The bucket hat lends itself to a stream of diverse subcultures and if there was anything that would connect the humble fisherman with old-school hip-hop, this is it. Going strong for almost 30 years, the bucket hat is quite easily the best ticket to elevate your street style game. As the ultimate kit essential of the ’90s moves through modern streetwear, it is hard to see the staple ever going out of style.
“The bucket hat became a staple for many throughout decades cementing itself in popular culture and becoming an iconic piece of the Manchester scene, with the likes of the Stones roses and Happy Mondays,” says Nigel Green, marketing manager for Fila, one of the original bucket hat brands. “It has continued to be staple on the modern festival scene and engraved itself within many subcultures, being used as a nod to the fashion scene without being seen to conform to trends.”
Not for the faint-hearted however, this cult favourite is tricky to style in the wrong hands, but stick with us for a guide to the best bucket hats.
How to wear the bucket hat
Bucket hats are a bold choice and one that can either make its wearer look great or a 40-something uncle – the latter is not desired.
The easiest trick in the book is to simply match the hat with occasion – that being warmer weather. Summer clothing and bucket hats go hand-in-hand and is almost full-proof in avoiding style disaster. It is best to stay simple with a t-shirt, shorts and canvas shoes or if you want to push it a little further, try your hand at a track jacket and joggers when the weather turns cooler. Block colours are the safest option but prints are great for making a statement.
An obvious inclusion in the best bucket hats, FILA is the OG when it comes to the style staple. Founded in 1911, the Italian sportswear brand became a popular choice for the football subculture within the UK. Keep it classic by opting for the navy colour-way.
FILA Reversible Bucket Hat / $29 AUD SHOP NOW
Continuing on with the throwback styles, Tommy Jeans has nailed the ’90s rendition with acid wash denim and its iconic logo stitched on the front. If this doesn’t scream all-american hip-hop we don’t know what will.
Tommy Jeans ’90s Sailing Denim Bucket Hat / $60 AUD SHOP NOW
As one of the most iconic pieces in the French labels collection (behind the polo), Lacoste brings a preppy take on the bucket hat, looking best in stark white. No matter what is paired with this one, even the style novice can easily add style game to any look.
Lacoste Men’s Cotton Piqué Bucket Hat / $60 USD SHOP NOW
The North Face
Despite its direction towards the camping market, The North Face has been adopted by the street and with its name on just about every type of clothing. Including bucket hats into its long line of outdoor wear, this bucket hat will take you from the street to the wilderness effortlessly.
The North Face Hat / $74 USD SHOP NOW
For a more contemporary take on the old-school bucket hat, Acne Studios is the best place to try if you’re looking to make a statement. As one the brand’s go-to accessories, the Stockholm based company is well-known for its quality and design. Make the most of the Acne name by reaching for the check pattern.
Acne Studios Bucket Hat in Purple and Khaki / $220 AUD SHOP NOW
Considered one of the more premium styles, sportswear label Moncler are bringing luxury to the humble bucket hat. Well-known for its down jackets and snow gear, the Italian company will have you covered, no matter what altitude you find yourself at.
Moncler Logo Patch Hat / $392 AUD SHOP NOW
If you’re looking for full functionality and minimal design, Scandi brand Fjallraven is where to look. Synonymous with quality outdoor wear, it houses the famous G1000 fabric, providing water-repellency and breathability, so you know this bucket hat will be here for the for the long run.
Fjallraven Kiruna Hat / €53 EUR SHOP NOW
Lastly, if you’re after a no-frills, no-fuss basic for everyday wear, look no further than headwear company Kangol. Operating since 1920, the British company are experts at dressing your head, making the tricky bucket hat style easy.
Kangol Cotton Bucket / $45 USD SHOP NOW