Understanding the Anatomy of the Brim Hat and its Shapes

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mitchel lensink aPpGkT7trK4 unsplash

A Brim hat is one of the most traditional hats found in the U.S. and is a famous hat form worldwide. The hat can be made from velvet, wool, silk, or even synthetic fiber. It is also often lined with fur to add warmth. The brim is either an expensively hand-sewn piece of a felt material or a simple “frizzed” rim that looks like an irregularly curved edge on the top of the crown. 

Even though men wore the hats and women did not, brimmed hats were an essential part of a woman’s wardrobe throughout the 19th century. Women wore modernized versions of the hat for outdoor summer events. The hats were made from either straw or wool fabric that gave the hat its shape and body. Let us see the different hat terms and their purposes to better understand the brim hat’s anatomy.


A crown is the top portion of a hat cut as a circle and added to the hat to make it look more balanced and stylish. The crown should not be too small or too large. It is the crown that gives a hat its shape.


A brim is an outer band that goes around the crown of a hat and holds it together at its widest part, therefore giving the hat its shape, shape, and body. The brim should fit comfortably around your head so you will be able to keep your head warm but not bent over when wearing it.


The ribbon is used to give extra strength and support to your hat, especially if you live a very active lifestyle or are going out in extreme weather conditions, such as rain or snow. The ribbon can either be placed inside or outside the crown, depending on what will look better with your hat design and style.

Crown Shape

The crown of your hat will be cut as a circle and trimmed with different styles to give it a different shape. There are several ways in which crowns can be shaped:

  • Squared– This is the most commonly used shape for brim hats. On a squared crown, the angle is cut at 90 degrees or equal angles on all sides of the circle.
  • Oblong is an elongated version of the square crown where two straight lines are drawn to connect with an angle forming a triangle.
  • Circular– The crown is made in a circle, and the sides are made of equal matches and angles but are not cut at ninety degrees. This is also known as a round crown, and it only has one side that is cut at an angle.


A sweatband is a piece of material that can either be found inside the brim and around the hat’s crown or just on the inside. It will be stitched onto your hat and can be made of felt or plastic, so it will not be noticeable.

Structure and Shapes of Brim Hats

The crown of the mens brim hat is constructed using various sizes and shapes of felt panels sewn together with an even number of crown bands in between. The tops of these panels are glued down to form the crown’s shape, followed by binding around the bottom edge. The trim is usually sewn on top in two or three rows on short brims or as one large piece for more extended brims. In the case of a short brim, a separate skull cap may be used or attached to the innermost row.

The hat’s crown defines the shape of a brimmed hat. There have been many popular crown shapes throughout history. Some of the shapes are:

Center Crease: Center Crease or center dent is a crown shape with a center crease in the front of the hat with parallel side creases that meet where the crown band is. It is one of the most popular hat crown shapes and the most worn hat shape of all time.

Diamond: The diamond crown is a shape that has a diagonal crease in the front of the hat. It is also known as the pug crown, dog’s tooth crown, or simply the notched crown. However, it does not have parallel lines on each side of the center crease. Instead, it has two lines that meet just before they reach where the band meets.

Open: Open crown is a crown shape with precisely two parallel lines on each side of the center crease. These lines are placed directly in the hat’s middle in a triangular pattern. The hat is made from one main piece of felt material with a band around it to hold it together.

In conclusion, understanding the anatomy of a brimmed hat and its shapes will help you determine what hat shape or style will fit you most comfortably. It will also give you a better idea of combining the different types of brim hats with your clothing. 

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