The foreign legion hat, also known as the “kepi blanc,” is a classic military-style headwear that has been around for more than a century. Originally worn by the French Foreign Legion, this hat has since become popular worldwide, both as a fashion accessory and a functional piece of clothing.
In this blog, we will provide a comprehensive guide to the hat, covering everything from its history and significance, to how to choose the right size and style it for different occasions.
We will also provide tips on maintaining and cleaning your hat, as well as suggest some alternatives if this hat style doesn’t suit your taste. Whether you’re a longtime fan of the hat or just starting to explore its potential, this guide is sure to provide valuable insights and inspiration.
Types of Foreign Legion Hats:
The foreign legion hat comes in two primary styles: the traditional version and the modified version.
Traditional Foreign Legion Hat
The traditional foreign legion hat, or “kepi,” is the original design worn by the French Foreign Legion since the mid-19th century. It is a flat-topped hat with a wide, stiff brim that curves down at the front and back. The hat is typically made from wool or felt, with a leather strap and a brass button at the front.
- Description and history: The traditional kepi has a rich history, dating back to the early days of the French Foreign Legion in the 1830s.
- Materials and construction: The hat is typically made from high-quality materials like wool or felt, with a leather strap and a brass button at the front.
- Popular brands and retailers: Brands like Stetson, Bailey of Hollywood, and Kangol offer traditional kepis that are made with high-quality materials and construction.
Modified Foreign Legion Hat
The modified foreign legion hat is a modern take on the classic design. It retains the flat top and curved brim, but often features additional design elements like a snapback closure or a mesh crown.
- Description and history: The modified kepi is a contemporary twist on the traditional design, and has become increasingly popular in recent years.
- Differences from the traditional hat: The modified kepi features additional design elements like a snapback closure or a mesh crown, which provide added comfort and breathability.
- Popular brands and retailers: Brands like Rothco, Columbia, and Carhartt offer modified kepis that are designed for comfort and durability.
Overall, both the traditional and modified foreign legion hats are stylish and functional options that can be worn for a variety of occasions. It’s worth considering which style best fits your needs and personal style before making a purchase.
Choosing the Right Foreign Legion Hat Size
Choosing the right size for your foreign legion hat is crucial for both comfort and style. Here are some tips for finding the perfect fit:
Measuring for the correct size
To determine your hat size, you’ll need to measure your head circumference using a soft measuring tape. Place the tape around the widest part of your head, just above your eyebrows and ears.
- Head circumference: Measure your head circumference using a soft measuring tape.
- Hat size chart: Consult a hat size chart to determine your size based on your head circumference.
Trying on the hat
Trying on the hat is the best way to ensure a proper fit. When trying on a foreign legion hat, pay attention to the following:
- Proper fit and comfort: The hat should sit comfortably on your head, with a snug but not too tight fit.
- Adjusting the chin strap: The chin strap should be adjusted so that it sits comfortably under your chin without being too loose or tight.
Sizing tips for online purchases
If you’re purchasing a foreign legion hat online, it’s important to take accurate measurements to ensure the best fit.
- Taking accurate measurements: Use a soft measuring tape to measure your head circumference, and consult the sizing chart provided by the retailer.
- Consulting size guides: Look for size guides that provide additional information on the fit of the hat, such as whether it runs large or small.
By taking the time to measure your head and try on different sizes, you’ll be able to find a foreign legion hat that fits comfortably and looks great. Keep in mind that different brands may have slight variations in sizing, so it’s always a good idea to consult the sizing chart provided by the retailer before making a purchase.
Styling a Foreign Legion Hat
The foreign legion hat is a versatile accessory that can be styled in many different ways. Here are some tips for styling your hat for different occasions:
For casual occasions, try pairing your hat with a simple t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. This look is perfect for running errands, going for a walk, or meeting up with friends.
- Pairing with casual clothing: Pair the hat with a simple t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers.
- Choosing colors: Stick to neutral colors like black, gray, or navy to keep the look understated.
For dressier occasions, pair your foreign legion hat with a blazer, dress pants, and leather shoes. This look is perfect for weddings, fancy dinners, or other formal events.
