Bucket hat assignment

Fashion and communication

Tutor : Donal Lally

Module : History of design and fashion.

Jessica O’Neill- C17469594

The object I’ve chosen to investigate is the ‘bucket hat’. I want to explore what its function was and how it became an iconic fashion piece throughout the 90s rave scene right through to today. It is certainly a piece that has travel through the years and is definitely going to progress into the future within the festival scene and who knows what subculture it may fall into in the future.

I find it is truly an interesting piece. The most interesting part is that from a plain bucket hat has built its way up in fashion to be designed by high end brand such as ‘Supreme’ and ‘Nike’. The process of evolution the hat has gone through is phenomenal.

It was only after 1300 that both men and women adopted the hat for general outdoor use. For men hats became a fashion item for the first time and the more wealthy citizens in the towns were to be seen in elaborate hats the evolved from the goods of pervious centuries ‘Hats are an iconic feature of the visual landscape we encounter in day to day life, principally because their very presence creates a identity for the wearer.

’ Similarly the bucket hat creates an identity for fishermen within the 1900s and in today you’re considered a festival go-er or into your music. Many music icons are associated with the bucket hat such as Liam Gallagher, Jay Z and Reni from the stone roses.

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As the stone roses are such a success, the hat received a nick name known as the Reni Hat. Another iconic and popular series we see the bucket hat feature in is ‘Kevin and Perry’. The series featured of two young men who were dying to go to Ibiza to the rave music and party. These two commony wore their bucket hats within the series; this is another example where we see the bucket hat making an appearance in relation to music.


Within the fashion industry there a many pieces that are the subject of debates. The ‘croc’ being one as well as Ugg boots. The one that’ll focused on throughout this essay is the bucket hat.

In todays world you see the bucket hat on runways, festivals, raves and in clothing and hardware stores. What’s interesting is that the bucket hat wasn’t aesthetically designed. Its purpose was worn by Irish farmers and fisherman in the 1900s. The hat is wide on the edges and slightly downward which gives protection from the rain. As these hats were made out of types of cotton such as denim or canvas it was a big attraction to its target market that it folded up in their pocket. Many decades later in the 1940’s a standard-issue style made from another type of cotton was made to protect the necks of troops and from the nineteen fifties to the seventies within the Vietnam war.

As the bucket hat was function purpose accessory, it wasn’t long until it became an iconic fashion piece. It featured mainly in the rave subculture. A subculture is ‘sociological interpretations of youth cultural activity can be organised along a conceptual continuum , with perspectives that emphasise the ways in which youth are passive, uncritical and creative aspects of youth behaviour on the others.

What brought the rave subculture together known as ‘ravers’, was mainly the music, drugs, fashion and the idea to let lose and not care. It was very much a non judgemental environment. Raves were generally in ‘Ibiza, Toronto, Canada and New York’.People just went for a good time and meet new people and for new experiences. ‘It’s a gathering of like-minded people’

The rave subculture began in the 1980s. Ravers exist in warehouses, dance clubs, fields , basements. The fashion expressed throughout the rave subculture is quite iconic and can still be seen reoccurring in fashion today. It’s interesting that the fashion you see its quite easily to associate it with what kind of person they are. E.g. if you see someone in Ireland dressed in head to toe designer clothes they are associated with being a drug dealer.

The common styles seen throughout the rave subculture in the 90s were:

The ‘sporty’ style, the ‘neo-hippie look’ and the ‘childlike’ look. Each style had a symbol. The sporty style was considered a symbol of ‘dancing style’. The neo hippie look ‘embodied the PLUR philosophy’ and the childlike ‘symbolized a temporary return to innocence for some ravers, a meaning with these ravers interpretations of the rave as an escape’ .

The bucket hat would probably fall under the neo-hippie look as it was generally crazy neon colours or also had the acid house smiley face on it.

The bucket hat has travelled from the raves in the 80’s and still seen today in raves and festivals.

In conclusion the bucket hat was made with the function to protect fisherman in Ireland and broadened to camouflage soldiers within the Vietnamese war. It then made its debut within the rave subculture and became a key item associated with rave music. It also debuted within the runways and big brands such as Nike, Supreme, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Many superstars have been seen wearing it such as Rihanna, jay Z and Liam Gallagher etc. It’s an iconic piece within the festival and rave scene still In todays day, Travelling from the 80s in the rave scene the evolution of the bucket hat is phenomenal. Its still selling on websites today such as pretty little thing and in stores such as stradivarius and Pull and Bear.

The future for the bucket hat is exciting as it has still kept within fashion and debates.From fishermen to raves is a big leap from fashion styles. Where the hat ends up next will be exciting.Bibliography

BIBLIOGRAPHY Bruzzi, Stella. 1997. Undressing Cinema: clothing and identity in the movies. London: Routledge.


Fashion as Communication (2. 2002. Malcolm Barnard. London: Routledge.

Talbot, Stephanie. 2011. The hat book. London: Papakadis.

Wilson Brian, 2006 , Fight flight or chill, Canada : McGill-Queens University Press.

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Bucket hat assignment. (2019, Dec 14). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/bucket-hat-assignment-best-essay/

Bucket hat assignment
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