Fedora Hat vs Bucket Hat

Bucket hats are for function, fedoras are all about style. What these two types of hats actually say about you. Understanding how to wear them with your face type.

This is a woman with braids wearing a yellow pair of sunglasses and a green bucket hat.

For most people hats a lot of people have a take it or leave it attitude. There are certain types of hats that are suited for the sole purpose of accessorizing an outfit. There are others that are made to serve a specific function. In looking at the differences between a fedora hat and a bucket hat, there are some pretty stark differences.

For one thing, bucket hats might be a lot of things, but no one has ever asserted that they are sophisticated, whereas its counterpart, the fedora, can go from being worn in casual settings, to more sophisticated functions. Here is a comparison between the fedora hat and the bucket hat.

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The Battle of the Chic Verses the Meek

These are two women wearing a fedora and a bucket hat with their denim jackets.

One of the biggest differences between fedora hats and bucket hats is the look. Fedoras have clean lines and can easily add a finished look to any outfit. Bucket hats send a completely different message. These hats tend to have a more relaxed structure and the message they generally convey is one of relaxation. 

When most people think of bucket hats they envision someone on a boat or out on a golf course. The style of bucket hats, and their functionality is one of the primary reasons they have become the perfect fishing hat.

You would be hard-pressed to go to your favorite fishing spot and find a fisherman wearing a fedora. By the same token fedora hats afford the people who wear them a more polished sophisticated look. 

Because the bucket hat has a brim that points downward and hangs low over the forehead, it’s a great sun protection hat. Wide-brimmed fedoras also offer their wearers protection from the sun, but they are not really suited for most sports activities. A lot of people under the age of 35 generally consider bucket hats to be the type of hat older men wear.

That is the reason the lowly bucket hat has been dubbed as the dad hat. Bucket hats are also affectionately called golf hats. 

It’s All About The Construction

If you are like most people, you don’t care anything about how a hat is actually constructed when you place it on your head. In terms of how a bucket hat compares to a fedora, it is important to know the components associated with each hat, and how they contribute to the style and the structure of each hat.

The Fedora Brim vs the Bucket Hat Brim

A woman wearing animal print blouse and a wide-brim fedora.

Because the construction of the fedora is more structured, their brims can be turned up, or worn level. The most common-sized brim of a fedora hat is 2.5 inches, however, people who have narrow faces tend to do better with stingy brim versions which have brims that measure approximately 2 inches.

Wide-brimmed fedoras are generally 3 to 3.5 inches, and they tend to be better suited for people who have broader faces.

This is a woman wearing a white oversized shirt with her bucket hat.

Bucket hat brims generally come in 2 to 3 inches down brims. Bucket hats are not very substantial in terms of their construction, so there is not a lot of versatility in terms of how their brims can be styled.

Depending on a person’s gender, they may choose to wear a fedora with the brim turned up on one side or the other, slightly turned up in the back or slightly tilted crown in the front or on one side.

The bucket hat can be flipped up in the front, however, because of the way the hats are constructed and the materials they are made from, there is not a lot of versatility to be had in terms of how their brims can be worn.

The Crowns

This is a dark gray fedora hat with a striped band.

The crowns of the fedora and the bucket hat are quite different. The crowns of fedora hats are pinched to form a point that intersects the sides and the top portion of the crown of the hat.

One of the main reasons the fedora or snap hat is so versatile is because the crown of the fedora hat can be shaped, bend, sized, or creased in a multitude of ways. When it comes to how you choose to style your fedora’s crown, it is all up to you.

This is a view of a woman wearing a white bucket hat and yellow shirt by the river.

When you compare the crown of a fedora, to the crown of a bucket hat, there really is not much of a comparison to be made. Because bucket hats are generally made of soft material that can be easily folded, the crowns don’t add a lot of versatility in terms of styling. Bucket hat crowns are made to be worn to accommodate the head of the person wearing them.

Banded Together

Whether you are looking to purchase a fedora or a bucket-style hat, you can easily find that both styles of hat can be purchased with a hatband. It should be noted that in the specific case of the bucket hat, hatbands are not necessarily the norm, but there are plenty of these styled hats available with bands.

Fedoras like bucket hats can be worn with or without a hatband, however, bands are preferred by both men and women.

Generally, fedora bands are made of basic materials in a color that complements the hat. Women often select bands with other types of ornaments like pearls, beads, or broaches to accentuate their fedoras. Scarves can also be used with fedoras to create a band.

Sweat it Out

The majority of the hats made have sweatbands on the insides of them to absorb moisture, and to protect the integrity of the outside material of the hat. The other function that the sweatband serves for both bucket and fedora hats is to help the hat feel and look better when it is worn. In terms of the bucket hat sweatbands are made from absorbent and thinner materials.

Some cheaper versions of bucket hats, may not have a sweatband at all. Generally, in more expensive versions of both fedora and bucket hats, sweatbands often feature adjustable or elastic bands to help ensure a comfortable fit.


