Deerstalker Hats – 5 Intriguing Facts

The deerstalker hat has a unique look with its tall, sturdy crown, two bills in the front and back, and loose ear flaps on either side. Not only does the hat remind us of a famous detective, but there are also some interesting facts that many are not familiar with. 

One intriguing fact about the deerstalker hat is that it is an icon of Sherlock Holmes. However, a red deerstalker hat is the trademark of Holden Caulfield, the protagonist from The Catcher in the Rye. The deerstalker hat was an essential item of the Victorian hunting ensemble in the 19th century.

In this article, we will cover five intriguing facts about deerstalker hats. We will also discuss when the hat was popular and who wore the hat. Furthermore, we will look at two iconic characters who famously sported the hat.

Sherlock Holmes Wore the Deerstalker Hat in the Original Illustrations

Even though Arthur Conan Doyle never mentioned Sherlock Holmes wearing a deerstalker hat, the detective often wore the hat on the cover of the original books and stories. 

Sidney Paget, the illustrator of the books, mentioned that he drew Sherlock wearing the deerstalker hat since the detective needed a trademark style that anyone would recognize. He also wanted to portray the detective as a trustworthy, unique individual. Read more about Sherlock’s hat in this article.

Deer Stalker Cap

If you want to purchase this illustration, check out Sidney Paget Sherlock Holmes and Watson Circa 1893 on Amazon.

A Red Deerstalker Hat Was Holden Caulfield’s Trademark

The main character of The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, is another famous character who sported the deerstalker hat. It is almost impossible to find an illustration of the character with a bare head. People often regard the red deerstalker hat as Holden Caulfield’s trademark. 

The Hat Was Popular in the Nineteenth Century

The deerstalker hat was popular, especially in England, during the nineteenth century. Many huntsmen and sportsmen would wear it while out on hunting trips. Between 1870 and 1890, the hat became a more prominent feature of everyday men’s wear since sports clothes increased in popularity. 

The Deerstalker Was a Key Feature of the Victorian Hunting Ensemble

Due to its characteristics, sportsmen often wore the hat in the English countryside. It was warm, comfortable, and would perform well with different weather conditions. Often, the weather would fluctuate when hunting in the country; the men needed a hat that would work all season. 

The Hat Is Also Known As the ‘Fore-and-Aft’ Cap

The ‘fore-and-aft’ cap is another alternative name to the deerstalker hat. Even though this name is less popular, it came to fruition because of the hat’s front and back bills. Not only did the bills make the fashion piece more comfortable, but they also had ear flaps on each side to keep the wearer’s ears warm. You could also tie the bottom of the cap to keep it nice and snug. Read more about the bills on the deerstalker in this article.


Fans often think of the deerstalker hat as Sherlock Holmes’s trademark, even though the author never mentioned the hat in the books. It was Sidney Paget, the illustrator, who gave Holmes the iconic and memorable look. 

If you want to start sporting a deerstalker hat that looks similar to the one the famous detective wore, check out the Pasquale Cutarelli Men’s Wool Tweed Deerstalker Hat on Amazon. If you are not wearing this with a Sherlock Holmes costume, consider wearing the hat with a thick, plain sweater and dress shirt. 

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