90sfashion.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. See our disclosure here.
Last Updated on January 31, 2022
Every 90s kid agrees that no outfit is complete without a hat. We grew up watching The Nanny donning colorful berets, The Prince of Bel-Air playing it cool in exotic kofis, and Friends going crazy in bucket hats and beanies.
Be it summer or winter, there were tons of styles to choose from… Do you think you can remember all the crazy styles we wore?
Let’s find out!
Just don’t blame me if you end up going on a shopping spree afterward…
- Baseball caps go mainstream
- Bucket hats … Avin’ it large
- Cartoon hats
- Preppy college hats
- Grunge style
- Floppy brimmed hats
- Blossom flower hats
- Stayin’ bold with hip hop
- Ravers smiley face hats
- Nascar hats
- Neon hats
- Starter basketball hats
- Kooky top hats
- Trucker hats
- Winter beanies
- Sock hat
- Cat in the hat hats
- Flip-up hat
- 90s tie beanie
- Fuzzy bucket hats
- Dad hats
The colourful, patterned African hat also known as the kofi was a statement piece that would make any outfit more dynamic. Think Queen Latifah meets with The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Confident lively kente embroidery with warm dancing tones would make you want to move your feet to some African beat. I love this kofi hat and this hat below …
Baseball caps go mainstream
The baseball cap and its official birth into the mainstream happened during the 90’s – not only was it practical for shielding the squinting eyes from the sun, but it was also super cool with fun and funky logos, statements, and brands.
It really made the humble cap have a new life outside of baseball! Still a very popular staple in today’s sports and lounge fashion, this hat is really versatile and practical garb. This cap is awesome and so are these …
Bucket hats … Avin’ it large
The upside down bucket, with its floppy cotton edges. Great for shading and protecting your sensitive face on a fine summers day. Even greater to do an impersonation of Noel, or his brother Liam Gallagher.
Should be worn at a music festival, preferably caked in mud and with a can of lager in one hand.
Fun fact: The origins of the bucket hat has been transformed over time. Originally worn by fishermen and farmers to protect from the rain, it was quickly adopted by the upper English classes for country pursuits. The hat then went on to be adopted by the working class, especially the cult of Oasis. A hat with many identities!
The kooky and fun-loving cartoon hat showed the world how care-free and childlike you could be. An endearing number to be sat at a wonky angle on the head. These nostalgic hats could make any outfit more animated and fun. Moreover, a great conversation piece! Who’s your favourite – Tom or Jerry?
Preppy college hats
The American college hat was a specific type of hat that would show off your educational credentials. It presented itself as a preppy accompaniment to any outfit. Team it with a white shirt blouse, a grey cardigan, and some knee high socks to get that just rolled out of college, cute ‘Clueless’ (1995) look.
The grunge style hat, was any hat that would compliment a grunge-like outfit. It could be a beanie, a witches hat or baseball hat – as long as you have the outfit to match, it could work. I think grunge is all about the effortless rolled out of bed look. Matching and mismatching what should and shouldn’t go together. The key is to go oversized and have you hair hanging low.
Floppy brimmed hats
Nothings says 90’s like the floppy disk. Or rather, the reminiscent floppy hat, this is my favourite, check it out. This type of hat feels ever so appropriate for the summer holidays, the harsh rays bouncing off of its exaggerated sides. However the floppy hat comes in all shapes and sizes, including dense materials like velvet, faux fur and wool.
The floppy hat overshadows the head making it look comfortably secure and protected from any of the elements and whatever the season. Also see the flower hat as there are some uncanny resemblances.
Blossom flower hats
Flower power came back from the sixties with a floral bang in the shape of the cute flower hat. Such a hat was often oversized and had feminine allure.
The necessary ingredient was the iconic large flower embroidered on the front, ahem … Mayim Bailik in Blossom, almost as if it had been magically discovered and tucked in there after an afternoon stroll in the secret garden or allotment.
It comes in a range of materials – velvet, denim, wool or faux fur. This wool hat is stunning and really brings back a bit of Blossom nostalgia.
Stayin’ bold with hip hop
The hip hop hat of the 90’s bares many resemblances to the bucket hat. The 90’s offered hip-hop a creative resurgence, with colourful bold patterns, bling, paisley and denim. The hip-hop hat should always be paired with an ample amount of gold chain and attitude to boot. Run DMC style!
The leather hat offers a rough, oiled up biker look to the most unlikely of people. The smell of diesel, dirt and dangerous driving. Rough and ready!
