A Guide to Types of Medieval Hats – From Crowns to Coifs

During the medieval period, people wore a variety of hats and head coverings to protect themselves from the elements, signify social status, or as a fashion statement. Here are some common types of medieval hats:

1. Coif

A coif was a close-fitting, hood-like cap that covered the head and often extended down to protect the neck. It was typically made of linen or wool and worn by both men and women. The coif was a practical head covering worn under other hats or as a standalone piece for protection.

2. Cowl

A cowl was a hood-like head covering with a long draping back, often associated with monks or religious figures. It was worn to shield the head and face from the weather and symbolized humility and devotion.

3. Chaperon

A chaperon was a versatile medieval hat worn by both men and women. It consisted of a hood with a long tail or cape-like piece that could be worn hanging down the back or wrapped around the neck or shoulders. The chaperon could be worn in various styles, providing both warmth and fashion.

4. Hennin

The hennin was a tall, cone-shaped headdress worn primarily by noblewomen during the late medieval period. It had a pointy peak and was often accompanied by a veil or a flowery adornment. The hennin symbolized elegance and high social status.

5. Tricorne

The tricorne was a broad-brimmed hat with three sides or corners turned up, creating a distinctive triangular shape. It was popular among both men and women and often associated with the 18th century, but its origins can be traced back to the late medieval period. The tricorne was commonly worn by military officers and civilians alike.

6. Flat Cap

The flat cap, also known as a bonnet or a scots bonnet, was a simple hat with a flat crown and a small brim. It was typically made of wool or linen and worn by commoners, peasants, and working-class individuals. The flat cap provided practicality and protection from the sun or rain.

7. Pillbox Hat

The pillbox hat was a small, round hat with a flat top and straight sides. It became popular during the 16th century and was worn by both men and women. The pillbox hat was often embellished with decorative elements such as feathers, jewels, or embroidery.

These are just a few examples of the various types of medieval hats that were worn during that time. The hats varied in style, shape, and material, reflecting the diverse social classes and fashion trends of the medieval period.