Stylish Winter Hats: The Australian Aviator
The History of Aviator Hats
I once heard a yarn that the aviator Brett Hinkler, the famed “Australian Lone Eagle”, was a pioneer of the aviator hat. The boy from Bundaberg, not known for its cool climate, was undertaking his groundbreaking solo flight across the South Atlantic from Canada to England. Hinkler, bare eared and an adventurous soul, rummaged around to find a good kit before his journey. In the back alley of a local Inuit market, he struck proverbial gold - a lined hat, crafted from wolf pelt, that covered the ears and neck. Just like his pioneering expeditions, Hinkler also dabbled in pioneering fashion styles and trends.
This tale maybe inaccurate to debatable degrees, but the agreed history does stem from these innovative pilots of the early 20th century. The aviator hat, also known as a bomber hat, trapper hat, or trooper hat, has had a storied past. The hat was designed to keep pilots and other outdoorsmen warm in cold, harsh weather conditions.
The aviation hat has its roots in hats made by the indigenous people in the Arctic regions of North America and Russia. These hats were made from fur and had long ear flaps that could be tied up or down to protect the ears from the cold. The fur used for the hat was typically from animals such as beavers, foxes, and rabbits.
During World War I, aviators began wearing these hats to keep warm while flying at high altitudes. The hats were especially popular among the pilots of open-cockpit planes, who were exposed to extreme cold and wind. This association stuck and is where these fashionable ear-warmers were named.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the aviator hat became a popular fashion accessory for both men and women. Golden Age Hollywood movie stars like Clark Gable and Greta Garbo were often seen wearing the hats, which helped to make them even more popular.
During World War II, the trapper hat was once again used by pilots, soldiers, and other military personnel to keep warm in cold weather. After the war, the hat remained a popular fashion item and was often worn by people engaging in outdoor activities such as hunting and skiing.
A Masterpiece in Cold Weather Headwear.
Today, trapper hats are still a popular fashion accessory and offer unparalleled warmth for the head. At Kakadu Traders Australia, we offer Australian made varieties like faux rabbit fur, sherpa, and our ever-popular Roo Allrounder Kangaroo Aviator hats, guaranteed to keep you warm and cozy during your next outdoor session.
Although the Hinkler tale maybe originated from a proud Northern Queenslander spinning a yarn over a Black Bird, the fact remains that aviator hats a solid piece of kit, offering style and comfort for your next journey in the skies.