Burning Man Hat Guide: A Stylish Playa Accessory

Are you planning to attend Burning Man this year? Don’t forget to bring your Burning Man hat! This iconic accessory is not only a stylish addition to your playa wardrobe but also serves a practical purpose.

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Burning Man hats, from the history of the trend to the best styles to wear on the playa.

burning man tv on the playa
Watching TV on the Playa

What is a Burning Man Hat?

A Burning Man hat is a unique accessory that has become a staple of the Burning Man festival. These hats come in various styles, but they typically feature bold, bright colors, playful designs, and unique textures.

Many Burning Man hats are handmade and adorned with embellishments such as feathers, sequins, and LED lights. The hats are worn by Burners to shield their faces from the sun, add a pop of color to their outfits, and express their individuality.

The History of the Burning Man Hat

The origins of the Burning Man hat can be traced back to the early years of the festival. The first Burning Man event was held in 1986, and the event has grown in popularity ever since.

As more people began attending the festival, Burners started looking for ways to express their creativity and stand out from the crowd. The hat became a popular accessory because it was easy to customize and offered a practical solution to the harsh desert sun.

burning man hat
In line to arrive at Burning Man

How to Choose the Perfect Burning Man Hat

With so many different styles of Burning Man hats available, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your playa wardrobe. Here are a few tips to help you pick the perfect hat:

Consider the Material

Burning Man hats are typically made from lightweight, breathable materials such as cotton, straw, or mesh. It’s essential to choose a hat that will keep you cool and comfortable during the hot desert days.

Think About the Design

The design of your Burning Man hat is entirely up to you. Some Burners prefer hats with bold, bright colors, while others opt for more subdued designs. Consider the style of your playa wardrobe and choose a hat that will complement your outfits.

Add Embellishments

Embellishing your Burning Man hat is a great way to make it stand out from the crowd. Consider adding feathers, sequins, LED lights, or other decorations to your hat to make it truly unique.

wearing top hat on bicycle at burning man
Top Hats are great for Burning Man

Popular Styles of Burning Man Hats

There are many different styles of Burning Man hats to choose from, depending on your personal preference and style. Here are a few popular styles to consider:

Bucket Hat

The bucket hat is a classic style that offers excellent sun protection and is easy to customize. These hats are typically made from cotton or nylon and come in a variety of colors and patterns.


The fedora is a stylish option for Burners who want to add a touch of sophistication to their playa wardrobe. These hats come in a range of materials, including straw, wool, and felt, and can be customized with feathers or other embellishments.

Top Hat

The top hat is a bold and dramatic accessory that is perfect for Burners who want to make a statement. These hats come in a range of materials, including felt, leather, and wool, and can be adorned with feathers or LED lights.

friends wearing hats at burning man
Festive choices like Santa Hats make a great choice

Burning Man Hat Etiquette

While Burning Man is all about self-expression, there are a few guidelines to follow when it comes to wearing your Burning Man hat:

Respect Other Burners’ Hats

Burning Man hats are a unique expression of personal style, and it’s essential to respect other Burners’ choices. Don’t touch or remove someone else’s hat without their permission.

Be Mindful of Height

Some Burning Man hats, such as top hats or other tall hats, can obstruct the view of others during performances or events. Be mindful of the height of your hat and adjust it or remove it if necessary to ensure everyone can see.

Avoid Cultural Appropriation

Burning Man is a diverse and inclusive community, and it’s important to avoid cultural appropriation when choosing your hat. Avoid wearing hats that appropriate Indigenous cultures or other marginalized groups.

burning man hat on woman
Staying stylish on the playa

Caring for Your Burning Man Hat

Burning Man can be a dusty and harsh environment, and it’s essential to take care of your Burning Man hat to ensure it lasts for future festivals. Here are a few tips for caring for your hat:

Protect Your Hat from Dust

The playa dust can be particularly harsh on hats, and it’s essential to protect your hat from dust and debris. Keep your hat in a plastic bag when you’re not wearing it, and consider investing in a hatbox for transportation.

Spot Clean Your Hat

If your hat gets dirty during the festival, use a damp cloth to spot clean it. Avoid submerging your hat in water, as it can cause damage to the material or embellishments.

Store Your Hat Properly

After the festival, store your Burning Man hat in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Consider stuffing the crown of the hat with tissue paper to help it maintain its shape.


A Burning Man hat is more than just a stylish accessory – it’s a symbol of individuality and self-expression. With so many styles and designs to choose from, there’s a hat for every Burner. Remember to choose a hat that’s comfortable, practical, and reflects your personal style. With proper care and attention, your hat can last for many festivals to come.


  1. Can I wear a baseball cap at Burning Man?
  • While you can wear a baseball cap at Burning Man, it’s not the most practical choice. Baseball caps don’t offer as much sun protection as other styles, and they can get hot and sweaty in the desert heat.
  1. Can I wear my hat outside of the festival?
  • Absolutely! Burning Man hats are a fun and unique accessory that can add a pop of color and personality to any outfit.
  1. Do I have to make my own Burning Man hat?
  • No, you don’t have to make your own Burning Man hat. Many vendors sell unique and handmade hats at the festival, or you can purchase one online before the event.
  1. Can I wear my Burning Man hat at night?
  • Yes, you can wear your Burning Man hat at night. Many hats are adorned with LED lights or other reflective materials, making them a fun and practical accessory for nighttime events.
  1. What if I can’t decide on a hat style?
  • Don’t worry if you can’t decide on a hat style – there are no rules when it comes to Burning Man fashion! Try experimenting with different styles and designs until you find the perfect hat for you.