Types of Scottish Hats

Hats are headcovers these are worn for various purposes for head safety or protection. If the word Scottish is attached it means, the traditional Scottish hats which are worn in the Scottish highlands to keep the tradition alive. It’s also a part of Scottish military or civilian Highland dress, either formal or informal. Traditional Scottish Hat is typically made of wool, and maybe adorned with clan tartans, feathers and checked bands. Being aware of the three main types of Scottish hats can help you decide how to choose one of your own.

Types of Scottish Hats

  1. Glengarry Bonnet
  2. Balmoral Bonnet
  3. Tam O’Shanter

Glengarry Bonnet

The Glengarry bonnet was worn at least as early as 1812. It consists of a close-fitting, boat-shaped cap with a creased peak. The Glengarry bonnet might be decorated with a checked band, and a pom-pom, called a toorie, might be sewn on top.

The cap is also sewn with ribbons hanging down the back. This cap could be folded flat and stuck into a pocket or waistband for easy transport.

Balmoral Bonnet

The centre of the crown features a toorie, traditionally red. Some versions have a diced band (usually red and white check) around the circumference of the lower edge. As worn by Scottish Highland regiments the balmoral bonnet gradually developed into a stiffened felt cylinder, often decorated with an ostrich plume hackle sweeping over the crown from left to right (as well as flashes of bearskin or painted turkey hackles). In the 19th century this tall cap evolved into the extravagant full dress feather bonnet while, as an undress cap, the plainer form continued in use until the mid-19th century. By then known as the Kilmarnock bonnet, it was officially replaced by the Glengarry bonnet, which had been in use unofficially since the late eighteenth century and was essentially a folding version of the cylindrical military cap.

Tam O’Shanter

The Tam O’Shanter, also simply called a tam, received its name from a poem by Robert Burns. In structure, it is similar to the Balmoral bonnet, but where the Balomoral bonnet has a very short crown

The crown of the tam is larger and looser. Unlike the Glengarry bonnet and the Balmoral bonnet, which were worn by officers, tams were commonly worn by soldiers.

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