Bucket Hats in Hip-hop Culture

When it comes to hip hop music, our first significant impression is its clothing and accessory. The clothing and accessory trends in connection with hip hop and rap music have become a key element of popular fashion all over the world. Hip-hop music began in the late 1970s and early 1980s; it has brought the development of fashion industry. One of the most influential stylistic trends have been introduced by hip hop to modern fashion was the symbolic headwear that were worn by rappers at that time.  

Hip Hop has changed a lot since the 1980s. Not only have the music changed, but also the style and pattern of their clothing have changed. As Hip-hop moved from the Bronx to worldwide phenomenon in the late 1980s, the bucket hat came with it.

As we all know, the bucket hat first appeared in hip-hop on the head of Big Bank Hank of Sugar Hill Gang, who wore the hat during a 1979 performance of “Rapper’s Delight” on the seminal disco television show Soap Factory, and it promptly launched a phenomenon, stimulating others to embrace the hat, including Run-DMC in 1984. However, the bucket hat’s most famous rap-world representative LL Cool J wore a bucket hat on the image of his 1985 album Radio, which was provided by Kangol, a British headwear company. After that, LL Cool J made the Kangol company a well-known brand. By 1989, when LL Cool J was cruising through LA in the video for “Going Back to Cali” in a canvas version of his signature accessory, the bucket hat has already become a hip-hop symbol, worn by Run-DMC and Jaz-O. Many artists were adopting the Kangol bucket hat look; the hat enters into the fashion world and it becomes a new fashion trend in hip hop headwear. Rappers like Run DMC and Rick Ross, and eventually even Eminem in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they all wore Kangol bucket hats.

This phenomenon illustrates how hip hop influence the fashion trend. Actually, Kangol bucket hats are still available in present, although their look are no longer like the original hat worn by LL Cool J’s signature style. The materials and patterns still refer to the original retro bucket hats in the 1980s and 1990s.

Rappers made certain brands of clothing or accessories or styles of hats by adopting them as their own “signature looks”. They wanted to stand out from others by wearing special clothing. Which means that they need to take a piece of clothing or an accessory that designed for their own features and bring a new life into their overlook.

About a decade later, the bucket hat has become the symbolic of a very different music genre. Rihanna herself is a super fan of the bucket hat; she likes to wear fancy bucket hats no matter what the occasion and what style of her clothing. It seems that she can always match her clothing with her different hats. In fact, bucket hats and rappers are still intimate friends at present, for increasing rappers like to wear the hat.

Bucket Hats in the Military

Due to the practicality and durability of the bucket hats, they are used by many armies and special troops.

The bucket hat was introduced by the U.S. military during the Second World War. It was used to protect the soldiers’ heads and eyes from the sun and prevent the soldiers from getting heat-related illnesses. Besides, prevent soldiers from glaring when aiming a weapon.

The US Navy issued hats with denim and navy twill. Known as the “Daisy Mae”, these bucket hats featured a regular-sized crown with an extended brim that can perform better in monsoon season. The Israeli Armed Forces also used a soft hat with a wide brim in the 1940s, similar to the Daisy Mae.

The bucket hat was slightly modified in the 1960s by the U.S. army, which was called “Boonie Hat” and then the bonnie hat was used in the Vietnam War. Boonie hat also known as a “Giggle Hat” in the Australian Army, was originally issued to the Green Berets for Special Forces, but it was quickly adopted by other forces and even the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. Giggle hats were issued as the standard uniform of Australian troops fighting in Southeast Asia during the Second World War. The design originated from the British uniform which was used to fight in hot and humid conditions. During that time, the Green Berets were used by the US Army, Australian and Vietnamese troops. In order to avoid this conflict, the boonie hat was introduced to the US army.

The Boonie is very similar to the bucket hat except that it has a flat top and a hard brim. Moreover, the inclusion of features such as loops of fabric “branch loops” around the crown which were used to hold leaves and shrubs that used as camouflage. Soldiers often sew old camouflage uniforms onto their boonies.

By 1967, the U.S. army began using the boonies as a standard. These hats are made of windproof cotton poplin and come with an anti-mosquito net. The boonie hat usually was adopted generic olive drab, tiger stripe or leopard spot pattern.

In Israel, the bucket hat is known as “Rafael hat”, because it was worn by the former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, General Rafael Eitan. Then it was renamed to “Tembel” to protect people from the sun. It has become a symbol of freedom and independence by the Israelis.

Nowadays, bucket hats are still seen in Armies and Special Forces around the world. The bucket hat is widely used among people. Since the late 1960s, the bucket hat has successfully entered the stage of Hip-hop outfits and become one of the symbols of rappers. Today the bucket hat is a fashion item for hipsters and bloggers alike. The styles of bucket hats getting more varied, which means there are more choices available for people. It is not only used to do sun protection but also plays a more important role for decorating. Therefore, many people are favored it and would like to wear the hat in daily life.

Best Ways to Wear a Bucket Hat

You may ask what the latest trend in hats is. That’s the bucket hat. Yes, it comes back to the fashion world. After its popularity in the late 1980s hip hop scene, it has appeared in all kinds of fashion shows. Hipsters have worn the bucket hat to show different styles on the street. Gradually, many people have started to wear different kinds of bucket hats, such as pure-colored hats, fancy hats and so on. People choose a bucket hat mostly depending on their preference, so sometimes their bucket hats may not look as beautiful as the model’s. That is because they worn it wrongly.

There are many different ways for you to wear a bucket hat. Not everyone wears them has the same effect. The groupies often indulge in buying the same style of their idols. For instance, you see your idol wearing a fancy bucket hat and then you quickly buy a same one, while the effect of your wearing is different. Some people think that the star is always good-looking no matter what hats they wear. For our ordinary people, we can’t like them and thus we are not as good as they are. As a matter of fact, stars are not dressing casually. Their outfits are usually designed by professional stylists. So the matter thing is how you wear a bucket hat. Here are some ways for you to wear a bucket hat .

The first thing is to choose your own bucket hat.

Bucket hats are made of several kinds of materials, such as cotton, denim, velvet and nylon, etc. The material of the bucket hat is best chosen according to your personal preferences and the season you are in. Generally speaking, most bucket hats are made of cotton and can be worn all year round. Denim bucket hats are suitable for colder weather, like autumn and winter. Nylon bucket hats are often worn for outdoor activities, like fishing or camping. Velvet bucket hats are great for low temperature, it is perfect for snowy day.

Bucket hats have many design styles and colors for you to choose. The brim of the hat can be divided into wide brim and narrow brim. Wide-brim bucket hats mostly protect you from the sun and its rays, while the narrow-brim bucket hats are more stylistic and fashionable. Some bucket hats with wide-brim can be rolled up to change up the style at any time. Also, the bucket hat has flat top and round top. Small-faced people can wear a bucket hat with round top, while it is not suitable for people who have long and big face. They are suitable for the flat-topped bucket hat for which it can make their face look smaller than before. Round-topped hats look cute, while the flat-topped bucket hat looks more cool and handsome.

The second thing is to match it with your clothes

A bucket hat is suitable for casual wear. You can wear a simple T-shirt with shorts in summer. Or you can dress a beautiful skirt with a nice bucket hat to go for a holiday on beach. In a word, the bucket hat can be matched with all your wear. Remember to match the bucket hat with right colored clothes. If you are wearing pure-colored bucket hat, you can wear the same colored clothes or colorful clothes. If you are wearing a fancy bucket hat, you’d better match pure-colored clothes.

Anyway, you need to choose a good bucket hat first, and then you can match it with you clothes.