Bucket hats and fedora can be found in varieties that are fully lined. Bucket hats win the battle of versatility over fedoras when it comes to the lining. Fedoras generally are lined with a satin or similar material. Bucket hats come in varieties that are fully lined.

Many of them are made so that the hats can be reversible. There are a number of patterns for reversible hats that can be found online and in craft and fabric stores for bucket hats.

A woman wearing a denim bucket hat and a pink face mask.

Bucket hats have gone through many iterations over the years, and because of this, they have trended in and out of fashion. The hat, which was originally worn by Irish farmers as a mode of sun protection, has definitely had its heyday, and some of the most understated varieties of the sun hat have appeared on the heads of some popular people. 

Rapper and actor LL Cool J is one of the people who helped to catapult the bucket hat into popularity in the 1990s. Most people will agree that the surge in popularity of the hat during the 90s more than likely had more to do with the man who chose to wear the hat and not the actual hat itself.

Let’s face it, LL Cool Jay is a certified sex symbol, and he can get away with wearing anything.

Unfortunately, not everyone was blessed with his good looks. Other rappers have tried following in LL Cool Jays footsteps like Run DMC for example. The bucket hat trend made them recognizable, however, they did nothing to elevate their eye-candy status.

A close look at a woman wearing a colorful patterned dress and a dark fedora hat.

Just like the bucket hat, the fedora has stood the test of time in terms of people finding a way to integrate them into the fashion of the times. Fedora hats were famously worn by well-known crooners like Frank Sinatra and other members of his famous Rat Pack.

The style has also been known as the trademark of the C.I.A.’s G-Men during the age of J. Edgar Hoover. Today the Fedora is worn by detectives in Atlanta, Georgia as a part of their suit and tie uniform.

What Does Your Choice of Hat Say About You?

Fedoras can be worn by both men and women, but in general, they are thought of as a hat that women generally wear. Women who choose to wear the classic fedora send the message that they are timeless, sophisticated, fashion savvy. Women who wear fedoras are also thought of as having strong personalities.

The mighty fedora is not the hat for the shrinking violet or for people who want to fade into obscurity, People who wear fedoras are confident and no-nonsense. People who wear fedora hats are looking to be noticed.

Wide-brimmed fedoras tend to send a more compromising message. People who wear them tend to be seen as more relatable, more approachable, and people who are full of energy.

If you are someone who is looking to be taken seriously, you need to avoid the bucket hat at all costs. Wearing a bucket hat sends the message that you simply don’t care about a lot. The perception is that people who wear bucket hats have little to no concern at all about other people, and how they choose to live their lives.

The bucket hat also sends the message that the wearer could also care less about the events that go on around them. Those who can be frequently spotted wearing a bucket hat tend to be carefree, but at the same time, they are also goal-oriented.

Do Bucket Hats Look Good on Everyone?

A woman wearing a black leather bucket hat to match her black leather jacket.

As with any other article of clothing or accessory, there are some things that look superb on some people, and completely ridiculous on others. Bucket hats and fedoras are not excluded. Some people, no matter what setting they are in, are always going to look completely out of place in a bucket hat.

The reason is their face shape simply won’t accommodate a bucket hat. But once again, the bucket hat, although it can be worn by women, is essentially a man’s hat. Fedoras are tailored more around women’s fashion.

The bucket hat is the perfect summer hat, and they are made to serve a purpose. Bucket hats are not made to make any type of serious fashion statement. People who have long faces can easily wear bucket hats without bringing a lot of attention to themselves.

Bucket hats with their low hanging rims help to reduce the length of a longer face. Because of their floppy brims, bucket hats can also make a person with a wider face look slimmer.

He Who Wears it Better

Fedoras can essentially be worn by face type. Because fedoras can be purchased with a short rim or wide brim, the options are virtually unlimited for people who wish to wear them. The short-brimmed varieties of the fedora hat tend to look better on people who have round faces.

The stingy brim, angular details, and simplistic crowns, can smooth out the symmetry of the face. 

There are only a few facial shapes that can pull off wearing the bucket hat without looking like a Gilligan’s Island reject. People who have round or heart-shaped faces look great in bucket hats. People with any other shaped face, or those with strong jawlines, should stay away from bucket hats.

Bucket hats and fedoras come in a variety of colors and materials.

Fedoras offer a little more variety than bucket hats. Fedora hats tend to look better when they are worn with solid colors. Bucket hats can accommodate being worn with patterned clothing. For example, you could get away with wearing a bucket hat with a Hawaiian shirt.

You would look completely out of your gourd if you went out in public while wearing a fedora and a Hawaiian shirt.

Both fedoras and bucket hats can be found in any number of department stores. Generally, the offerings are based on the seasons. If you are the type of person, who enjoys shopping online, there are a number of sites you can visit, to find your own version of either hat.

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