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How Can You Give a Hat a Distressed Look? Here are the tips to follow

Whether you are a person who loves to go out shopping whenever you feel like it or only buy clothes when it is absolutely needed, you nevertheless would agree on one point. The feeling that you have after you discover the piece that completes an outfit is an out-of-the-world experience. It’s like you have won a lottery when you stumble upon the right accessories or clothes that match your sense of fashion. But when it comes to donning the worn or vintage fashions, not everywhere wants to try out something brand new. 

The majority of the hats that you get in stores or online appear too contemporary for the real retro-inspired fashions that have grown so trendy in recent years. But fashionistas know how to take care of things through their innovative thinking. You can make a hat look distressed in many ways and age any new hat to make it look exactly the way you want it to be. 

Why do people want to distress a hat?

Some may find the idea of adding wear to a fresh piece of clothing to be confusing. But, to simply put, it’s another field of fashion that designers like to explore. We agree that this avenue is not for everyone to try. But those who are sure about their fashion sense will surely take advantage of this style. The technique of aging a hat is similar to bleaching or making holes in a brand-new pair of jeans. People who like to flaunt this look love the worn appearance because it gives a new essence and genuineness to their outfits.

Again, there are many fashion followers who like distressed clothes and accessories because it’s their way of paying tribute to unavailable and bygone vintage designs and styles. 

As retro trends are making a comeback, fans are now extremely eager to reproduce designs that mirror the past fashion era. Whether it’s a 1920’s cloche or a 1950’s trilby you want to don, adding wear will make onlookers wonder if you just emerged from a time machine.  

How to distress a hat

Whether its distressed cowboy hats that you want to create or distressed woolen fedoras, follow these tips to produce your most-wanted look.

  • Use a sandpaper

Creating a worn-out look with sandpaper is probably the most used technique. The grit number mentioned in the product will tell you about the abrasive quality of the paper. The higher the grit number, the smoother the surface you can produce. And as you be working with fabric and not wood, using a lower grit would be a wise thing to do. Sandpapers come cheap. So, buy a few of them with different grit numbers to find which gives you the right effect. 

The process is simple too. Take a sheet of sandpaper and rub it across the hat’s surface till you are happy with the look. 

  • Use sunlight as a natural fading agent

This mode is not for people seeking a quick solution to aging. If you can use the sunlight properly, it will give you the ideal and most natural fading possible. When you actually look at a vintage piece of headgear, the wear effects are all produced by the elements of nature, and the sunlight has a great contribution to it. And this method comes without a price. 

All you need to do is place the hat on window sills that receive ample sunlight or place it outdoors. In a few weeks’ time, the hat’s color will gradually fade. Every few days, remember to turn it so that the hat’s entire surface gets evenly faded.

  • Use the bleaching process

If it’s an instant process that you are after, bleaching can help. A spattered bleach look is a popular style that returns to the fashion world every now and then. You can get the same design on your hat. 

Mix one-fourth cup of bleach with two cups of tepid water. Pour the prepared solution into a sprayer, spray it on the hat surface and dampen it. If you want to create patterns, use a paintbrush. Wait until the desired color appears, and then rinse it thoroughly under cold running water. Leave it to air dry naturally.

  • Rolling on dirt and gravel

It might sound abrupt, but a faded and worn-out look can be achieved by rubbing the hat with some dirt and gravel. Hit it or roll it on the ground outside your house, and you will get your distressed hat.

  • Using scissors or razors

A pair of scissors or razors is sufficient to make holes or tear some part of your hat. You can try this on cotton hats. But remember, the holes will get larger over time. So, cut or make holes accordingly.


You can try these methods on baseball caps, felt hats, cowboy hats, fabric hats, and wool fedoras. So, pick a technique and try your hands to create a distressed hat of your own. 


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