The Bircorne Hat
We see it in every great daredevil swashbuckling movie out of the 1950s. We see it in paintings in history books.
It is the bicorne hat.
The father of the bicorne was the tricorne, or three cornered hat. But the bicorne emerged throughout history as the iconic headgear for European naval leadership. The admirals and captains of the late middle ages had adopted this unusual hat ubiquitously throughout the fleets of the largest navies. It had a broad brim with front and rear haves turned up and pinned together. Mostly the hat was worn “fore and aft” or front of back evenly. The fan shaped hat could be worn at a strategic angle, “athwart” as they called it and during the late 18th century it was quite the fashion. Sea faring officers were a high caste of people in a caste structured Victorian society. Fashion mattered.
Sources: wikipedia, military history.org, British Museum
Napoleon’s Bircorne Hat