Ravers smiley face hats
The acid yellow smiley hat of the 90s was an amazing staple for the dance floor. What a better way to embody the spirit of the 90’s and have you smiling than wearing one of these iconic hats.
The nascar hat would be worn with a fast racing car in mind. Think speed, agility and masculinity. These aerodynamic hats and their logos were of all the range. Bella Hadid wore a race car–themed checked incarnation down the runway at Tommy Hilfiger for Spring 2018.
Bright and in your face with an explosive saturated bang, the neon hat would grab the attention of anyone on the dance floor. It shouts out ‘fun-time confidence’ and also helps greatly if you happen to go missing at sea. Who needs a flare gun, eh.
Starter basketball hats
The starter hat is much like the baseball cap, emblazoned with the logos of basketball teams – Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets, Michigan, Pheonix Suns. Show your passion for sports, dribble that ball and shoot some hoops.
Kooky top hats
The top hat of the 90’s was not just your general, stiff and courtly looking hat we associate with the victorian era. The top hat was tall, proud and defiantly kooky. The ‘cat in the hat look’ involved stripes, height and was an all-round goofy statement piece that would help any lost soul embody the mischief of Dr Seuss.
The oversized trucker hat with its mesh behind and general large figure is a great way to cover up that bad hair day. Associated with the American van-man look, this versatile hat can be worn with a number of looks, especially enhancing the casual or cool redneck vibe.
The 90s visor has had a recent comeback. This hollow hat allows the top part of your head to breathe while protecting your eyes from the bright sun. Serena Williams or Anna Kournikova are known for their devotion to the visor and their colour-coordinated outfits. Want a bright coloured visor that’s “90’s out there”? See here. Want something more streetwear? These will give you that cool edge…
It’s cold, really cold! You’re shivering and the day is bleak. What better way to keep warm than with the winter hat of the nineties. A beanie type fleecy number to keep your ears warm and your mood elevated.
You may know the sock hat by many other names like a knit cap, a beanie, a wool hat, or a stocking cap. Fact is, it’s been around since the 15th century! Its construction is pretty simple, there is a stretch of knitted fabric that is tapered at the top and hugs the head and sometimes, a pom-pom or tassels crown the top.
Remember Alex from the Secret World of Alex Mack that ran on Nickelodeon? Or Eric and Stan from South Park? If you had to think about what these three have in common you would probably draw a blank. But all three were super hard fans of the sock hat. And it is no wonder since sock hats were massively popular during the 90s!
Cat in the hat hats
The puppet series The Wubbulus World of Dr. Seuss premiered on October 13, 1996, and re-popularized the already famous characters of Theodor Geisel.
Particular the Cat (from The Cat in the Hat), who is the host of the show and is seen regularly helping the other characters and playing tricks all around. The hat is the most prominent feature of this feline, with its long tubular shape, white and red stripes, and short brim.
It is no wonder that ready-to-wear fashion soon picked up on the popularity of these types of hats and got them out on the street for everyone’s enjoyment!
First, there was the brim hat. Soon, everyone was wearing it so trendsetters flipped it backward. The trend caught on very quickly and soon it was everywhere again. So how could the brim hat be revamped? Flip it up!
Flip-up hats are your regular brim hats pulled up and flipped all the way up. Why? For the sake of it! It was the ultimate fashion for the sake of fashion. Sometimes people would also write messages under the brim!
90s tie beanie
Tie beanies are a cool take on the classic beanie that defies their classic construction pattern. They are made from a rectangular piece that is tied up at the end towards the back of the head and they tend to be made of fabric instead of knitted.
They gave way to a multifunction piece that could be worn either as a collar or as a tie beanie and was usually made of fleece.
Fuzzy bucket hats
Oh, dearest fuzzy bucket hats! The natural evolution of our love for bucket hats and all things furry. I mean they were a staple of so many hugely popular characters during the 90s that it is no wonder everyone wanted one!
There was Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and let’s not forget how bucket hats are hugely present on Clueless. (You know Clueless is like the 90s fashion bible, right?). I also seem to remember Maria from Roswell wearing some cute and quirky fuzzy bucket hats! Bonus points if they were animal print or in pastel colors.
Which was the quintessential dad hat during the 90s? For most dads, it was the cap. But it was not a cool flipped-up cap or a cap worn backward. No, this was the classic boring dear old sport’s icon.
Actually, most dads wore brim hats made of cotton twill, probably with a logo or brand embroidered right upfront. It was like an unspoken uniform. They all had in common the nondescript nature, black color, and jaded general look (brought on by lots of washing and the wear of years!). Guess you just weren’t a full-on dad without your very own baseball cap.