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Traditional Kilt Caps and Hats from USA Kilts


Looking to top off your kilt outfit? USA Kilts has you “covered” with sharp-looking casual Flat Caps and formal Glengarry hats.

As it sounds, a flat cap (also known as a driving cap or scally cap) is a rounded cap with a small, stiff brim. It’s a perfect casual day wear accessory for your kilt. Just the thing for a walk on a crisp fall day.  

Another popular style of cap worn with kilts is the Glengarry -- made of a thicker woollen material, decorated with a toorie or "pom" at the top. These hats are popular among military or Highland dress kilt wearers, not to mention bagpipers. And naturally, we also carry a complete assortment of cap badges and hackles to accessorize your cover.

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Celtic Hat FAQ:

What is the traditional Scottish hat?

The most traditional form of hat worn with a kilt is the Scottish tam beret, or just “tam”. If you watch Outlander, you have seen these Scottish highland berets in their original form -- a wide and floppy bag-like hat which offered comfortable warmth and protection from the rain and could even be used as a bag to carry things (though not on your head!),

What does a modern Scottish wool beret look like?

The old tam was popular right up to the 20th century, but has grown more and more tailored over the years. Most people are familiar with the Scottish military beret called a Balmoral, named for Balmoral castle. Though intended for units of the British army, or for use by bagpipe bands, this Scottish beret hat has become popular with civilians as well and can be used for casual occasions - even as a form of Scottish golf hat. For semi-formal or presentation occasions (such as representing your clan at a Celtic festival or parade) the traditional balmoral hat will usually be ornamented with a Clan Crest Cap Badge. Even more popular however is the Glengarry.

What is a Glengarry Hat?

Perhaps the most recognizable Scottish kilt hat is the glengarry. This is because it is easily the most common of bagpiper hats. If you want to buy a bagpiper hat, this is probably your first choice -- ideal for solo performance uniforms or as part of a band uniform.

Like the mens Scottish beret, the Glengarry has a military tradition which dates back to the 19th century, at least. It is similar in shape to a vintage barracks cap (the “wedge” shape) and features black ribbons in the back as well as a toorie "pom" on top. It also features a rosette for mounting a Scottish cap badge.

When you buy a glengarry hat, you will be asked for your head size. The most accurate way to get this is to use a metric tape measure. Most men’s heads are 55 to 65cm.

What is the traditional Irish hat?

Mens flat caps come in many forms. The traditional Irish hats that come to mind first are usually tweed flat caps. Other names include: Donegal, Irish golf hat, driving cap, Irish derby, hat scally cap and Irish walking hat. These are all the same wool hat, essentially.

Though perfected by the Irish, this form of flat cap hat was common throughout the UK and North America in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  

Several sites offer Irish hats for sale, but many are not truly from the Emerald Isle. The Irish hat name gets slapped on many products. We are proud to say that our Irish flat cap hats are made exclusively in Ireland by a reputable firm who also weave their own 100% wool tweeds!

Do you have to be Irish to wear an Irish tweed hat?

Nope. The Irish flat cap can be worn with any outfit, but it is especially handsome as a kilt hat. Whether you are Irish, Scottish or any other heritage, an Irish style hat is simply a great, naturalistic look any kilt wearer can enjoy. Our mens Irish hats are available in all sizes and a variety of tweed patterns to match your tartan.

What is a Hackle?

Hackle feathers are an ornament worn on a Glengarry or Balmoral hat, usually as part of a bagpiper’s uniform. They are military creation and hackle feathers for hats are still common in many Scottish regiments’ parade dress. Scottish hackle feathers are themselves an evolution from the original hackle -- the Highland clan plant badge. This was simply a bit of a plant or flower common to your family’s home region which you would wear in your hat to identify your clan on the battlefield. Clan chiefs also wear eagle feathers as part of their rank. Feather hackles combine the two concepts an come in a variety of colors.  

What is a Clan Crest Cap Badge?

Traditional cap badges of Scotland are metal ornaments which show a clan badge or other emblem. Clan cap badges have a long history intermeshed with regimental uniforms of the British army. Anyone may wear Scottish cap badges, even if they are not a clan member, with popular Scottish symbols such as the Rampant Lion and the thistle being readily available. There are also Irish clan crest cap badges, though these are more often referred to as Family Crest Badges. Irish cap badges are usually of the same general design as Scottish clan crest cap badges, but will substitute the Claddagh or Irish harp for the usual Scottish clan fealty belt as the ornamentation surrounding the heraldic badge itself. Some clubs and organizations have their own custom cap pins as well -- the most common being Masonic cap badges. Pewter badges (sometimes called antique cap badges for the color) are most common but there are silver cap badges. Gold or hat pins featuring jewels are not usually worn.