What is a Robin Hood Hat?

Douglas Bonderud

A Robin Hood hat is a felt or cloth cap that is triangular in shape, with a long point in the back. Typically green, the Robin Hood hat also features an upturned brim with a feather tucked into it. This hat was supposedly worn by the British outlaw hero Robin Hood, who is rumored to have lived in England's Sherwood Forest some time between the 11th and 13th centuries.

Robin Hood hats are identical to the one worn by the fictional character Peter Pan.
Robin Hood hats are identical to the one worn by the fictional character Peter Pan.

These hats are not commonly worn as a fashion choice, but are more often used as part of a historical costume or for Halloween. Many costume shops sell low-priced versions of the Robin Hood hat, which may be made of plastic or very light, inexpensive felt. There are also many crafting or sewing sites on the Internet that offer directions on how to create one of these hats.

The general process for creating a Robin Hood hat is to take a semi-circular piece of stiff felt and fold it in half. Sew one of the edges together to make a quarter circle. Next, turn the piece of felt inside-out so that the stitching lies on the inside of the hat. Finally, turn up the rounded edge of the brim and stitch or tack it into place. Be sure to use a fabric that is stiff enough to make a sturdy hat. If the felt used is not rigid, the hat will simply collapse when worn, instead of maintain a pointed shape.

Scholars do not agree that Robin Hood was a real person. Among those who argue that he was real, there are several leading candidates for his true identity. The first is the fugitive Robert Hod, who lived in the Yorkshire area around the year 1225. Roybn Hood, the porter of King Edward II in 1324, is another.

The legend of Robin Hood does contain some elements that are consistent over time and identity. The first is the claim that Robin Hood lived in Sherwood Forest. Second, is that he was never without his band of Merry Men, which included Little John, Friar Tuck, and Will Scarlett. Another is the assertion that he had a love interest, like story of Maid Marian. A final consistent part of the legend is that he was never seen without either a a Robin Hood hat or a hood pulled over his head.

Robin Hood hats are also often seen at renaissance fairs, worn in combination with other costume elements, such as doublets, leather vests, and leggings. This hat is also identical to the one worn by the fictional character Peter Pan. The legend of Peter Pan is, in fact, a children's version of the original Robin Hood story — with Wendy filling the role of Maid Marian and the Lost Boys taking on the parts of the Merry Men.

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Discussion Comments


Candyquilt - you are also wrong. The Alpine or Tyrolean hat is worn in many, many places still and I own quite a few myself. They look nothing like this Tudor age English hat.


I came to this site to find the name for the "robin hood" style hat. It obviously was not called that, but contrary to your article was indeed a commonly worn style hat. Even the royal "Cap of Majesty" was made in this style.


I put together a Robin Hood costume for my son this past Halloween. It's really one of the easiest costumes to make. I bought khaki pants for him and paired it with a white dress shirt with big collars. For the final touches, used a thick brown belt and the Robin Hood hat and you're done! And the costume does not have to be a grass green color. You can make it in khaki-white-brown tones like I did or use black. It looks so cute!

A friend of mine also used a Robin Hood theme for her son's birthday party. Several of us got together and made about 20 Robin Hood hats for the kids which did not take a long time at all and they had a lot of fun with them. The kids can help you make them too.


I'm not sure which came first, but the Robin Hood hat is very similar to the Alpine hat that is part of the Swiss and German cultural attire. In fact, it is identical. Alpine hats are not really used anymore other than for cultural representation and holidays. But they were still used in the early 90s. In fact, I remember several international films which dressed the main male character in Western clothes and an Alpine hat to give him a young and yuppie look.

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