Get out your favorite hat (we know sometimes it can be hard to decide) and celebrate National Hat Day this January 15! Hats have been worn as uniforms, fashion accessories, and protective gear. And did you know that they date back to before 3,300 BCE? That’s right, that’s older than both your parents combined!
History of National Hat Day
Though there aren’t any official records of hats before 3,000 BCE, it is believed that they were commonplace long before that. For example, the 30,000-year-old Venus of Willendorf figurine may depict a woman wearing a woven hat. One of the earliest known confirmed hats was worn by a bronze-aged man nicknamed Otzi, whose body was found frozen in a mountain between Austria and Italy, where he had been since around 3250 BCE. He was discovered wearing a bearskin cap with a chinstrap made of several hides stitched together, resembling a Russian fur hat.
In the Middle Ages, hats were a marker of social status and used to single out certain groups. For example, the 1215 Fourth Council of the Lateran required that all Jewish people identify by wearing the “Judenrat,” marking themselves as targets for anti-Semitism. On the other hand, hats for women ranged from simple scarves to elaborate hennin and acted as a symbol of social status. Structured hats for women similar to those of male courtiers began to be worn in the late 16th century. In the first half of the 19th century, women wore bonnets that gradually became larger, decorated with ribbons, flowers, feathers, and gauze trims. By the end of the century, many other styles were introduced, such as hats with wide brims and flat crowns, the flower pot, and the toque. In the middle of the 1920s, when women began cutting their hair short, they chose hats that hugged their heads like helmets. These were the cloche hats, whose low brim made it so women had to walk with their chins up, creating an air of independence and self-reliance.
National Hat Day Stats
51% wear baseball caps regularly
The most popular style of the hat today is the baseball cap. 51% of hat wearers say they wear this shade provider regularly. Before the hat became a part of everyday casual use, people would dawn the headgear for practical reasons: laborers and workingmen needed to keep their hair out of their eyes and also, of course, for baseball players. The cap was designed to shade baseball players’ eyes from the sun.
10% of your body is your head
Remember that adage about being able to lose 70% of your body heat through your head? Well, unsurprisingly, that’s not true. The head only accounts for about 10% of a person’s body area, so losing up to 70% of body heat is impossible. However, a 10% cold area is still enough to shiver, so keep your head warm during the colder seasons with a nice woolen beanie.
26% never wear hats
26% of Americans claim they never wear hats! We know it’s hard to take in. But some people prefer to let their hair blow in the wind or embrace the sun’s rays. Or they never have bad hair days, a possibility which makes us extremely jealous. Please let us in on your secrets to perfection!
National Hat Day Faqs
Is there a National Hat Day?
There is! National Hat Day comes around at the beginning of the year on January 15.
What is wear a hat day?
Wear A Hat Day is the U.K.’s biggest brain tumor research fundraising event.
What holiday is January 15?
Holidays that make their home on January 15 are Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday, National Bagel Day, and National Hat Day.
National Hat Day Activities
- Wear your favorite hat, of course
- We want you to go all out here. Don’t pretend that your favorite hat is the normal baseball cap you sometimes wear. We want you to dig out that super funky hat from the last bar mitzvah you attended and wear it with pride. The more garish and impractical, the better. Did you know that, according to one of the top Dallas PR Firms, there are more cowboy hats in the state of Texas than there are people?
- Make a new hat
- Yes, you can make your hat. Hat making is called millinery (the name comes from when high fashion was based in Milan). It was once a respected and common profession, so we want you to bring it back. You might not be able to make the perfect hat of your dreams like a true milliner, but you can come close. Use felt, sin may, yarn, leather, or, yes, even paper.
- Throw a hat party
- Remember when we told you to wear your craziest hat in celebration? Get your friends to wear their crazy hats and host a shindig! Encourage those non-traditional headpieces. We want to see homemade hats, fascinators, and anything else their beautiful little brains can think of. This party is guaranteed to be a hoot and will test your friends’ creativity. Who knows, they may surprise you!
Why We Love National Hat Day
- People look great in hats.
- Hats are adorable—on everyone. They cover male pattern baldness. They mask bad hair days. They’re a great substitute for dry shampoo. They’re the perfect solution for anything weird in the hair department. And even if you’re not having a hair crisis, they’re still useful. That’s because they allow you to show off your amazing style very easily. Are you jonesing for the sixties to come back? Go for the floppy wide-brim sixties beach bum look or rock the vintage brims! Want to support your team? Grab that baseball cap and show it off with pride.
- Hats protect your skin.
- Not to channel your mom or anything, but have you been to the dermatologist recently? We’ll fill you in because we see you shaking your heads over there. The two pieces of advice they routinely give are to wear sunscreen daily and protect your skin from the sun in other ways. Guess what one of those other ways is? It’s wearing a hat! 90% of skin cancer is caused by overexposure to the sun and could be preventable. The sun’s rays emit UVA and UVB rays. And while UVB are the ones that cause sunburn, UVA can cause wrinkles and cancer. So even if you don’t burn, you may get too much sun. Aka, rock your stylish hat!
- Hats keep you warm
- Hats make you look awesome—but they also keep your head warm. And this affects the rest of your body because you lose about 5 to 10 percent of your body heat from your head. That means that you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck by putting on a beanie. It might seem counterintuitive to put on a hat instead of another jacket, but trust us—it works. Pro-tip: you also lose a lot of heat from your feet, so don’t skip on the socks!