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Bycocket Hat – Essential Facts

By Taylor James


Updated on

The bycocket dates back to medieval times. People mostly know the bycocket hat as the ‘Robin Hood Hat.’

Pointed at the front in the shape of a bird’s beak and folded up at the back. In France it called the chapeau à bec, meaning a billed hat.

The felt fashion piece was most popular from the 13th to 16th Century, when nobles and royalty would decorate the hat with feathers, jewels, and ornaments. Only years later did the merchant class start wearing the hat.

While Robin Hood’s hat is mostly portrayed as green the bycocket was often worn in red and blue.

To most people, the bycocket is just an old, weird-looking hat. However, this article may change your mind. We will cover five intriguing facts about bycocket hats, including when it was popular and who wore them. 

Robin Hood Hat

The Bycocket Hat Is Known As the ‘Robin Hood Hat’

The bycocket hat has a very distinct shape with its odd-looking brim. The hat had a tall crown while the brim was folded up in the back and pointed sharply in the front. 

People usually recognize the hat as the ‘Robin Hood Hat.’ So many people link the hat to the heroic figure that its real name is virtually unknown. Robin Hood wore a dark green or brown one, often sporting a feather tucked in the brim.

Check out this Robin Hood hat on Amazon.

Read more about Robin Hood’s hat here.

They Were Popular From the 13th to 16th Century

The bycocket hat was trendy in Western Europe for both men and women. From the 13th to 16th centuries, the hat was a classic fashion piece of everyday wear. However, as we will cover in a moment, the kinds of people who wore the hat depended on the Century.

Only Nobles and Royalty Wore Them Originally

In the 13th Century, only nobles and royalty wore bycocket hats, as the hat was a sign of superior class and nobility. Many nobles and royals wore the bycocket hats adorned with luxurious jewels, feathers, and other decorative ornaments. When the merchant class started to don them, they would not bedazzle their versions with ornaments.

The Merchant Class Started To Wear It Later

After a certain period, the merchant class, men and women, started incorporating the bycocket into their dress code.

It was typical to wear this kind of hat during certain activities. For example, men would often wear the bycocket during afternoons of horse riding.

However, people also wore the hat while hunting or hawking. 

The Hat Appears in the Decretals of Gregory IX

The Decretals of Gregory IX is a historical piece of literature that represents medieval canon law. In 1230, Pope Gregory IX ordered the chaplain and confessor to write a new canon law for the Catholic Church. On one page of this literature, you’ll find a man wearing a red bycocket. 

Final Thoughts

The bycocket hat is not well-known, especially in modern times. But if anyone knows it, they most likely know it as Robin Hood’s hat. 

The unique-looking hat was popular in everyday fashion from the 13th Century to the 16th Century. However, only nobles and royals wore the hat when it appeared as a wardrobe piece. They often decorated the hat with feathers, jewels, and other ornaments.

People still wear the hat today when dressing up for Halloween or other cultural events. It is a popular hat to make at home with lots of people on Youtube showing how it’s done.

About Taylor James

As Philip Treacy once said, “How a hat makes you feel is what a hat is all about.” And on that note, I hope you enjoy your hats and find the site useful. Learn more about Hat Realm's Editorial Process.