Home > Hat Facts > Why Bucket Hats are So Popular

Why Bucket Hats are So Popular

By Taylor James


Updated on

Hats styles often go through waves of fashion, not least the bucket hat.

Bucket hats are so popular partly because of the heavy influence of pop culture.

They are durable, waterproof, and have a “nostalgic” value. On top of this, they are also easily folded and tucked into a backpack.

This article will focus on the main reasons why the bucket hat is so popular today, as well as a brief explanation of the bucket hat’s origins and defining characteristics and the pop culture that made the hat a nostalgic item.

women smiling wearing a bucket hat
@webbrennan via Twenty20

What Is a Bucket Hat?

Despite the increase in the bucket hat’s popularity in recent years, this hat was initially introduced around 1900. It was worn by Irish fishermen and farmers alike to shield them from the rain. This hat is also referred to as a fishing hat and is typically crafted from felt, denim, canvas, or wool. 

The term bucket hat was not popularized until the 1960s. Around this time, it was common to see individuals wearing bucket hats as streetwear. Today, the bucket hat is well known as the ideal lightweight hat for various outdoor activities. 

The Bucket Hat Is Extremely Durable

Although the bucket hat is extremely lightweight and flexible, this popular hat style is very durable. Ever since the bucket hat’s invention, it has earned a reputation as one of the most resilient and durable accessories.

The bucket hat is versatile because it can be folded up and packed for a trip and later worn to protect against rain or the harmful effects of direct sunlight, as it can be effective in preventing heatstroke.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the bucket hat is virtually a must to ensure that you are properly shielded from certain weather conditions.

Check out this popular bucket hat on Amazon.

Many Bucket Hats Are Designed to be Water Resistant

When the bucket hat was first introduced around 1900, the earliest models were crafted from tweed cloth or felt made from wool. This hat style was invented with fishermen and farmers in mind.

The bucket hat is sometimes referred to as the fishing hat. Designed to be water-resistant, the bucket hat is extremely desirable not only to fashion-forward individuals but also to everyday outdoors people. Read more in this article.

Pop Culture Helped the Bucket Hat Gain Popularity

The bucket hat experienced a major resurgence in popularity in the 1980s. At this time, the bucket hat was already being referred to as this name, which first appeared in society in the 1960s, but the 1980s saw a rapid increase in hip-hop and rap music popularity.  

Members of Run DMC are credited with sparking the popularity of the bucket hat. Although the hat was nowhere near as popular in the 1990s compared in the 1980s, hip-hop stars like Jay-Z certainly contributed to sparking another rise in popularity in the early 2000s.

Today, celebrities such as Billie Eilish, Meryl Streep, and Dennis Rodman have contributed to keeping the popularity of the bucket hat alive and kicking.

Bucket hats are also popular in the K-pop scene with several big Korean names such as BTS wearing the style. This has helped bring the style to a new generation of music fans.

Discover the origins of the bucket hat here.

The Bucket Hat Has Nostalgic Value

Regarded as the “hat for everyone,” the bucket hat has charming and informal qualities to fit anyone’s style. The bucket hat’s silhouette refers to the swagger and laid-back nature of the 1980s and early 2000s fashion.

Today, it is common to see the bucket hat worn with a casual dress or as streetwear.

LL Cool J and Dennis Rodman are just two individuals credited with sparking the resurgence of the bucket hat. Therefore, today, when an individual wears a bucket hat, that simple gesture doubles as a nod to the 1980s hip hop age.

It is no secret that the bucket has overcome the test of time. 


Discover more intriguing facts about bucket hats here.

Today, the bucket hat is one of the most commonly worn in the world among people of all ages. Although this hat was first introduced in the early 20th century, the term bucket hat was not popularized until the 1960s.

Several reasons exist as to why the bucket hat has withstood the test of time, which includes the water resistance of most bucket hats, durability, and the relaxed fit that the design offers. The overall durability and resilience of the bucket hat’s design make it attractive to the outdoor enthusiast.

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.