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Robin Hood: His Hat Explained

By Taylor James


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The hat famously worn by Robin Hood has many different names throughout history. Along with the many other words this hat goes by, it has been worn by many people through the years, from royalty to the merchant class.

The Robin Hood hat is referred to as a bycocket in medieval England, while in medieval France, this hat is known as the chapeau à bec. People from different social and economic classes wore it.

Robin Hood Hat

The History of the Robin Hood Hat

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

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 social and economic classes. While it’s known by other names within other 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 is famously known for having a feather in this hat, a standard accessory that many had on their bycocket at the time.

The English and French added embellishments to their bycocket, such as feathers, gold jewels, and various colors. It 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.

The most common color 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 hat’s wearer and preference, 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. 

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The Bycocket Was Made from Wool

Seeing how wool was a solid and popular material during that period it would make sense for these mainstream hats to be created with some wool felt processing. 

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

The Bycocket was Popular With Outdoorsmen

The bycocket was known to be a hat mainly worn outdoors. You’d find this hat on individuals while they were riding or hunting, which was quite popular amongst foresters.

The hat’s brim was pointed forwards, allowing 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 hat. Not only does the shape of this hat make it ideal for outdoorsmen, but its 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 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 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. Seeing how this type of hat was a mainstream accessory during that time, it’s possible that the heroic legend wore one. 

Whether the legend known as Robin Hood wore a bycocket remains unknown. Still, early depictions of the character wearing one of these hats remain impactful. 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 of Robin Hood, you’ll have plenty of knowledge about one of the character’s essential accessories and the history it holds.

Discover more intriguing facts about bycocket hats in this article.

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.