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7 Famous People Who Wore Tricorne Hats

By Taylor James


Updated on

As time goes on, fashion trends come and go. In the world of hats, styles are constantly changing and evolving. In fact, a number of formal hat styles that are reborn today as vintage chic stem from the infamous tricorne hat.

Famous people who wore tricorne hats include Louis XIV, Peter the Great, Charles III of Spain, James Monroe, George Washington, Naval Officers, and John Adams. The tricorne hat rose to popularity in the 18th century. The name “tricorne” was not even adopted until the mid to late 19th century.

The remainder of this article will share seven examples of historical figures and other public figures who have been known to wear the tricorne hat. Additionally, the history of the tricorne hat will be explained in order to provide context. 

The History of the Tricorne Hat

Though the most expensive tricorne hats were made from beaver hair felt, most were crafted from the more affordable wool felt. Tricorne hats were primarily worn by the aristocracy, although any average stylish man could be seen adorning this style of hat to accentuate their wig. Military personnel were among the most common group to sport this accessory.

The hat styles and sizes would vary from one individual to another based on their own preferences. One common theme throughout every tricorne hat was the triangular shape with one point jutting forward. The hats were often adorned with feathers, gold or silver lacing, and other accents. 

Today it is often associated with pirate hats such as this popular tricorn pirate hat on Amazon.

Louis XIV 

Louis XIV, former King of France, was the epitome of an egotistical ruler. This former king would also order his disciples to refer to him as Louis the Great or the Sun King. As a member of the aristocracy, Louis XIV was known to flaunt expensive outfits. His typical attire would feature a tricorne hat as the most notable accessory. 

Louis XIV
“louis XIV” by pilllpat (agence eureka) is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Peter the Great

Peter the Great, also known as Pyotr Alekseevich, served as a Russian tsar from 1682 until he died in 1725. For much of this time, Peter the Great ruled the Russian Empire alongside his half-brother, Ivan V.

As the Russian tsar, Peter the Great was considered a national hero and icon. The tricorne hat was a staple accessory that would complete his daily attire.

Charles III of Spain

Charles III is best remembered as the former ruler of Sicily, Naples, and Spain. At just 15 years old, Charles III became the Duke of Parma and Piacenza. 

During his time as the King of Spain, Charles had been known to issue several reforms hoping that greater funds would be brought to his land. As a prominent wealthy and powerful historical figure, Charles III was commonly seen wearing a tricorne hat to complete his outfits. 

James Monroe

James Monroe’s use of the tricorne hat as a fashion accessory was so widely recognized that the former president gained the nickname “The Last Cocked Hat.” This nickname also fell into place due to the fact that only the first five United States presidents had been known to sport the tricorne hat.

George Washington

Perhaps the most infamous individual to adorn the tricorne style hat, George Washington was an accomplished President of the United States and a political pioneer. It was typical that a man in the public eye and of Washington’s status might be seen adorning this elaborate style of hat. Read more about Washington’s hat in this article.

Naval Officers

As previously mentioned, it was common that military personnel would wear the tricorne style hat. In fact, the Women’s Royal Naval Service adopted a smaller, modified version of the tricorne hat in 1917. 

Military officers commonly wore this style of hat until World War I. By the conclusion of World War II, the tricorne hat had completely gone out of style. The next major accessory to replace the tricorne hat was, in fact, the top hat. 

John Adams

John Adams is best known for serving as the second President of the United States. He was known as a respected political philosopher and a remarkable former Vice President under President George Washington. It was common President Adams would be portrayed as wearing a tricorne hat to show valiance and honor.


While the tricorne hat is no longer as popular as it was during its earlier days, it was formerly referred to as the cocked hat. The tricorne or cocked hat could be seen worn by individuals until it lost popularity by 1800. 

The tricorne hat was an iconic part of history in terms of providing even the common civilian with a way to boost their fashion sense. The variety of personalization offerings is one of the many reasons why the tricorne hat was able to gain and maintain its popularity. 

The tricorne hat is also worn by many fictional characters. Read this article about Jack Sparrow’s tricorne hat.

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.