The holiday season can inspire people, both real and fictional, to wear some outrageous Christmas movie hats. So far out, in fact, that we've decided to list them here.
These hats are in no particular order, although one could argue that they're ranked based on how memorable they are. I haven’t watched A Charlie Brown Christmas for decades. But I still remember his hat. So let’s get into the spirit of the holidays with the...
9 Best Christmas Movie Hats
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Charlie's Deerstalker Hat
It's impossible to create a list of Christmas hat movies and not mention A Charlie Brown Christmas. Although Charlie is no Sherlock Holmes, his agent wanted him to wear something fantastical (yet realistic) to ensure that his bald head didn’t freeze over during the shoot. The brown color and ear flaps made Charlie look ready-to-storm-The-US-Capitol-scary, especially compared to the sickly-looking Christmas tree he was trying to save.
They say that fashion is cyclical. Even though this holiday special came out 60 years ago, Charlie's deerstalker hat is just as stylish today as it was back then. And it's an unique alternative to traditional felt hats for men.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Narrator's Conductor Cap
If you're familiar with Christmas music at all, you know the song Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Back in 1970, filmmakers decided to animate this remarkable tale with stop-motion figurines. Hailing direct from the North Pole, one of my favorite characters in the show was Special Delivery Kruger, who went by the moniker SD. Interestingly, SD featured the voice of none other than Fred Astaire.
The puppet even looks a bit like Fred. Although you might not notice, thanks to the official-looking service hat the animators undoubtedly glued to his little head. The cap had the word "post" on the cockade above the visor, with the P and the T in exaggerated lettering. To add some pizzazz to the character, animators tilted the cap to the side, and an iconic look was born.
But, S.D. wore more than just a Postman's service flat cap. They gave him a train conductor's hat for his polar express locomotive scene. Both options were equally official.
3. It's a Wonderful Life
Jimmy Stewart's Wide-Brimmed Fedora
James Stewart wearing a wide brim felt fedora in It’s a Wonderful Life (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
When this Christmas movie first came out in 1946, audiences and critics panned it. So, for a couple of decades, it sat on the proverbial shelf, collecting dust. Then, in the 1970s, TV stations were looking for cheap Christmas entertainment they could air to get people into the holiday spirit each winter. Since the copyright had ended, they used It's a Wonderful Life because it was free to show. After broadcasters crammed this movie down audience’s throats for a few years, it's become a mainstay ever since. But it’s one of the background movies you never get through in one sitting.
Now, we're not saying that the main reason people liked the movie is because of Stewart's wide-brimmed felt fedora, but we do think it gave him the authority to stop a run on the bank on this scene. The way the hat falls effortlessly to the side makes men everywhere envious. Few have the swagger to pull it off.
4. The Muppet Christmas Carol
Gonzo's Brown Leather Top Hat
In case you weren't aware, A Christmas Carol is a novel written by Charles Dickens. The story is so well-known and widespread at this point that many of us can recite the beats from memory. In 1992, The Muppets decided to take a crack at a sequel of this classic tale, with Gonzo set as the narrator, Charles Dickens himself.
To appeal to parents and kids alike, the movie had its tongue firmly in its cheek. Gonzo even broke the fourth wall multiple times. But, with a brown mens top hat like the one he wore, we're too entranced to fault him for that gimmick.
The distressed, faded color, the way the top hat protruded from Gonzo's head like his indescribable nose, this Christmas movie hat was a marvel to behold. It's too bad the top hat has gone out of style because we would rock that any time of year. And if you’re wondering what kind of animal Gonzo is, for the record his species is unknown.
5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Hermey's Bucket Hat
There's something about the holidays that blends perfectly with stop-motion animation. Back in 1964, the studio Rankin/Bass produced a wonderful retelling of the story of Rudolph. A tale of a misfit reindeer trying to find his place in the world. Joining him on his quest was Hermey, the misfit elf who only wanted to become a dentist.
The colors and costuming of this classic are inimitable and instantly recognizable. We particularly like Hermey's blue Christmas bucket hat, as it matches his character's story.
Blue represents the sadness of not fitting in, and the red hat band denotes his passion for oral hygiene. Can you imagine Hermey wearing anything else and still being a lovable character?
We didn't think so.
6. Meet Me in St. Louis
Judy Garland's Straw Boater Hat
Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien doning straw boater hats in Meet Me in St. Louis (MGM Studios/Courtesy of Getty Images)
Technically speaking, Meet Me in St. Louis isn't a Christmas film. However, it does follow a family throughout the year, and it celebrates Christmas, so that's good enough for us. While the film came out in 1944, it centered around a family in 1903, a year before the St. Louis World's Fair.
The star of this picture was none other than Judy Garland, who stole our hearts in The Wizard of Oz the year before. She plays Esther Smith, who falls in love with Mickey Rooney. In one of the scenes, Garland dances with her sister, and they both use straw boater hats to add panache to the scene.
For those who don't know the straw boater hat, think of a barbershop quartet. This Christman topper is synonymous with fun, song and dance, and we're fans!
7. Home Alone
Kevin's Knit Cap
When it comes to modern Christmas movie classics, nothing holds a candle to Home Alone. This holiday movie was lightning in a bottle, and studios have been trying to recapture the miracle ever since (with no luck).
While we can sing Home Alone's praises all day, we have to mention Kevin's knit wool cap that he wears throughout the flick. Rocking a pom-pom at the end of his stocking cap with red reindeer patterns on the sides, the cap illustrates the childish innocence of Kevin, despite his best efforts to grow up quickly. Kristin Davis playing Charlotte York wore a similar Sex and the City hat. Even after he terrorizes the wet bandits, it's hard not to feel bad. Here's a kid left alone by himself, Christmas movie hat and all.
8. A Christmas Carol
Tiny Tim's Service Cap
Terry Kilburn with a service cap and others in A Christmas Carol (MGM Studios/MGM Studios/Getty Images)
We started with The Muppets christmas movie, but let’s talk about the original Christmas Carol from 1938. As the oldest movie on this list, it's definitely got some staying power. Even without color, we have to give props to Tiny Tim and his earnest service hat.
Tim may be tiny, but his Christmas movie hat adds some gravitas that you can still get from today's hat selections. Imagine if Tim was wearing a camo trucker hat or knit beanie – the effect would be lost.
As with Jimmy Stewart's fedora, we love the way that this hat falls off to one side so effortlessly. It creates sympathy for the young character and helps you connect with him that much more.
9. A Christmas Carol (again)
Black Top Hats
Gene Lockhart and Reginald Owen with top hats in A Christmas Carol (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)
Yes, we're going back to this well a third time. In this case, it doesn't matter which variation you choose since they all have top hats (we're pretty sure that Scrooged had a couple).
There's something nostalgic about seeing these black top hats on so many people at once. It takes us back to a simpler time when fashion was bold and took effort.
Casual wear hadn't been invented yet, and people took pride in how they looked. If a top hat can work for the Great Emancipator, it can work for you too.
Christmas Movie Hats - Final thought
Do you love hats? Do you also love Christmas movies? Well, take a walk down memory lane and see some gorgeous hats along the way. We’re gandering at classics from A Charlie Brown Christmas to Home Alone and seeing how these Christmas hats gave us the warm and fuzzies.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!