hat styles womens

In today’s Hat Styles Womens review, we will be discussing the best womens hat styles 2020. Our team has researched and reviewed these types of hats and hat styles names to help you come up with a better decision. We’ve also put up a shopping guide with the features you can consider when buying classy hats for ladies.

There’s a lot of information when it comes to hat styles for women. Most of these hat types and names can be quite interesting when you think about them in detail. Hat styles and their names are cultural, too. Each culture has their own type of hats they wear when it comes to formal gatherings such as weddings and parties. It is one of the most important elements that really matter during these events. Below is a list of the most popular hat styles reviewed by our experts.

In the past few years, ladies have been given a lot of room to express their style. After all, there is so much variety in menswear accessories that women have started realizing the trend and interest in this category. There are several womens hat styles that have been trending in recent years. We will be going through a few types of hats for women below.

Hat Styles Womens

womens hat styles 2020

Why is this hat guide needed?
As hats have become more popular again, words like fedora, bowler, gambler, safari and others are becoming better known. The problem is that people are not always sure which style is which and we often have people thinking they want one style when they’re really talking about another. Consider this your guide into the world of hat styles, crown shapes, and hat materials for both men & women so you can be assured you know what you’re talking about!

Before we begin:
It is important to note that in the world of fashion, styles are crossed and new things are tried all the time. There are very minor differences between certain styles and terms like trilby and fedora that are nowadays pretty interchangeable where they used to be distinctive brim sizes. Not everyone has the same opinion on a style, even our manufacturers mix certain style names like the ones just mentioned. Additionally, there are literally hundreds of styles of hats when you include the specifics like a bellhop cap or Napoleon’s famous bicorn. We are not diving this deep here, as you will rarely see these types of hats nowadays. With this guide however, you will be able to distinguish pretty much anything you will see when you’re out and about. The styles listed below are the broad, popular categories that have been established over time and are ones that any respectable hat merchant will know.