- Pairing with dressy clothing: Pair the hat with a blazer, dress pants, and leather shoes.
- Choosing materials: Opt for high-quality materials like wool or felt to give the outfit an elevated look.
For outdoor activities like hiking or camping, a foreign legion hat can be a functional and stylish accessory. Pair it with a comfortable outfit and sturdy shoes.
- Pairing with outdoor clothing: Pair the hat with a comfortable outfit and sturdy shoes.
- Choosing materials: Look for hats made from durable materials like canvas or nylon, which can withstand the elements.
Whether you’re dressing up or dressing down, a foreign legion hat can add a stylish touch to any outfit. Be creative and experiment with different styles to find the perfect look for you.
Note: Always keep in mind the purpose of the hat when considering how to style it, as it is originally a functional military headwear.
Maintaining and Cleaning a Foreign Legion Hat
Proper maintenance and cleaning of your foreign legion hat is essential to keep it looking great and in good condition. Here are some tips to keep your hat clean and well-maintained:
For small stains or marks, spot cleaning is usually sufficient. Use a soft cloth or brush and a mild detergent to gently clean the affected area.
- Materials to avoid: Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives, which can damage the material of the hat.
Cleaning the entire hat
If your foreign legion hat is dirty or stained all over, it may need a more thorough cleaning. Follow these steps to clean the entire hat:
- Fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent.
- Soak the hat in the water for a few minutes, then use a soft brush to gently scrub the hat.
- Rinse the hat thoroughly with clean water and gently squeeze out any excess water.
- Reshape the hat and allow it to air dry completely.
Maintaining the shape of the hat
To maintain the shape of your hat, avoid crushing or folding it whenever possible. If you need to pack it for travel, fill the inside of the hat with tissue paper or a soft cloth to help it keep its shape.
- Storing the hat: Store your hat in a cool, dry place to prevent it from getting damaged by moisture or heat.
By following these tips, you can keep your foreign legion hat looking great and in good condition for years to come. With proper care, your hat can become a cherished accessory that you’ll love wearing for many occasions.
Foreign Legion Hat Alternatives
While the foreign legion hat is a classic style that will never go out of fashion, there are also other similar hat styles that you may want to consider. Here are some popular alternatives:
The boonie hat is a military-style hat that is similar to the foreign legion hat in terms of functionality. It has a wide brim that provides excellent sun protection, and is typically made from lightweight, breathable materials.
- Materials: Boonie hats are often made from cotton or nylon, which makes them comfortable and durable.
- Style: Boonie hats have a more casual look compared to the foreign legion hat, and are often worn for outdoor activities like hiking or camping.
The safari hat is another military-inspired hat that is similar to the foreign legion hat in terms of functionality. It has a wide brim that provides excellent sun protection, and is typically made from lightweight, breathable materials.
- Materials: Safari hats are often made from cotton or leather, which makes them comfortable and durable.
- Style: Safari hats have a more sophisticated look and are often worn for more formal occasions like weddings or outdoor events.
The baseball cap is a popular hat style that is often worn for casual occasions. While it doesn’t provide as much sun protection as the foreign legion hat, it is still a great alternative for those looking for a more casual look.
- Materials: Baseball caps are often made from cotton or polyester, which makes them comfortable and lightweight.
- Style: Baseball caps have a more sporty look and are often worn for everyday activities like running errands or going to the gym.
By considering these alternative hat styles, you can find the perfect hat that fits your style and needs. Whether you choose a foreign legion hat, a boonie hat, a safari hat, or a baseball cap, remember to choose a hat that is comfortable and fits well.
Foreign legion hats have been a popular and timeless accessory for many years. They continue to be a favorite among fashion enthusiasts and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The foreign legion hat is an excellent choice whether you’re looking for style or practicality.
When choosing a hat, consider factors such as the type of hat, size, styling options, and maintenance requirements. By taking these factors into account, you can find the perfect hat that fits your needs and preferences.
Remember, a well-maintained hat can last for years and become a cherished accessory. No matter the color, it can complement many outfits.
So, what are you waiting for? Explore the world of foreign legion hats and find the perfect hat that fits your style and needs. With the right hat, you’ll be ready to take on any adventure in style and comfort.