The Bucket Hat Is Cool Again. No, Seriously.

Recently I was on vacation with my boyfriend's extended family at the beach in North Carolina. We were discussing their various dads' beach style prowess when his cousin said "Well, I'm just glad my dad's not wearing a bucket hat today. I told him that was a no-go." Little did she know, hundreds of miles away in New York, bucket hats are actually cool again.
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Hayley Phelan
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Recently I was on vacation with my boyfriend's extended family at the beach in North Carolina. We were discussing their various dads' beach style prowess when his cousin said "Well, I'm just glad my dad's not wearing a bucket hat today. I told him that was a no-go." Little did she know, hundreds of miles away in New York, bucket hats are actually cool again.
Photo: @adrianneho

Photo: @adrianneho

Recently I was on vacation with my boyfriend's extended family at the beach in North Carolina. We were discussing their various dads' beach style prowess when his cousin said "Well, I'm just glad my dad's not wearing a bucket hat today. I told him that was a no-go."

Little did she know, hundreds of miles away in New York, bucket hats are actually cool again.

"Bucket hats are a classic but I feel like it's having a moment with Supreme, Undefeated, and Our Legacy releasing some really good ones this season," explained model Adrianne Ho, who's been ahead of the curve on this trend.

Indeed, the streetwear scene, and just dudes in general, were the first to hop on the bucket bandwagon.

"I'm like the Gilligan of Manhattan," artist Curtis Kulig, who currently fronts DKNY's fall 2013 campaign alongside Cara Delevingne, said of the bucket's appeal. "They are undercover."

He added: "I only do bougie buckets." Kulig's point is well-taken: The coolest buckets are upwards of $50 and definitely stylized. This is not your dad's bucket.

T Magazine's Alex Tudela is also a fan of the style. "The bucket hat," he wrote, "is making a comeback," noting that "performers like Usher, Kid Cudi and Schoolboy Q" have all recently sported the style.

Now, the ladies have been getting in on the trend too: Rihanna stepped out in one, and ultimate cool-girl brand Isabel Marant sold one this summer. More recently, X Girl collaborated on a bucket for V-Files.

"Bucket hats are definitely having a moment!" V-Files' Lauren Levinger said. "We see people wearing them all over the city."

Think of it as a reaction to the popularity of baseball caps. "With the recent popularity of snap backs and fitteds, especially on women, people want an alternative for summer sports, beach, and style," Ho said.

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For me, the appeal of the bucket lies in this picture of '70s Lauren Hutton, which I've been earnestly trying to recreate for years. It seems I'm not alone: Anja Rubik was certainly channeling the iconic image of Hutton on Vogue Spain's June 2013 cover (and throughout the editorial). Yes that's correct: Bucket hats are officially Vogue-approved.

Actually, a revitalized interest in young Hutton seems to be one of the reason's why the bucket has caught on. "We love how Lauren Hutton wore [her bucket hat] in American Gigolo!" Levinger said.

Levinger also rightfully points to fashion's current obsession with all things '90s as a reason why the style has taken off. "We are of the opinion that people are really channeling '90s fashion trends right now and the bucket hat falls under that category."

So how do you pull off this trend? Ho recommends you keep the rest of your look simple. The hat is definitely the standout. She likes to wear hers with an athletic mix, or to the beach with a bikini. Unlike a fedora, this is definitely not a nighttime hat. I also love the idea of pairing it with a white button-down and vintage Levi's a la Hutton.

What do you think of this trend? Will you be sporting it?