17th Century Hats for Men

Written by michael e carpenter
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17th Century Hats for Men
The pirate is wearing a tricorne cocked hat common during the late 17th century. (pirate statue image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com)

During the 17th century hats were a must-have accessory for both men and women. A man was to always have his hat on his head or under his arm in public. Common hats from the time period include the tricorne, the capotain, the sugar loaf and knitted caps.

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The tricorne hat, which is associated with 17th-century pirates, has three corners and looks like a triangle when viewed from above. During the late 1600s the tricorne was also called the "cocked" hat because it was common to have two sides of the hat brought up. Brims were wide and the tops were traditionally flat. Capt. Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean wears a tricorne hat.

Capotain Hat

The capotain hat was made of felt, and the most popular colour was black. While the hat originated in Spain, it is most commonly referred to as a Pilgrim's hat in the United States. The tall hats had medium-sized brims and were tapered toward the top. Ribbon could be added around the hat and is commonly seen with a white or metallic rectangle in the front that looks like a belt buckle.

Sugar Loaf

The sugar loaf hat is very similar to a capotain hat. Both are made of felt. The sugar loaf hat had a high crown and a very stiff brim. It was associated with the Puritans. This kind of hat was worn by both men and women during the time period. The sugar loaf hat has a long history dating back to the 1400s.

Knitted Caps

It was common for men of the 17th century to wear elaborate wigs, especially if they were nobility. During the time men were to have hats with them, even if they were not being worn. Knitted caps could be worn with little disturbance to the wigs and easily carried when placed under the arm. Ship crewman would wear knitted caps very similar to the skull caps worn today when the weather turns cold.

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