A hat is a head covering which is worn for various reasons, including protection against the elements, ceremonial reasons, religious reasons, safety, or as a fashion accessory.

A fashion accessory is an item used to contribute, in a secondary manner, to the wearer's outfit, often used to complete an outfit and chosen to specifically complement the wearer's look.


In the past, hats were an indicator of social status.

Social status is the position or rank of a person or group, within the society.


In the military, hats may denote nationality, branch of service, rank, and/or regiment.

The military, also called the armed forces, are forces authorized to use deadly force, and weapons, to support the interests of the state and some or all of its citizens.


Police typically wear distinctive hats such as peaked caps or brimmed hats, such as those worn by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is both a federal and a national police force of Canada.


Some hats have a protective function.


As examples, the hard hat protects construction workers' heads from injury by falling objects and a British police Custodian helmet protects the officer's head, a sun hat shades the face and shoulders from the sun, a cowboy hat protects against sun and rain and a Ushanka fur hat with fold-down earflaps keeps the head and ears warm.

An ushanka, also called a ushanka-hat, or formovka, trooper hat, or informally a "Russian hat" is a Russian fur cap with ear flaps that can be tied up to the crown of the cap, or fastened at the chin to protect the ears, jaw and lower chin from the cold.

A hard hat is a type of helmet predominantly used in workplace environments such as industrial or construction sites to protect the head from injury due to falling objects, impact with other objects, debris, rain, and electric shock.

Law enforcement in the United Kingdom is organised separately in each of the legal systems of the United Kingdom: England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.


Some hats are worn for ceremonial purposes, such as the mortarboard, which is worn during university graduation ceremonies.

The square academic cap, graduate cap, cap, mortarboard or Oxford cap, is an item of academic dress consisting of a horizontal square board fixed upon a skull-cap, with a tassel attached to the centre.


Some hats are worn by members of a certain profession, such as the Toque worn by chefs.

A toque is a type of hat with a narrow brim or no brim at all.


Some hats have religious functions, such as the mitres worn by Bishops and the turban worn by Sikhs.

The mitre, also spelled miter, is a type of headgear now known as the traditional, ceremonial head-dress of bishops and certain abbots in traditional Christianity.

A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism, a monotheistic religion which originated during the 15th century in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent.

A turban is a type of headwear based on cloth winding.

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