Anatomy of a Hat

It’s unclear when and where hats originated, but some of the earliest depictions trace back to Ancient Egypt--over 3200 years ago. Ancient Egyptians often shaved their heads and used various headdresses to stay cool.

The term “milliner” was first used in the sixteenth century. The word became more common by the eighteenth century as the best hats were made in Milan, Italy. Over time, hats were worn casually as a fashion accessory. However, there are a few high-profile social events where hats continue to be worn, such as horse racing. for example, the Royal Ascot in Britain and the Kentucky Derby in the US require attendees to wear hats.

To understand the countless hat styles and their differences, it's important to understand the various parts of a hat:

  • Brim: This is the horizontal piece of the hat that wraps around the crown.
  • Button: Similar to the bits found in shirts and pants, hat buttons typically sit on the top of the crown to connect the various panels.
  • Crown: The top part of a hat that wraps around the ball of the wearer’s head.
  • Eyelets: These are small holes in hats that create ventilation.
  • Inner lining: The material on the inside of the hat. In structured hats, like ascots and top hats, this piece is called the buckram.
  • Sweatband: Used inside the hat to collect sweat. This is most common in hats worn for fitness or sports, though some summer hats may also have a sweatband.
  • Underbrim: The underside of the brim or bill, which can be structured, as with snapbacks, or unstructured.
  • Visor or bill: Instead of a brim, some hats use a bill that protrudes from the front. The visor can be flat or slightly curved to provide shade.


Today, there are over 34 distinct styles of hat, all with their own unique charm. Some common examples include:

  • Ascot cap: A variation of flat caps with a stiff, round crown and made from wool or felt.
  • Baseball cap: One of the most common styles in the United States and Canada. These casual and easy-to-wear hats have a short-to-medium bill, which can be curved or flat in front, and typically have six panels that connect under a button at the top. If the size is adjustable by two plastic pieces that snap together, then that baseball cap is called a snapback hat. If the panels are all mesh, except for the front two panels, and it has a snapback, then that is a trucker hat.
  • Beanie: A knitted cap made of wool or cotton and usually worn as a winter hat. A similar variation is the long stocking cap, which has a longer crown that is meant to hang off the top or to the side, while the beanie remains fitted at the crown.
  • Beret: A soft, round hat with a flat crown, typically made of wool, cotton, or acrylic fibers.

At Roxann's Hats in Fort Langley, we offer an incredible selection of men's and women's hats. discover the style that's right for you.