40

I wondered when the students are wearing their uniform's hat at Hogwarts since there's hardly any mention of it.

In the list given when they have to buy their stuff for the new school year, it asks for:

  • Three Sets of Plain Work Robes (Black)
  • One Plain Pointed Hat (Black) for day wear
  • One Pair of Protective Gloves (dragon hide or similar)
  • One Winter Cloak (Black, silver fastenings)
  • Please note that all student's clothes should carry name-tags at all times.

However there is rarely any mention of these hats, more like of their hair, and we never see them in the movies. (e.g. at the end of the book 2, Harry puts the Sorting Hat without having to remove its hat according to the narration, thus he must have been not wearing it.) Plus there's only one hat required, and no change.

Is that an omission from J.K.Rowling, are students just rebellious about having to wear their hat every day (like a tradition nobody respect anymore) or is it just for special occasion?

Bonus question: And what about the teachers? Do they have to wear hats, and when?

  • 1
    There was a site, I'm looking for it now, in which someone read the books and actually made a reference of every item of clothing mentioned. I remember, as well as a distinct lack of ties and Rowling zigzagging between them wearing trousers or not, no hats were worn by the students. In fact, the only reference bar the letter you quoted is when Harry crams a hat on his foot as he dresses for the 2nd Task. I wonder if anyone has the ebooks, who can just do a search for the word "hat". – Mac Cooper Aug 21 '14 at 12:02
  • 1
    @Himarm In the movie I'd say they ditched the hats because it made the actors & characters more recognisable. As for the robes it's better on screen to have fancy and colourful clothes than a bunch of people wearing black robes all day. But that's unrelated to the plot and thus not really relevant; however the books shouldn't have that problem so I don't know it it's deliberate not to mention them or not. – Ananas Aug 21 '14 at 14:20
  • 4
    what i was saying is it appears to me that Rowling after writing book 1, she decided to silently phase out, hats. They could have been mentioned alot say when longbottom blows up something in potion singed his eyebrows, and his hat caught on fire. I'm not sure if she has commented on it in an interview, but that would be a nice question to ask her. – Himarm Aug 21 '14 at 14:41
  • 2
    You wouldn't wear hats indoors though, so if they were wearing hats, it would only be when they went outside. – Nick Aug 21 '14 at 15:40
  • 3
    "Rowling zigzagging between them wearing trousers or not" - that produced an interesting mental image. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Aug 21 '14 at 21:52
46
+100

Here is a summary of situations where people are mentioned wearing hats in the books. Supporting quotes follow.

Students

  • Harry Potter
    • During charms class1
  • Tom Riddle
    • Entering the headmaster’s office5
  • Ron Weasley
    • Waiting for the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students to arrive15
  • Parvati Patil
    • During charms class18
  • Fred Weasley
    • In the Gryffindor common room27
  • All students
    • During sorting ceremony/feast upon arriving to Hogwarts7

Teachers

  • Professor Lockhart
    • During the dueling club4
    • After exiting the chamber of secrets6
  • Professor McGonagall
    • During Christmas dinner2
    • During Quidditch final9
    • When students arrive from Hogwarts Express12
    • During the Yule Ball16
    • During the third task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament20
  • Professor Dumbledore
    • During Christmas dinner8
    • In Harry’s imagination10
    • During the Yule Ball16
    • During the welcome feast22
    • When visiting Harry at Privet Drive30
  • Professor Sprout
    • During Herbology lessons3,33
    • During sorting ceremony/feast upon arriving to Hogwarts13
    • Attending a funeral38
  • Professor Moody
    • During the third task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament20
  • Professor Flitwick
    • During the third task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament20
    • During Charms class37
  • Professor Umbridge
    • Going down to Hagrid’s Hut to interrogate him24
    • While inspecting Hagrid25
  • Professor Slughorn
    • While visiting Hogsmeade32
    • At his Christmas party34
  • Phineas Nigellus
    • In his headmaster portrait44

