What kind of hat is this?
February 10, 2011 4:01 PM   Subscribe

What do you call the kind of soft-looking, somewhat pointed, one-piece hat typically shown on the head of the stereotypical "hillbilly?"

It's not a capotain because those are puritan hats, and flat on top. Is it a sugar loaf? It is kind of like a confederate slouch hat, but shaped more like a tuba. Mostly it is like the hat worn by the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. Almost like a witch hat, but without the wide stiff brim.

What do you call them, what were they made of, and how were they made?
posted by rahnefan to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total)
I think it is an ordinary felt slouch hat that's just really, really battered.

If every time you put it on, you punch out the crown and pull down on the brim, eventually you'll get a half-assed witch's hat.

If'n yer makin' corn likker in the boonies ye don' gotta be purtied up in yer Sunday best, y'know!
posted by codswallop at 4:38 PM on February 10, 2011

Best answer: I can't find a name for that apart from "hillbilly hat," which seems to be the accepted nomenclature. More generically, that's an unfinished felt hat, referred to as a "blank" (see the early stages on this hatmaking page). In other words, it's just a piece of pulled/starched felt in the shape of a hood, maybe with a brim. From what I can tell they lose their shape after much use. It's a garment too simple for a formal name, but perfect for a hillbilly or scarecrow. :-)
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 4:44 PM on February 10, 2011

Yeah, the ones I've seen in movies and TV were just men's dress hats, beaten to a pulp. Red Skelton was known for taking one and pushing it around into lots of different funny shapes as he did different characters.
posted by randomkeystrike at 4:45 PM on February 10, 2011

When I was a kid we used to call it a Hamtramck Crash Helmet, and if you look at pictures of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth from around 1962-65 he usually wore one. I don't know if there are any other names for it, but if I had to come up with one I might call it an Ozark Stingy Brim or a Harlan County Bowler, but I don't spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about such things.
posted by motown missile at 5:08 PM on February 10, 2011

In high school, I made several old men's hats into the hillbilly style although my goal was more to create the kind Chico Marx wears. My method was turning one upside down and pouring in boiling water and letting it set for a spell, maybe even suspending it and adding a fist-sized rock or, while still wet, pulling it down over my knee in order to distort the crown.
posted by Rash at 8:47 AM on February 11, 2011

A show I recently watched had a segment about making corn likker in the hills.

There was one of those hats near the still and they joked about filtering it through that first, ;)
posted by Drasher at 4:55 PM on February 12, 2011

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