Anatomy of a Hat


Hat Styles

Apple Cap – The apple cap is simply a larger version of the newsboy cap as described further down the page. It is divided into 8 panels and finished with a sewn button on top.
 Baseball Cap – The baseball cap is an American tradition and is one of the most common hats seen on people’s heads around the world. Simple, casual, and easy to wear, they are great grab and go hats. They have a short to medium size bill that can be curved or flat in front that is normally attached to 6-quarter panels ending in a button at the top.SHOP BASEBALL CAPS
 Trucker Cap – The trucker cap is like the baseball with the exception that it is all mesh except for the front two quarter-panels. It usually has a snapback (see term below) adjustment.SHOP TRUCKER HATS
 Snapback Hats – The term “snapback” is used when the cap can be adjusted using two plastic pieces that snap together at the back in a variety of lengths.SHOP SNAPBACKS
 Fitted – The term “fitted caps” refer to baseball caps that are usually measured in 1/8” increments for an exact fitted size. Typically worn by the MLB.
 Beanie / Stocking Cap / Watch Cap – The beanie is a knitted close fitting cap typically made of wool or cotton created to provide warmth to your head in cold weather. Throughout the years many different variants have been created such as the long stocking cap. This style is the same as the beanie just with a longer crown meant to be too large and hang off the top or side more for style than warmth.
 Beret – The Beret is a round, soft, flat crowned style with extra material around the edges for a slight “poof”. They are commonly made of wool, cotton, and acrylic fibers and are stereotypically associated with painters or artists. Many times they have what can be described as a short apple stem coming out of the top. They can be worn in many different ways, either flat across the top of the head, or hanging to one side or the other. They have roots as militaristic garb, and a Special Forces division even uses the term in their name, the “Green Berets”.
 Big Brim / Floppy Hats – Big brim and/or floppy hats are exactly what the name implies. They have become more popular and fashionable recently and are great pool hats for women. These brims can get up to 10 inches but more often are between 4 and 6 inches. They come in a variety of colors and are typically made of paper-braids or tweed material because it is slightly stronger and can support the weight of the brim better. Most always the crown style is the simple unformed rounded shape.SHOP BIG BRIM & FLOPPY HATS
 Boater / Skimmer Hat – The boater, or skimmer, hat is a style that many love and few actually wear. It is commonly associated with barbershop quartets, proper boating or sailing events, and men’s formal summer wear from the late 1800’s to mid 1900’s. It is made of straw with a small to medium sized brim, a shorter crown, and a flat top. It is typically embellished with a two-tone ribbon around the crown.  The hats worn by the Gondoliers in the canals of Venice are very similar with the exception that they normally have a thinner and wider brim, and the ribbon extends off the back of the hat in two tails. SHOP BOATER HATS 
 Boonie Hat & Booney Hat – While I have seen both spellings of the word in many different catalogs and Internet sites, the more common and proper seems to be the “boonie” variation. This style, originally made popular in the Vietnam War is comprised most often of cotton/twill/polyester/canvas and is a soft wide brimmed hat that can be rolled up and easily packed. It features a flat crown on top, a wide floppy brim, a chinstrap, and sometimes has sewn-in loops around the crown to stow small pieces of gear. The most common brim size for this hat is between 2.5 – 3.5 inches.SHOP BOONIE HATS
 Bowler / Derby Hat – The bowler hat is an iconic style that is typically seen in movies set in the 1800’s and early 1900’s . Bowler hats cannot be mistaken. They are typically a hard felt hat with a short brim of around 2 inches and a rounded crown.SHOP BOWLERS
 Bucket Hats – The bucket hat is a simple symmetrical style that has been made in every material but most often is found in cotton or polyester. It is similar to the boonie hat, but tends to have a smaller, stingy, down sloping brim.SHOP BUCKET HATS
 Cloche Hats – The cloche has become a very popular style in recent years and is being produced in every material. It is a close-fitting bell shaped style that is round at the top and often flares a little at the bottom. It is typically embellished around the crown.SHOP CLOCHES
 Fascinator Hats – Following the royal wedding the fascinator made a huge comeback and suppliers couldn’t produce them quick enough. The fascinator is a headband style hat that can be as simple as a bow on top of a headband or as ornate and large as one wishes. They can also be described as “cocktail hats” but the main distinction is that they are either worn with a headband or clipped to the hair.SHOP FASCINATORS
 Fedora Hat– Stingy – Classic – The fedora is a broad term that encompasses a variety of crown styles and brim shapes. It’s classic good looks, the ability to suit a wide variety of people, and the many celebrities seen wearing it only add to the appeal. It is characterized by a short to mid sized brim with an upturn in the back. The front can be either turned up or down and styles that let you do both are called snap-brims. See also: Trilby
 Fez – The fez is a surprisingly popular style and can trace its roots to Fes, Morocco. It has become more popular recently thanks to the TV show “Dr. Who”.  Most commonly seen in red, it is a tapering cylinder shape that usually has a tassel on the top. 
Gambler Hat– The Gambler style features a medium to wide brim of about 3 inches that typically has either a tight turned up lip around the edges or a slight turned up western flair at only the sides. It tends to have a flatter profile when looking at it from the side and is made in just about every material. The one distinct feature that defines the Gambler hat is the large oval shaped crown. Most are just rounded in the middle but a slight pinch at the center can also be found similar to that of an optimo style.SHOP GAMBLER HATS 
Homburg Hat – The homburg hat is an interesting style not seen too often these days. The overall shape of the hat is an oval, with a turned up lip around the brim of the style and generally curved up sides. The primary feature of the hat is the center-dent crown though. It has also been called the Godfather hat as it was seen on Al Pacino in the movie.
Ivy Caps / Flat Caps – The ivy cap and flat cap are a distinctive style that is growing in popularity among more fashion forward and trendy youth.  The ivy cap is distinguished by a low profile with a slightly rounded top that extends to the front of the hat and is sewn to the bill. Sometimes the bill sticks out a little for a different look while other times the crown and bill are perfectly matched. They can be made from any material but most often are constructed from wool, cotton, or polyester. It has the name flat cap because when laid on a table with the back of the style folded underneath it, it becomes perfectly flat.SHOP IVY CAPS & FLAT CAPS
 Ascot Caps – The Ascot cap is a variation of the ivy and flat caps and is characterized by a more rounded crown profile that is often stiffer and made from wool or felt.
