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The 10 Best Bucket Hats for When You’re Tired of Your Plain Old Ballcap

We say there’s no time like the present to embrace some scorching fun in the sun. Printed shirts, “short shorts,” colorful sunglasses … it’s all fair game. And how best to top it all off? With a bucket hat for a true dose of ’90s fashion nostalgia. The bucket hats of today aren’t anything like the one you wore to camp years ago. Think of it like an alternative when you want to switch things up from your well-worn ballcap, but inject a bit of hard-won fashion sensibility into the equation.

And think of the style move as yet another way to throw caution to the wind and try something new. Or rather, something old. Throwback trends are back in a major way, and the name of the game is personal expression. Luckily, the coolest bucket hats offer both eye-catching style and even a bit of utility.

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After all, what are you most likely to be doing while wearing a bucket hat? Fishing, swimming or, best of all, sipping on a cool drink while catching some rays, of course. If you want a well-suited hat for all your easygoing pursuits, the bucket hat is the one you need now.

These are our favorites to shop and wear in style all season long.

Best Overall Bucket Hat: Polo Ralph Lauren Logo-Embroidered Bucket Hat

Polo Ralph Lauren Bucket Hat
Polo Ralph Lauren

Perhaps it’s because Ralph Lauren is once again outfitting Team USA at the Olympics, but we’re all about the classic navy bucket hat, with a touch of red, from the longtime American designer. It’s everything you want in a bucket, from the soft twill fabric to the blend of retro and current style.

Best Bucket Hat for the Outdoor Explorer: National Geographic x Parks Project Bucket Hat

Parks Project x National Geographic Bucket Hat
Parks Project

This fun-as-can-be bucket hat has plenty going for it, from the retro tie dye print to the fact that purchasing it gives back to the great outdoors. A percentage of each purchase goes to the National Geographic Society, which funds outdoor research and education worldwide. Plus, it acts as a handy barrier against the sun on day hikes or poolside hangs.

Best Bucket Hat for Sports Fans: FOCO Logo Bucket Hat

The best bucket hat for sports fans.

Show off your team spirit any time of year at all with a wide array of options covering tons of schools and teams across the country. These bucket hats are subtly stylish and perfect for keeping the sun off your noggin while at the beach or in the stands this fall.

Best American-Made Bucket Hat: American Trench Corduroy Bucket Hat

American Trench Corduroy Bucket Hat
American Trench

Finding great menswear made in the U.S.A. requires a bit more legwork, but it’s totally worth it when one considers the results. Take this corduroy bucket hat, made in New York from a cooling fine-wale cotton corduroy. We also love the teal color for 2021 style that calls to mind ocean breezes.

Best Fashion-Forward Bucket Hat: ASOS Design Wide-Brim Bucket Hat

Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s the brim and the minimal black color that makes this a bucket hat most likely to be seen on the runways alongside equally minimal menswear. That shouldn’t scare you away, because the price is more than agreeable, and the functionality you get from a wider brim is a nice bonus, too.

Best Utilitarian Bucket Hat: Orlebar Brown Foracker Bucket Hat

Orlebar Brown Foracker Bucket Hat
Orlebar Brown

Remember what we said about bucket hats offering up some much-needed functionality, too? Orlebar Brown’s option is as handy and useful as it gets if you want to shield your face from the sun in a lightweight manner (the cotton hat features ventilation points for breathability).

Other Bucket Hats We Love

Jordan Twill Bucket Hat

Jordan Twill Bucket Hat

MJ himself would surely approve of this logo bucket hat offered in an array of versatile colors. The iconic “Jumpman” logo is sporty and instantly recognizable, and the use of washed twill makes this a comfortable option for your noggin.

Carhartt WIP Script Bucket Hat

Carhartt WIP Bucket Hat
END Clothing

Carhartt WIP is the high-fashion offshoot of Carhartt, and it’s always a reliable choice if you want durable performance workwear with a fashionable edge. This script bucket hat is classic and yet streetwear-inspired, making it a fine topper on hot days.

Filson Tin Cloth Packer Hat

FIlson Tin Cloth Packer Hat

For those who value their time on and off the trail, Filson has just the bucket hat for you. It’s a style that the Pacific Northwest heritage retailer has been making for years, and there’s no question you’ll have your own Tin Cloth Packer Hat for plenty of seasonal adventures, too.

Gramicci Shell Reversible Bucket Hat

Gramicci Shell Reversible Bucket Hat

Gramicci blends form and function quite nicely with a two-in-one bucket hat made with water-repellent fabric. It’s perfect to wear for a day on the water or when you want some extra coverage through rain showers.

Beau Hayhoe
Beau Hayhoe is a freelance men's style writer, consultant and PR pro based in Brooklyn. Beau's menswear and gear writing has…
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