Welcome to our review of The Best Steampunk Hats 2023.
To ensure this guide reflects the true views of the steampunk community, we reached out to a broad spectrum of steampunk enthusiasts who use Steampunk Artifacts.
Our aim was to uncover the most important factors our community considers when comparing steampunk hats. Using these insights, we have crafted The Best Steampunk Hats 2023 guide comparing only the hats that truly matter to steampunks: Top Hats, Bowlers or Derby Hats, Aviator Caps, Pith Helmets, Newsboy Caps, Mini Hats or Fascinators, Military-style Caps & Tricorn Hats.
What is a Steampunk Hat?
A hat becomes “steampunk” when it incorporates the aesthetic principles that characterize the steampunk genre. Here are a few elements that can contribute to a hat’s steampunk-ness:
- Design Inspired by the Victorian Era
Many steampunk hats draw inspiration from the fashion of the Victorian era, a period that heavily influences steampunk style. Styles like top hats, bowlers, and women’s bonnets are common.
- Industrial Materials
Steampunk is notable for its use of materials that have an industrial feel, which often appears on hats as embellishments. Brass, leather, cogs, gears, clock pieces, and other industrial elements might be used to decorate a steampunk hat.
- Inventive Accessories
Part of the charm of steampunk lies in its blend of historic fashion with elements of fantasy and adventure. Common accessories for steampunk hats include goggles, feathers, rivets, chains, compasses, and various other items that evoke the spirit of exploration and invention.
Steampunk is a blend of the past and an imagined future. Hats might incorporate elements that suggest advanced technology as imagined from the viewpoint of the Victorian era. For instance, a hat could feature a brass ‘communication device’ or a ‘time-traveling’ accessory, blending retro style with futuristic imagination.
- Handcrafted Look
Many steampunk hats have a distinctive handmade or custom-tailored look. The individuality and craftsmanship celebrated in steampunk culture often shine through in the form of unique details and bespoke accessories.
The Best Steampunk Hats 2023
These are perhaps the most quintessentially steampunk of all hats. Often made of felt or leather, they can be adorned with anything from goggles, feathers, clockwork gears, and brass accents to create a dramatic look.
These round, hard-topped hats were popular in the Victorian era and provide a slightly more understated alternative to the top hat. Like top hats, they can be decorated with various steampunk-style adornments.
Reflecting the fascination with flight in steampunk culture, these leather caps often come with goggles and can make you look like an adventurous airship pilot or sky pirate.
These hard hats, typically associated with Victorian explorers, can add a touch of adventure to your steampunk outfit. They work particularly well with a more tropical or safari-inspired steampunk look.
For a more working-class steampunk aesthetic, newsboy caps, usually made of tweed or another thick fabric, can add a distinctive touch.
Popular in women’s steampunk fashion, these small, decorative hats are often adorned with feathers, gears, and netting. They can be worn tilted on the head for a stylish and elegant look.
Reflecting the genre’s fascination with military history and adventure, these caps can add a more structured look to your outfit. Think officers’ caps or naval hats adorned with brass accents.
These three-cornered hats can give a nod to the steampunk pirate look. They are often accessorized with feathers, badges, or ornate brooches.
How to Compare the Best Steampunk Hats
Comparing steampunk hats involves assessing various factors, much like comparing any other type of accessory or clothing item. Here are several key elements you might consider:
Evaluate how well the hat captures the steampunk aesthetic. This might include elements of Victorian fashion, industrial design features, or retro-futuristic accessories.
The materials used to make the hat can significantly affect its look, feel, and longevity. Genuine materials like leather, wool, or quality synthetic alternatives are often preferable to cheap fabrics or plastics.
Look for indicators of the hat’s overall construction quality. This could include the neatness of stitching, the solidity of attached accessories, or the quality of any included features like adjustable straps or removable elements.
Style & Design
Does the hat’s design align with your specific vision for your steampunk ensemble? Some might prefer the classic look of a leather top hat adorned with brass, while others might want the rugged charm of an aviator cap with goggles.
Comfort & Fit
The hat should be comfortable to wear and fit well. If you’re shopping online, check if there are measurements provided to ensure a good fit.
Consider if the hat could work well with various outfits or if it’s very specific to one look. A more versatile hat might offer better value if you plan to wear it with different costumes or in various settings.
As with any purchase, compare the price with the perceived value and quality of the hat. High-quality, handcrafted items may justify a higher price point, but be sure you’re getting what you pay for.
If shopping online, customer reviews can provide useful insights into aspects like the hat’s true-to-size fit, the accuracy of its color compared to online photos, and overall durability and quality.
John Francis is a lifelong Sci-fi fan who met Matilda at a Steampunk event and was immediately enraptured by the community. John’s favorite Steampunk-inspired game is The Chaos Engine on the Sega Genesis.