Revolutionary War Hats

Fancy Tricorn

Black with Gold Trim. For the gentleman who wants the very best we offer a tricorn trimmed in antique gold galloon and knots, just like the originals.

English Style

Pecan Color Shown.
$150.00. Hand sewn brim ribbon $25.

French Style

Black Color Shown

Carriage Hat

Black color shown. The carriage hat was popular from the 1780's to the 1820's. It can also be made with a flatter brim and slightly taller crown.

Ann S. K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University Library

The term tricorn actually came into use after these hats were quite out of fashion. During the time tricorns were in widespread use, they were referred to as cocked hats because they were cocked up in order to show off the wig. From about 1680 through the end of the eighteenth century, the cocked hat reigned supreme.

The image to the right shows an American officer of an independent company commanded by Washington. It is taken from a 1784 German pocket almanac.

Intended originally to show off and protect the powdered curls of ruffled and bewigged gents, the cocked hat later became symbolic of American patriots when worn wigless in the colonies. You’ll like our high brimmed tricorns! Each of these hats has the sides hooked up just like the originals so the sides can be pulled down for wig protection and then hooked up again.

For the gentleman who wants the very best we offer a tricorn trimmed in antique gold galloon and knots, just like the originals.

The French Style is available with white or buff ribbon at no extra charge and we do carry a limited supply of cockades.

One interesting aspect of these two styles was that over a period of one hundred years both countries wore each style, much like wide ties going in and out of fashion or hems going up or down. American military officers during the revolution tended to wear the French Style while many American citizen soldiers wore the English Style. They would never have referred to it as an English Style, however.

Modern Eloquence, copyright 1900 by the University Association

The image to the right of the American General Stark speaking to his men on the eve of the Battle of Bennington shows the general wearing a French style cocked hat while his men are wearing the English styles. By carefully observing the brim of the gentleman’s hat in the lower left corner, one can see evidence that it, too, is a tricorn but it has been folded down.

For those who desire all aspects of correctness, Clearwater Hat Company offers hand sewing of the brim ribbon (after all the sewing machine wasn’t in general use until the 1850’s). This extra is well worth your consideration as the tiny hand stitches give this hat an incredible signature of individuality.

At a toast in the Court of France they lifted their glasses and one said: “I give you the King of France, and I will call him the Sun; and I give you the King of England, and call him the Moon”; and then turning to Ben Franklin, he said: “What will you do for a toast, with the sun and moon already engaged?” Franklin raised his glass, and said: “I cannot give you the sun, or the moon, or the stars, nor call my country such, but I give you the United States, and call them Joshua, the son of Nun, who made the sun and the moon and the stars to stand still as long as he pleased.”
From “Modern Eloquence” Volume X, John Morris and Company, Philadelphia, Copyright, 1900 by the University Society.