Bucket hats are nothing new. They've been a style staple combining form and function since the early 20th century. But like most trends, they've come in and out of fashion over the years. Now, they're most certainly back in the spotlight, and we think they're the hands-down accessory of the moment for summer 2022. Read on to find out more about this unisex accessory and why we love it, as well as how to style our reversible bucket hats made from recycled plastic bottles.
What is a bucket hat?
A bucket hat is a casual hat with a relatively narrow, downward-sloping brim. Bucket hats are usually made from durable, heavy-weight fabrics like canvas or denim, and are renowned for being hard-wearing and well structured. We're big fans of this unisex hat style because you can wear it all year round. Thanks to its narrow brim, which still provides ample shade but also isn't the key feature of the accessory, a bucket hat looks just at home in the winter as a finishing street style touch to your outfit.
What's the history of the bucket hat?
Bucket hats are thought to have first originated in the early 1900s as a practical accessory used by farmers and fishermen in Ireland. That's why you might sometimes see bucket hats being called fishermen's hats, or Irish country hats. Originally, these hats were more likely to be made of tweed, or heavy felt and wool, and like any hat, their primary purpose was as a shield against the elements - in the case of the bucket hat, its main aim was initially to protect from rain, rather than sun.
Over the course of the 20th century, bucket hats started to become the hat of choice for making a fashion statement, and was adopted by the Mods in the 1960s as a key part of is iconic cultural movement.
During the Vietnam war, the US army helped bring this versatile hat further into the mainstream. Bucket hats made of canvas were issued to US soldiers during the war as a lightweight, durable and easy-to-carry form of protection from the sun.
It was during the 1960s that bucket hats for women were introduced (until this point, it was primarily reserved as a men's accessory). Milliners pushed the boundaries of the iconic bucket hat shape and experimented with all sorts of variations to suit different women's hairstyles.
Barbara Streisand wears an over-sized bucket hat in 1967
Since the 60s, bucket hats have come in and out of prominence, with a huge resurgence in street fashion during the 80s and early 90s. Thanks to their functional prowess, they've never really fallen out of use since then, but they're definitely back on the radar now as a must-have style item for holidays, festivals and general good times.
How do you style a bucket hat?
The beauty of the bucket hat is its simple, utility shape, which lends itself to almost any outfit. It adds to a look without stealing the show, whilst giving you some nice shelter from sun and rain at the same time. Bucket hats have been worn by celebrities and feature heavily in films and pop culture, and these iconic looks have helped provide inspiration for how to work this accessory into an everyday look. Here are some of our favourite bucket hat looks from pop culture:
Johnny Depp wears a white bucket hat in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Rihanna wears and Atelier Versace Couture Bucket Hat (Image from Vogue)
Kangol bucket hat in Dude Where's My Car?
Lily Collins brings bucket hats into the 2020s with a pink Kangol bucket hat in Emily in Paris (2020)
Anne Marie wears a Louis Vuitton bucket hat in her music video for 2002
Where to buy a bucket hat
Where you buy your bucket hat of course depends on multiple factors - from price, to specific style details. Some of the most iconic and sought-after bucket hats around are courtesy of the likes of Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Jacquemus. More mid-level price options that have become street-style staples are offered by Carhartt and Kangol, usually in paired back block colours with a utility or sports aesthetic.
We're obviously biased, but if you're looking for a statement bucket hat that's designed to turn heads, then our printed bucket hats are your perfect match. Since our bucket hats are fully reversible, you effectively are getting two hats for the price of one.
For a festival-ready bucket hat that'll look right at home in Glastonbury or Coachella, look no further than the Yammy's Dancers / Mosaic print reversible bucket hat. A truly bold print pairing, we love that you can see the reverse side print peeping out on the underside of the brim. This colourful bucket hat has a distinctly retro vibes and looks great on men and women alike.
What to look for in a bucket hat
The beauty of the bucket hat is that it has a simple form, so it's a bit of a blank canvas when it comes to style. Here are our top tips on what to look for in a perfect bucket hat:
Anti-crease, durable and machine-washable fabric
When you're looking for a bucket hat, you should be looking for a durable, but soft fabric that can hold its shape whilst providing all-day comfort. It's always better to opt for a more heavy duty, tightly woven fabric, as it'll provide better protection from both sun and rain.
It's also a real bonus if the fabric is resistant to creases, so you can fold up your bucket hat and pop it in a pocket. Newt's bucket hats are made from a durable, soft canvas that's made from recycled plastic bottles, and this sustainable fabric is crease-resistant. It can also be washed at 30 degrees celsius in the washing machine, so it's highly practical too.
Second hand or eco-friendly options that are ethically produced
Where possible, try to find more sustainable fabric options, and always check to see whether your chosen bucket hat is made ethically by makers who are paid fairly. Whether you're buying second hand or vintage styles, or opting for a recycled bucket hat like ours, there are so many lower-impact bucket hat options out there to choose from - so you can look great and reduce your impact on the planet at the same time. Our bucket hats are made from a recycled fabric, and are all handmade in the UK by skilled makers who are paid fairly for their expertise, and who work in excellent conditions (many of them work from home in their own studios).
Reversible print and colour options
Opting for a reversible bucket hat is a great way to get more bang for your buck. Why not give yourself the option of choosing a colour or print to suit a wide range of looks? Newt London's reversible bucket hats feature two bold print options, meaning you get two hats for the price of one.
Are bucket hats in style in summer 2022?
The short answer is a big, resounding yes! Bucket hats are a must-have unisex accessory for men and women in summer 2022. Like it or not, this iconic hat isn't going anywhere. Whether you're looking for that extra something to top off your perfect Glastonbury Festival outfit, or you're in need of a funky holiday accessory for sunny days this summer, you can't go wrong with this stylish unisex hat that perfectly combines form with function.
You can shop Newt London's reversible, unisex bucket hats for men and women here.