tricorn hat

Military hat from the 18th century

The Tricorn or Tricorne is a style of hat that was popular during the 18th century before falling out of style by 1800. During the peak of the Tricorn’s popularity, the tricorn was worn as civilian dress and as part of military and naval uniforms.

The Tricorn’s distinguishing characteristic evolved from practicalities: the turned-up portions of the brim formed gutters to direct rainwater away from the wearer’s face, depositing most of it over his shoulders. Before the days of specialised rain gear, this was a distinct advantage.

Tricorns had broad brims which were pinned up on either side of the head and at the back, producing the triangular shape. The hat was typically worn with the point facing forward, though it was not at all unusual for soldiers, who would often rest a rifle or musket on their left shoulder, to wear the tricorn pointed to the left to allow better clearance. The crown is low, unlike the steeple hats worn by the Puritans or the top hat of the 19th century.

Tricorns ranged from the very simple and cheap to the extravagant, occasionally incorporating gold or silver lace trimming and feathers. In addition, military and naval versions usually bore a cockade or other national emblem at the front.

Other names for Tricorn

  • Tricorne
  • Cocked Hat

Famous Tricorn wearers

  • Captain Jack
  • Dick Turpin
  • Louis XIV
  • Peter the Great
  • Charles III of Spain
  • George Washington
  • Naval Officers
  • John Adams

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