The hat of the Musketeer
The musketeer hat, or the cavalier hat as it is known, is a simple hat style that actually works with many different costumes. Virtually any courtly costume from the 16th to the 17th century can pull off a cavalier hat. Most Shakespearean style characters can work the cavalier hat as well. And if you are looking to create a fantasy character and you want a little bit of flare then the cavalier hat is certainly a plausible piece of headgear. And finally, if you want something bigger then the traditional tricorne of the pirate, go for a cavalier hat with the rest of your pirate gear and you will find that you have a LaFitte style pirate with a large sweeping brim to protect your eyes from the sun while on board ship.
The cavalier hat can be made out of any millinery material. Certainly the most popular, at ren faires at least, is the leather version – and it looks great. You will also see felt versions in both wool and fur at the faires and though not purchased as quickly as the leather version, they certainly move well and would be more ‘period’ appropriate. The hat is a simple but elegant style. The crown is usually just a rounded, bowl-shaped style but the beauty of the cavalier is the wide brim. The brim is going to hang roughly 6 or more inches from the crown and one side of the brim will be pulled up and affixed to the side of the crown. This gives some stability to the brim and also makes for a daring look to the hat itself.
As you already know, the look of any costume is established by the accessories. With a cavalier hat, like a tricorne you can accessorize to your hearts content. Add a hat band around the crown to match the color of your costume. Add as many feathers as you can fit into the hat and you have a dashing bit of flare that will make you the cock-o-the-walk and you can also add pins and badges to the side of the cavalier hat to match the theme-ing of your costume and the time period you are going for.
Next time you are looking for that perfect piece to cover your head, give the cavalier hat a shot. Try something new and see how many looks you get with this dashing bit of flare and style.
Thanks to Museum Replicas for the picture attached to this article.