 Duckbill Caps – The Duckbill cap is another more recent variation and is a hybrid style between an Ivy and an Ascot style cap. It typically features a more rounded top towards the back that ends at the front in a more exaggerated down sloping curve meeting the up sloped bill.  This forms a shape that looks similar to the bill of a duck giving the style its name.
 Kettle Brim or Up-brim:  A Kettle-brim hat is a women’s style and though the name may not sound familiar, it is a hat most everyone has seen. They have a simple, yet classic look and can be made in any material. The style is distinguished by a symmetrical circular shape, a short to medium brim that has a half to one-inch upturn at the edges, and a rounded crown. Often they are accompanied by a bow, or a ribbon around the crown and can have chinstraps as well.
 Lifeguard Hat – The lifeguard hat is a very popular style due to it’s very large brim and great sun coverage. They are almost always made of some type of straw, be it raffia, rush, palm fiber, or other. Most lifeguard hats feature a center-dent crown shape and a wide, flat, or down sloping brim. One important thing to consider is though they are known for sun coverage, most lifeguard styles do not feature UPF protective fabrics.SHOP LIFEGUARD HATS
 Mao, Private or Military Cap – The Mao cap or private cap is a military looking style and is essentially a minimalist, stubby baseball cap. Features of this style are a short brim of between 2 and 3 inches and a crown that is also short and around the same size with a flat top. These caps can be worn by both men and women and are a great alternative to the standard baseball cap.
Newsboy Cap / Paperboy – The newsboy cap is a style that is referred to as having 6 or 8-quarter panels that form into a larger, rounder version of the traditional ivy or flat cap. It is typically finished with a button atop it and sometimes it will have a snap on the brim.  
 Novelty Hats / Caps – Novelty hats are styles that are mock-ups of the original thing. Such as a fake policeman cap, or fireman, or the madhatter hat. These are for fun and costume.SHOP NOVELTY HATS
 Outback /Aussie Hat – The outback hat is characterized by a wider brim, usually starting at about 2.5 inches, and a flatter, slightly less parabolic profile than the safari . Often there is a slight upturn on the sides giving a western or “outback” feel to it. Crown shape may vary but most often you will see a teardrop, also called “C” crown, shape.SHOP OUTBACK HATS
 Panama Hats – The Panama hat is one of the more beautiful and timeless styles around.  Technically Panama hats come from Ecuador, not Panama, but the widespread use of these hats during the construction of the Panama Canal granted them the name we all use today. Panama hats are not one style. Instead, they are characterized only by their material, Toquila Straw. A panama hat can be made into any shape or style using it’s distinctive straw and depending on the fineness of the fibers used can be priced up to tens of thousands of dollars. All that said, when people talk about the Panama hat they tend to think of the wide-brimmed plantation or fedora style that is most common.SHOP PANAMA HATS
 Peruvian – The Peruvian beanie or cap is a style easily recognizable by the two tassels hanging off the bottom of the ear flaps on either side.  It shares characteristics with the beanie but has the two large and long ear flaps for extra warmth and a bit of style. They usually have a decorative weave and many times have a pom/ball on the top.
 Pith Helmet – The Pith helmet is a classic design that is nowadays a symbol and commonly seen used by our United States Postal Service workers. Many variations of the style exist from the sterotypical version seen at the right to the cloth covered more ornate versions that have been used by explorers and militaries of days past. The term “Pith” comes from the material they were originally made from which is a tissue in the stems of vascular plants but they are also made of cork and in present day many other materials including even toyo or paper.SHOP PITH HELMET
 Porkpie Hat – The porkpie is a stylish hat typically worn today by the more fashion-fforward. It has recently seen a rise in popularity due to the show Breaking Bad since it is the trademark hat of the main character Walter White.  It is primarily characterized by the crown shape, which is a flat-topped oval with an oval indention that defines the shape. This style can have a medium brim but most often has a very small brim, called a “stingy brim” and can be called by this name. The “Stingy brim” term more often now just refers to the brim size however and is used to describe other styles with a short brim as well.SHOP PORKPIE HATS
 Race Hat / Derby – 
Race hats or derby hats are the big ornate styles that you see at the opening days of the horse races. They can also be called derby’s though it is a contextual term because it is more traditionally associated with bowler hats.
 Steam Punk Hats – While not a traditional style with history, this category has become popular as of late with Burning Man and other festival attendees and is worth noting. Steampunk is a fictional genre based in earlier Victorian time periods, and the hats are generally characterized by older styles such as top hats and bowlers adorned with various brass ornaments like clock wheels and chains.SHOP STEAMPUNK HATS
Safari Hat – The safari style is often confused with the pith helmet that some post-office workers use. The safari style as called by manufacturers however, is defined by a gently downward sloping brim all around, a medium to high crown, and a center dent crown  style. 
 Tam – The tam hat has increased in style as of late and can be found in many varieties. The base for it however is a loose fitting, crocheted weave style beanie hat that is worn off the back of the head. Aside from some men with dreadlocks or longer hair, this is a style that is usually worn by women.
Top Hat – The top hat is another iconic style that today is more often used as novelty or in an extremely formal situation.  The two main distinguishing features are a large crown that is sometimes convex, and a short to medium brim. Aside from these, there are many variations on the style. SHOP TOP HATS
Trilby Hat The Trilby is similar to the fedora in shape and style with the exception that the brim is quite short or stingy. Trilby and fedora are commonly exchanged terms when talking about the styles so you will usually find what you are looking for when asking for either of these styles.SHOP TRILBY HATS 
 Visor Hat – The visor is a great style that is coveted for it’s simplicity and packing ability. The only real criteria for a visor is that the top of the head is uncovered, essentially a hat without a crown. There are now full brims that look like donuts and 3/4 brims where there is a split in the back for a woman’s hair.
 Western or Cowboy – The cowboy hat is an American icon and can be immediately recognized as such anywhere around the world. They are typically made in felt, leather, or straw and have very wide brims. The more iconic shape shows the brim turned up at the sides but they are also sometimes flat. Along with brim size variation, they can have many different crown shapes as well including the pinch crown, “C” or teardrop, and center dent among others. In summation, the most telling factors of a cowboy hat usually tend to be a taller than usual crown and a wide brim up sloping brim.


