes. 

Parisian Bucket Hat

Made popular by Dior and Givenchy in the 1950s and ’60s, this 1940s faux fur and felt bucket precede its reputation. A favorite style work by American actresses and socialites as well as French fashionistas.

Blair’s Bucket Hat

Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf relied on an assortment of chapeaus to serve as her crown in her prime scheming days at Constance. Whether you’re styling this hat with a late-aughts blazer and pencil skirt or a polo and a tennis skirt there will always be something a little naughty about your ensemble.

Country Club Bucket Hat

Tennis whites aren’t the only permissible color palette for the court. Shake up your summer activewear with this plaid bucket hat. Country club membership not included.

Shop more bucket hats or complete your look with more secondhand selects from vintage and secondhand stores from across the U.S. here.  


To Wrap It Up… 

Thrilling understands the importance of supporting local businesses in your community to keep your culture and neighborhoods alive. Thrilling celebrates and uplifts diverse voices with 95% of our independent boutiques being woman and/or BIPOC owned.

On top of building the wardrobe of your dreams (bucket hat included), Thrilling is a great place to find your niche and the other stylish members of it. With over 38,000 followers across all of our social media platforms, you’re bound to meet like-minded people with whom you can build a community all your own.

Find your style and squad… and your dream bucket hat, of course.


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