Aussie Bush Hats


The Aussie Bush Hat is identified firstly with the Australian Army.  It is called a “Slouch” Hat and is worn with the hat turned up on one side to allow for different drill movements.  Today, army members wear the slouch hat with the brim down to provide additional protection from the sun when not performing ceremonial duties.

The term ‘puggaree’ originates from the Hindu word, ‘Pagri,’ meaning a turban or thin scarf of muslin. Intended for insulation, the puggaree was a traditional Indian head-wrap, adapted by the British for headdress worn in hot, sunny regions.  During World War One (1914-1918) a plain khaki cloth band was worn and this practice continued until compulsory training was suspended in 1929. Over time this cloth band changed with different coloured folds denoting Army or Service.   During World War 11 a type of flat band was introduced.  The current Puggaree has seven pleats, one for each state and the Australian Territories.  It is made of light khaki coloured cotton and is worn on the “slouch” hat with a unit colour pattern on the right side.

Royal Military College staff cadets wear a distinctive puggaree of olive drab colour.  The puggaree has eight pleats with seven representing each state and one for the Australian Territories.  The eight pleat signifies the graduation of the first international cadet through the Royal Military College who hailed from New Zealand.

Slough Hats worn by members of the Armoured Corps are adorned with Emu plumes, a tradition that originated with the Queensland Mounted Infantry during the shearers strike in Queensland in 1891.  The soldiers obtained their own plume by riding beside an Emu plucking the breast feathers and placing them on the hat.   An Emu runs at a speed of 40 kilometres or 30 Miles per hour.  In 1915 Minister for Defence Sir GF Pearce granted all units of the Australian Light Horse permission to wear the plume which they referred to a “Kangaroo” feathers.

Today the Bush Hat is generally the same as the army hat with a wide brim but with lots more options. For instance, the “Crocodile Dundee Hat” is made of genuine cow leather, a genuine crocodile band and genuine crocodile teeth.

What is the Squashable Bush Hat?  You need a hat to protect you from the elements whether it is protection from the sun or to keep your head warm in the snow. What do you do with the hat if you want to have lunch?  Hang it on the back of the chair or under the table – perhaps beside you.  Whatever, you decide you can agree that it will be in the way of someone and you may even have a large footprint on the top when you go to leave.  The answer is the “squashable” hat.  This hat comes with a bag so you can fold it up and then hang it from your chair.  So now you can go to lunch, take a flight, go to the theatre or anywhere without a hat to worry about.  Travelling is the worst because you need to eliminate as much regalia as possible.  The squashable hat comes in Roo hide, oiled leather and suede and can be packed in your suitcase.

Then there is the Bush Hat that allows ventilation through mesh sides.  This is made from both waterproof canvas and Cow hide suede.

What about a High Country traditional Snowy Mountain style.  You can see the “Man from Snowy River” flying down the mountain chasing the colt from Old Regret with his hat flying in the wind but intact because of the chin strap.  This is made from water resistant leather.

The Snowy Mountain Aussie Bush Hat is made from tough cow hide to which oils have been applied to give protection from the weather.

The last is the Wild Bull hat which comes in earthy colours.

There are plenty of hats for the Ladies to choose from.  They might like to put a scarf around the crown to match an outfit.