A Guide To Hat Terminology

Posted on May 07 2021

Whether you're new to hat wearing or are in the market to purchase a hat for someone else, you may not be familiar with all of the terms where hats are concerned. It's important, when purchasing a hat, to know what you're getting, the different styles available, and more. To assist our consumers in their pursuit of the perfect hat, we decided to put together a glossary of hat terminology.


Hopefully, with the information below, you can make a more informed decision when it comes to buying baseball caps, fedoras, cowboy hats, wide brimmed hats, and more. Later, we'll tell you the best place to purchase baseball style caps.

General Terminology

These are terms used in reference to most of today's most popular hats.

Snap brim – Usually found on fedoras, pork pies, and hats with similar shapes, the snap brim is a type of curved brim. You can wear this brim snapped down or up.

Lining – For a comfortable fit, this is typically made from satin fabric and appears on the inside of many hats. Against stains and sweat, it helps to protect the hat. For most dress felt hats, satin liners are standard. To keep hats breathable and flexible, there may be no lining in packable hats or summer hats.

Sweatband – You will find a sweatband in practically every hat ever created. Two main functions are provided by sweatbands:

  • Protect the hat’s material from becoming sweat stained.
  • More importantly, to provide a comfortable feel and fit for the hat.

Hatband – Wrapping around the hat’s crown, you may find a decorative band trimming numerous types of dress hats, bonnets, straw hats, etc. While the most common material used here is leather or grosgrain ribbon, a variety of materials can be used.

Crown – On various types of hats, this is a vertical portion. Frequently, in the crown, there is a pinch or crease.

Brim – On many hats, this is the horizontal part. The brim may be down in the front and up in the back, turned down, or turned up. The hat may be referred to as a "snap brim" hat if the brim is down in the front and up in the back.


Referred to earlier, you saw the term "crown". There are different types of crowns, however. Here they are:

  • Diamond
  • Optimo
  • Gus
  • Flat top
  • Bubble
  • Telescope
  • Round crown
  • Open crown
  • Cattleman
  • Centerdent
  • Teardrop

How Hats Are Sized

Depending on where you're shopping, where the hat was manufactured, where you live, etc., hats are sized differently. There is European hat sizing, British hat sizing, and American hat sizing. A wide range of hat sizes is covered by something referred to as generic hat sizes. Here's how this kind of sizing usually runs:

  • Size 7 7/8 to 8 – XXL
  • Size 7 1/2 to 7 3/4 – XL
  • Size 7 1/4 to 7 3/8 – large
  • Size 7 to 7 1/8 – medium
  • Size 6 5/8 to 6 7/8 – small

Running between 53 cm and 64 cm, metrics are used to measure/size European hats. Compared to American hat sizes, British hat sizes run one size smaller. For example, equivalent to an American Large of 7 3/8, the British Large is a 7 1/8. The largest size for American hat sizing is size 8 (XXL), while the smallest is size 6 5/8.

At Hat Heaven we use American sizing. But if you purchase a snapback or dad hat, you don't have to worry as much about the size. These hats are fully adjustable and capable of fitting most adults. We also carry a line of kids’ hats.


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