Generational Bucket Hats

The Author and Infant Son With Matching Headgear | Courtesy B. Maschal Private Collection

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have spent a lot of quality time with both of my grandfathers during the formative years of my youth. My paternal grandfather was brick mason who never fully retired. In almost every memory that I have of him, he is either building something or fixing something (when we weren’t fishing or camping together). In most of these scenarios that took place during warmer months, my grandfather’s outfit was almost exclusively a pair of overalls and a bucket hat. He would typically wear the bucket hat with the sides an back flipped up, and the front flipped down. I remember he had a huge assortment of bucket hats. I even inherited a few of them in my youth (wish I still had them!).

They aren’t for everyone. My dad, for instance, was never big on bucket hats. He is more of a baseball/trucker hat (or flat brimmed felt stetson when camping/fishing) kind of a guy. I have seen some photos of him when he was in college working for my grandfather’s brick crew during the summer, where he was also wearing overalls and a bucket hat. But from recollection, he had evolved away from that look by the time I was old enough to remember.

Apart from the brief adolescent stint mentioned above, I, similar to my dad, gravitated more toward baseball hats. This remained true until I met my friend Thomas circa 2012/13. A fellow photog and entrepreneur, he had partnered with another friend on a line of bucket hats called Winwel. The venture was short lived, as they received a C&D letter from a company by the same name that made hockey gloves or something like that. Prior to this, Winwel was selling out on pre-orders every time they did a run. Here is a snap of me rocking one Gilligan style from a marketing shoot that we did in Bushwick during the early 2010s-

The Author, Circa 2013 | Photo Cred: Thomas Welch

Unfortunately, I do not own the hat in that photo. It was one from Thomas’s personal collection. Despite the fact that I was never a lucky owner of an original Winwel hat (I’ll admit that I have checked Grailed for a while), I did end up subsequently acquiring a couple of non-Winwel versions. I still typically rock a baseball hat on most hat-wearing occasions. But during the summer months I tend to break out the bucket, now and again.

Since our little guy is too young to wear sunscreen, bucket hats have also now become a part of his summer wardrobe. I don’t expect it to last when he is old enough to start making his own sartorial decisions. But it is kind of fun, for now, when we dawn our buckets together.

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