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Deerstalker Hats – Essential Facts

By Taylor James


Updated on

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 unfamiliar with. 

Deer Stalker Cap
Alexei Novikov@123rf.com

The Deerstalker 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. 

Available on Amazon – Harris Tweed Deerstalker

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. 

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.

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.

The book has sold more than 65 million copies and is regarded as one of the most important literary novels of all time.

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 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.

The deerstalker’s dual-brim design provides protection from the sun for both the face and the back of the wearer’s neck

Final Thoughts

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. 

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.