In my time in the SCA, I have developed just one tiny pet peeve. One could call it a passion even. “What bee’s gotten into your bonnet?” you may ask. Well, it’s simply that I believe we should all be covering our heads when dressed in European garb.
Men and women have regularly covered their heads in public since recorded history, this tradition ending only recently in the late ’60s. Whether heads were covered to protect against the elements, for humility or modesty, or for fashion, there’s no doubt in my mind that a hat makes the SCA outfit. If I could influence just one thing, it would be to encourage more people to cover their heads at events.
To do a review of all hats over the course of history would be a lifetime’s work, so I’ll start with my interest — 16th century Germany. Even that maybe a bit broad, so let’s narrow it down to the first half of the 16th century, with an emphasis on the German upper class and the Landsknecht who both wore a great variety of headcoverings, from simple to elaborate. Here are the categories of haube (headcoverings) I’ve observed from period woodcuts and paintings:
Bundhaube (coifs/arming caps)
Stuchlein and wulsthaube (scarves and support caps)
Beretts (round caps with brims)
Gugel/Kogel/Kugel (hoods) – very few of these!
Gebende (headwrap with chin strap)
Goldhaube and Haarhauben (hair caps/cauls)
Haarband (black headband, used mostly by young woman of the lower classes)
This is by no means an exhaustive representation of German headwear, but I believe it is a reasonable representation of the images available.