The Fashion Memo

Why the bucket hat is having a haute comeback

L–R: Yoyo Cao, Shanelle Nyasiase, Grace Elizabeth

This season, the ’90s staple has been championed by emerging and established labels alike. Read on to find out why…

Fashion

Few accessories are as inherently nostalgic as the bucket hat. Now considered to be emblematic of the 1990s, this standout accessory has cycled in and out of style throughout its centenarian history. Originally developed and worn by fishermen around the beginning of the 20th century, its distinctive, wide sloping brim was initially designed to combat the elements at sea. The fact that these lightweight hats, often cast in denim and heavy cotton, could be folded up and stored with ease was simply an added bonus – and one that’s still valued today, as anyone who has traveled with a less-versatile style will attest to.

Indeed, the bucket hat’s utilitarian roots have remained key to its appeal since the ’60s, when it was co-opted by the mod movement and became more statement piece than high-performance millinery. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the bucket hat enjoyed another moment of popularity when it became synonymous with the hip-hop and Brit-pop artists dominating the charts. This enduring association with music explains why it’s been viewed as the festival essential par excellence ever since. Today, the unassuming design still remains a go-to for megastars including Rihanna, Beyoncé and Billie Eilish.

This season, the bucket hat has been championed by agenda-setting labels such as Gucci, Paco Rabanne and Isabel Marant, all of whom have tapped its natural practicality, then added polish to create scene-stealing accessories that will add a pop of personality to any look. Let yours add an air of insouciance to summer dresses or directional flair to oversized tailoring. Of course, when vacations are back on the agenda, your bucket hat will make a fail-safe addition to any suitcase or travel bag, regardless of your destination.

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