Renaissance Costumes: A Basic Guide
By Jeremy David Clos
Historical Director, The North Carolina Renaissance Faire
Renaissance Costumes: An Introduction | Renaissance Costumes: Building Blocks | Undergarments
Renaissance Costumes for Men | Renaissance Costumes for Women | Other Renaissance Garments
Renaissance Hats & Headwear | Renaissance Costumes for Sale
Renaissance Hats & Headwear
First and foremost to bear in mind, everyone wore a hat in public. It was, indeed, against the law for men or women to appear in public without their head's covered. Fines levied were ruinous (up to a week's wages for each offense).
While styles of hats varied, common amongst the commoners of the time were the "flat caps" which had been in use for much of the Tudor reign. These might be made of wool, felt, or leather, and could be lined with linen.
Amongst the nobility, tall hats similar to a modern top hat, but featuring a tapering crown, or an arched brim hat might be popular amongst both men and women. Italian style "bonnet" hats also were popular during the period, and any of these hats could be made of a fine fabric over a frame of linen stiffened with gum. Leather was also a popular material for the construction of fashionable hats.