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Common Hat Terms

Stingy Brim  – A stingy brim is a term to describe a hat with a very short brim. Usually short implies about 1-2 inches.  This can also be considered to be a style in it’s own right.

Packable/Crushable – A common misconception about packable/crushable hats is that you can fold, crush, and generally beat on a hat and it will always come back out in its original form. This is simply untrue. When you see a hat with a “packable/crushable” tag it generally means that it can withstand more abuse or is not so fragile that it will break when this action is applied. Moreover if the hat is semi-rigid, or has a stiffer brim or crown it may require a little steam and love to come back to it’s original form. The exceptions to this would be bucket and boonie hats or soft styles typically seen with women’s hats. In any case, always think of the packable/crushable term as durable rather than a miracle hat that will always be perfect. 

Shapeable – When hats are described with this trait it means that the normally plastic wire woven inside brims has been replaced with a metal wire that allows you to augment the shape of the brim in any way you choose.

UPF/Sun Protection – UPF not to be confused with SPF, stands for “Ultraviolet Protective factor” and refers to a few factors. These factors include the weave, color, weight, stretch and wetness of the material. Additionally in order to achieve ultraviolet protection, fabrics are sometimes treated first with a protection material and then it is up to the other factors to determine the actual UPF rating. The ratings are as follows:

UPF RatingProtection Coverage% of UV Radiation Blocked
UPF 15-24Good93.3-95.9
UPF 25-39Very Good96.0-97.4
UPF 40-50+Excellent97.5-99+

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Most common Crown Shapes


Teardrop / C-Crown
: This crown type features a teardrop looking shape when viewed from above. It is also called a “C” crown because the rear of the crown looks like a distinct C when again viewed from above. 
Center Dent  – The center dent style is as it sounds with a single crease down the center of the crown with a typical depth of 1-2 inches.
Diamond – The diamond crown is a less widely seen style but again looks exactly as it sounds when viewed from above. It is a wider crown shape and is mainly seen on contemporary fedoras.
Oval/Round – The oval or round shaped crown is most commonly found and is a distinctive attribute of a Gambler hat. That being said, it definitely exists in other styles as well.
Flat Top – The flat top is commonly seen on top hats, the Spanish zorro style, fez’s, and pork-pie’s have a variation of this.

types of hats

There are many rules relating to face shapes and what hat styles do or don’t work… Here at Karen Henriksen HQ we think those rules are useful, but should be taken with a pinch of salt. We thought it might be useful to create a style guide specific to Karen’s uniquely tailored hats. But please feel free to experiment and be playful!

