Skip to main content
your browser is not supported
To use ASOS, we recommend using the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge



If the Fendi, Valentino and Versace SS19 menswear shows are anything to go by, it looks like the bucket hat is here to stay as the retro accessory to get on board with. Perhaps it's the humble bucket's versatility that makes it such a phoenix-like headgear choice: after all, how many other garments are equally at home on the heads of rhyme-slinging rap superstars, street-styling fashionistas, '80s cricket players and gardening grandfathers? Not many. To try to get to the bottom of its enduring appeal, we delve into the history of this most distinctive (and divisive) lid below.

Sean Connery wearing a bucket hat in Indiana Jones | ASOS Style Feed

Picture: Rex

Early days

The bucket hat first acquired its unique shape as part of the outerwear arsenal for turn-of-the-century Irish farmers and fishermen. The sloping brim helped sluice rainwater away from the noggin of the wearer (fairly essential, we imagine, for Irish farmers and fishermen), while the foldable cloth structure allowed for easy pocket stowage if the clouds parted. As the 20th century progressed, this humble headgear passed from the peasantry to the landed gentry, reimagined as a tweed "walking hat" for the leisure classes (as modeled by Sean Connery in Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade).

LL Cool J wearing a bucket hat | ASOS Style Feed

Picture: Getty

The '80s

The bucket's practicality meant that a lightweight, canvas iteration proved popular wherever standing around in the sun was required, from anglers and cricket players to army grunts and desert-based gonzo journalists (Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas author Hunter S. Thompson was a celebrated devotee). But it wasn't until a fresh-faced rapper out of New York named LL Cool J stuck a fuzzy Kangol version on his head that the bucket hat emerged as a true youth style icon.

Reni from The Stone Roses wearing a bucket hat | ASOS Style Feed

Picture: Getty

The '90s

Across the Atlantic, it was guys with guitars rather than men with mics who claimed the bucket as a key staple of on-stage style. Stone Roses drummer Reni was rarely pictured without his eyes obscured by the bucket's brim in the late '80s and early '90s while, a few years later, Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher found the classic floppy brim ideal for glaring out moodily from. Even today, no festival is complete without a few roving gangs of dudes clad in buckets and Fred Perry shirts, affecting the traditional Manchester style.

A model wearing a bucket hat during the Valentino SS19 show | ASOS Style Feed

Picture: IMAXtree

Present day

The latest bucket hat revival has been fueled by traditional audiences as well as new ones. Luxury menswear's latest preoccupation with streetwear has meant that bucket hats have featured heavily on the catwalk the past few seasons. Prada unveiled simple black and khaki iterations for FW18, while Valentino debuted bucket hats in fluorescent feathers and '70s-style wallpaper prints. Whatever your style, it looks like the accessory is here to stay, so make sure to cop yours in time for festival season.