The Hats of Robin Hood

The hat famously worn by Robin Hood goes by a lot of different names throughout history. Along with the many other names this hat goes by, it has also been worn by many kinds of people through the years, from royalty to the merchant class. While many know this hat as simply the Robin Hood hat, what kind of hat is this? 

The Robin Hood hat is referred to as a bycocket back in Medieval England, while in medieval France, this hat is known as the chapeau à bec. This hat was worn by various people, who all belonged to different social and economic classes. 

In this article, we’ll explore more about the Robin Hood hat, including its history, as well as other interesting facts you may want to know. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, keep on reading. 

Robin Hood Hat

The History of the Robin Hood Hat

The bycocket became popular in the early 14th century and was commonly worn by both men and women during this time. This type of hat was widely worn outdoors and was popular amongst those who went riding or hunting.

While the bycocket is historically known to be worn by those who are outdoorsmen and on the athletic side, this hat was still known to be popular amongst different kinds of folks, all of whom wore this hat due to its unique and fashionable style. 

By the 15th century, the bycocket was no longer considered a mainstream hat in both England and France. However, in other parts of the world, the bycocket was still worn by both nobles and merchants alike.  

This is a unique hat, seeing how it was worn amongst many different social and economic classes. While it’s known as different names within different parts of the world, this iconic hat is famously known today as the Robin Hood hat. 

Below, we’ll explore more interesting factoids about this iconic hat that may surprise you. 

Commonly Decorated in a Variety of Ways

Depending on those who wore this hat, as well as the kind of environment they were in, the bycocket could be decorated in numerous different ways.

Robin Hood himself is famously known for having a feather in this hat, which was a common accessory that many had on their bycocket at the time. This practice was originally coined by the Native Americans, who would add a feather to their headdress after defeating an enemy. 

As for the English and the French, adding embellishments to their bycocket such as feathers, gold jewels, and a variety of different colors was a way for the individual to express themselves and showcase how fashionable they were. 

When it came to the decor of a bycocket, the hat’s crown was mainly embellished, as opposed to the brim of the hat. This is probably due to the fact that it was easier to show off components you had added to your bycocket this way, as they could be seen better on the crown without getting in the way.

The most common color you would find on a bycocket’s crown was red, followed by blue and gray. As for the brim, you’d mainly find colors such as gray, red, or blue. These colors varied depending on the wearer of the hat and what they preferred, as colors and patterns were one of the main components of self-expression available to bycocket wearers. 

This may surprise some, as Robin Hood’s hat is usually depicted as green, but historically, these were the most popular colors that those with bycocket wore. 

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These Hats Were Usually Made of Wool

While we don’t know the exact process that took place to create these hats back in the day, the bycocket was likely made of wool. 

Seeing how wool was such a strong and popular material to create with during that period would make sense for these mainstream hats to be created with some kind of wool felt processing. 

A wide brim would be added that is turned up in the back while pointing outwards in the front during its creation. Seeing how the front of the hat looks similar to that of a bird’s beak, this is how the French coined the name chapeau à bec, which translates to a hat with a beak. 

Popular Hat for Outdoorsmen

As we stated previously, the bycocket was known to be a hat mainly worn outdoors. You’d find this hat on individuals while they were riding or hunting, as was quite popular amongst foresters as well.

Seeing how the brim of the hat was pointed forwards, it allowed foresters who used their longbows to shoot their arrows successfully without the brim of their hat getting caught on the string of their bows.

Seeing how Robin Hood was known for wielding a bow and arrow, it would make sense that the heroic outlaw would wear this kind of hat. Not only does the shape of this hat make it ideal for outdoorsmen, but it’s lightweight and simple design make it a great hat for those who work outdoors. 

Many Early Stories Don’t Mention Robin Hood Wearing a Bycocket

While this hat is most famously known as the Robin Hood hat, many may be surprised to know that many of the earliest accounts of the hero Robin Hood never mention him wearing a bycocket.

Robin Hood is famous for wearing this kind of hat in the early movie depictions based on the character. When people think of the Robin Hood hat, many may think back to Disney’s Robin Hood cartoon that dates back to 1973. 

This is just one of the many movie depictions of the character that portrays Robin Hood with a green bycocket embellished with a single feather. As for the earliest written accounts that mentioned the vigilante, this type of hat was never mentioned, which is something to consider. 

While Bycockets were popular around the time Robin Hood was supposedly active, it was never written in early accounts that the outlaw actually wore them. Seeing how this type of hat was a mainstream accessory during that time, it’s definitely possible that the heroic legend actually wore one. 

Whether the legend known as Robin Hood actually wore a bycocket remains unknown. Still, it’s clear to see that early depictions of the character wearing one of these hats remains impactful. Not only that, but these early depictions of Robin Hood wearing this hat introduce many to the bycocket for the first time. 

So next time you spot one of these hats or absorb a piece of art that mentions the heroic legend known as Robin Hood, you’ll have plenty of knowledge about one of the character’s key accessories, as well as all the history it holds. 


This article discussed what kind of hat Robin Hood wore and what it was called throughout history. The hat, commonly known as the Robin Hood hat, goes by a few different names, such as the bycocket or the chapeau a bec, depending on where you are in the world.

The bycocket became popular in the 14th century and was commonly worn by people from all social and economic backgrounds. You could also find both men and women wearing this type of hat, as it came in a variety of different styles.  

Discover more intriguing facts about bycocket hats in this article.

These hats were commonly worn indoors and out but were very popular amongst hunters and foresters. While it’s unclear if the real Robin Hood ever actually wore a bycocket, it’s clear to see the impact that this character has on how the world views this iconic hat of the 14th century.