What is your face shape?

Ask your friends / family to take a good look at your face! It’s generally easier for others to see. 

The main face shapes are: oval, round, long, square and heart-shape. Since we’ve started talking about face shapes though, we are finding that most people are more than one shape, i.e. long oval, rounded square and so on. The shapes are a guideline more than a science!

I’m also including additional things to consider: the style of your hair, if you wear glasses and finally if you’ve been gifted with a wonderful Roman nose.

Main face shapes and suggested Karen Henriksen styles

Alessandra: Oval Heart shape

Alessandra: Oval Heart shape

Kamara: Long Oval shape

Kamara: Long Oval shape

Nicole: Square shape

Nicole: Square shape

-Oval shape: You’re in luck as you can almost wear any hat shape! – Other factors come into consideration such as hair style and colouring.

-Heart shape: As with the oval shape, your choice of hat styles is wide! Caps, cloche hats brimmed hats and pillbox hats all work well – see model images of Alessandra and Rebekah. If you have prominent cheekbones, just make sure the crown isn’t too narrow.

-Round shape: Go for asymmetric shapes and hat styles that have an angular feel: a small trilby like Sedley or Garbo: their asymmetric crown & short brim are good for round faces. Another brimmed hat, the Crawford works well too. The Kathy cloche is also good with a small round face. If it’s a cap you’re after, the Windswept DC design could be great. Stay away from hats that have a very round shape though, as this will accentuate your round features: avoid Linda for example.

-Long shape: Choose something with width – For example generous size caps, berets or beret-caps such as Blaize, Linda, and Bonnie. Equally good would be wider brims, including Crawford – you could wear it quite low down to reduce the length of your face. Wider cloches such as Sonia or Anne would work well too. Also a short brimmed hat such as Sarah is good as it has a bit extra width. From the Windswept collection, Georgia is a popular cap with that little bit of extra width.

-Square shape: Go for an asymmetric look by wearing your hat to one side. Soften the shape of your face by choosing a hat with a rounder shape – A beret-cap such as Linda, or a wide brim with rounded crown such as the Pickford. Any berets such as Bonniewould be great, as well as the Kathy cloche, or any short brimmed hat would suit a small square face. The Windswept DC cap would work well too.

Other considerations: Glasses, Hair and Nose size

-Glasses: Most hats by Karen Henriksen  work with glasses – Just watch out, the Anne is a deep cloche style which isn’t ideal with bigger glasses.

-Curly Hair: Avoid close-fitting crown styles such as the Petra cap- but more generous cap and beret shapes such as the RyeLinda and Aimee work really well with curly hair. Broadwick is also good as it has a wide brim and wide crown.

-Straight Hair: You’re in luck as most hats can be worn with straight hair! In particular it looks nice tucked behind the ear(s) while wearing your hat. 

-Short hair: Small brimmed trilby-style hats such as the Garbo or Sedleywould work well. Also for an androgynous look, try Denhamor Perry.

-Wonderful Roman nose – Make full use of wide brims such as the Bergman or Lorna, Summer visors work well, or long peaked caps such as Inge and Petra, or the Windswept DC style which also features a strong peak.

Milliner’s Eye

Rebekah: Heart shape

Rebekah: Heart shape

Karen has just revealed a skill I didn’t know about: When a new visitor approaches (at a show for example), she can immediately visualise which style(s) would suit them! So if you’re feeling unsure which style would work best for you, please feel free to email us a picture of your face, your outfit and any questions. Or you can also get in touch to arrange a free style consultation in Karen’s London studio.

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