Elizabeth Ist coat of arms

Elizabethan Hats for Men

Queen Elizabeth Ist

"Queen Elizabeth Ist"


Clothing and Fashion - Elizabethan Hats for Men

Elizabethan Hats were an essential part of clothing for men in the 'Peacock Age' and played an important part in the fashion of the day. Hat brims were often turned up and fastened to the crown with a jewelled brooch or other ornament.

Hat bands using scarves made of expensive fabric, such as silk, were often used as a form of decoration.

Hats for Men
The Elizabethan fashion dictated that the head was adorned with a hat. The Upper Classes used a variety of materials in their hats but it is fascinating to note that in 1571 a law was passed which ordered everyone over the age of six to wear a woollen cap on Sundays and holidays in order to help England's wool trade. The Upper Classes were excused from obeying this law.

  • The materials that hats were made of were silk, velvet, taffeta and wool
  • Older men covered their heads with a coif ( commonly referred to as the 'biggin' ) under their hats
  • The taller the hat the more important the man - lower classes wore woollen flat caps
  • The Muffin cap - worn by the lower classes in cheap linen ( similar to a cooks hat )
  • Tall Crown hat worn by the Upper Class - made with expensive fabrics - silk velvet etc
  • The Flat cap worn by the Upper and Lower Class
  • The Toque - similar to a flat cap
  • Hat decorations - All classes and ages wore feathers in their hats. Hats worn by the Upper Class were expensively decorated with jewelled bands (called bilaments), broaches, badges and ribbons
  • A Fool's Cap featured hornes, eares, ill faces and other such fopperies and were worn by court jesters, or fools

Elizabethan Hats for Men - a comment dating back to 1583.
During the Elizabethan era pamphlets were printed and distributed commenting on life in Elizabethan England. A writer of one such pamphlet was a well travelled Londoner called Philip Stubbes. Some interesting facts and confirmation of information about Elizabethan Hats for men can be obtained from the words of Philip Stubbes. A first hand impression of the fashions of the Elizabethan era are invaluable - but the Elizabethan style of writing can be hard going. The following information has therefore been taken from the points he made on Hats for men:

  • The style of hats are referred to ranging from high hats to flat hats
  • The materials that hats were made of were silk, velvet, taffeta, wool and sarcenet
    • Sarcenet was a delicate silk fabric
  • The range of different colors for hats
  • The fast changing fashions for hats
  • The prolific use of feathers to decorate the hat - even children had them in their hats.
Elizabethan Clothing
Elizabethan Era Index

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