The bucket hat was once thought of as fashionably uncool, not anymore


The bucket hat was once associated with Irish fishermen, then military kit, before moving into the realm of "fashion" item. Photo: AFP

Seen as a fashion has-been just a few years ago, could the bucket hat be on its way to becoming a wardrobe must-have, possibly even dethroning the iconic baseball cap?

A photo of the Paris Saint-Germain soccer club striker Kylian Mbappe wearing a bucket hat while getting his Covid-19 shot this week, seems once and for all to have tipped the balance in favor of this once derided accessory.

Last summer already, various fashion icons were spotted rocking bucket hats, as seen just weeks earlier on fashion show runways from some of the most prestigious labels in the industry.

Read more: Crocs look set to be the stars of a pandemic-era fashion world

In the space of a season, Chiara Ferragni, Emily Ratajkowski and even Kylie Jenner contributed to bringing the bucket hat – long considered the height of uncool – back to fashion's forefront.

But then the successive lockdowns that followed didn't really give the bucket hat the chance to impose itself as the must-have accessory of the moment.

And yet, stars of the fashion world aren't the only ones who've decided that the bucket hat is a stylish, on-trend accessory.

Hip-hop heritage

Not everyone waited until 2021 to adopt this headgear, once associated with Irish fishermen, then military kit, before moving into the realm of "fashion" item, often sported by avid gardeners, granddads and generally sun-wary types.

Although momentarily in vogue thanks to US rappers in the 1990s – not to mention the UK's Madchester scene – the bucket hat has never really managed to earn status as a stylish accessory. Quite the contrary, in fact.

And that's despite the best efforts of a handful of outsiders, such as hardened festival-goers and the Californian rapper ScHoolboy Q, who made the bucket hat part of his image.

Read more: As fashion becomes genderless, the bandana is now a hot trend

Is the moment of glory (finally) here?

Despite its rises – some more successful than others – and its falls, the bucket hat remains above all the kind of accessory that looks great on other people ("love the bucket hat!"), but not so much on yourself.

It has always lacked that little "je-ne-sais-quoi" that would change the game and elevate its status.

Still, there seemed to be a turning point last year when major fashion icons like Jenner and Lily Collins's character in Emily In Paris, as well as brands – from sportswear labels to designer fashion houses like Jacquemus – seemed determined to turn this once uncool item into highly desirable headgear.

Read more: How the face mask could become a fashion essential for weddings

It's a tricky challenge, but it's one that could be pulled off with success sooner than you might think.

In fact, the French soccer star Mbappe, whose post-vaccination picture went viral in just a few minutes (thanks to his 51 million followers on Instagram alone), also seems to have fallen for the bucket hat.

An improbable hit that could well bring the unexpected boost needed to turn this "cursed" accessory into a veritable must-have. – AFP Relaxnews

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