Other

  • Dedalus Diggle
    • When travelling to Privet drive21, 39
  • Augusta Longbottom
    • Visiting St. Mungo’s26
    • During the battle of Hogwarts45
  • Mrs. Weasley
    • At the Burrow35, 42
  • Godric Gryffindor
    • Before giving the sorting hat its powers14
  • Odo the Hero
    • When being laid to rest36
  • Nearly Headless Nick
    • During the welcome feast23
    • On his way to the end of term feast29
  • Peeves
    • When students arrive from Hogwarts Express11
    • Bidding Fred and George adieu28
  • Hogwarts Headmasters and Headmistresses
    • In their portraits in the Head’s office46
  • Witches and Wizards
    • Attending formal events40, 41, 42, 43
  • Witches and Wizards during the Death Eater trials after the First Wizarding War
    • While Harry is looking at them through the Pensieve19
  • Ministry of Magic workers and general public
    • Presumably, while going about normal business31

Supporting Quotes

Following are all the quotes I could find that contain a reference to a person wearing a wizard’s hat. Roughly in order of appearance. These all come from U.S. versions of the books. I tried to keep it restricted to a pointed wizard’s hat, as there are a lot of mentions of other hats as well (Fudge’s bowler hat, Moody’s Bowler hat, goblin wearing a hat in the statue of magical brethren, Luna’s lion hat, etc…). When the quote was ambiguous as to the style of hat, I included it. Also, the term ‘Top Hat’ comes up a few times; I wasn’t sure if I should count these or not, I decided to include them.

Sorcerer’s Stone

1During the charms lesson when they are learning Wingardium Leviosa:

Harry and Seamus swished and flicked, but the feather they were supposed to be sending skyward just lay on the desktop. Seamus got so impatient that he prodded it with his wand and set fire to it -- Harry had to put it out with his hat.

2During Harry’s first Christmas dinner at Hogwarts:

Harry watched Hagrid getting redder and redder in the face as he called for more wine, finally kissing Professor McGonagall on the cheek, who, to Harry’s amazement, giggled and blushed, her top hat lopsided.

Note: I am interpreting ‘top hat’ here to mean a typical wizard’s hat; not actually a Top Hat.

Chamber of Secrets

3Leading up to the trio’s first Herbology lesson when Lockhart is bothering Professor Sprout about the Whomping Willow:

Professor Sprout was a squat little witch who wore a patched hat over her flyaway hair; there was usually a large amount of earth on her clothes and her fingernails would have made Aunt Petunia faint.

4During the Dueling Club right after Snape disarms Lockhart:

Lockhart was getting unsteadily to his feet. His hat had fallen off and his wavy hair was standing on end.

5During Harry’s visit to Tom Riddle’s memory; inside the Headmaster’s office:

There was a knock on the office door. ”Enter,” said the old wizard in a feeble voice. A boy of about sixteen entered, taking off his pointed hat.

6After grabbing Fawkes to exit from the chamber:

The chill air was whipping through Harry’s hair, and before he’d stopped enjoying the ride, it was over -- all four of them were hitting the wet floor of Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom, and as Lockhart straightened his hat, the sink that hid the pipe was sliding back into place.

Prisoner of Azkaban

7Entering the Great Hall after arriving at Hogwarts, just after Harry and Hermione speak to Professor McGonagall:

It was a sea of pointed black hats; each of the long House tables was lined with students, their faces glimmering by the light of thousands of candles, which were floating over the tables in midair.

8During Harry’s third Christmas dinner at Hogwarts after Snape gets a pointed witch’s hat topped with a stuffed vulture from a noisemaker:

Harry, remembering the boggart, caught Ron’s eye and they both grinned; Snape’s mouth thinned and he pushed the hat [topped with a stuffed vulture] toward Dumbledore, who swapped it for his wizard’s hat at once.

9During the Quidditch Final after Malfoy grabs Harry’s broomstick to stop him from getting the snitch:

Professor McGonagall didn’t even bother to tell him off. She was actually shaking her finger in Malfoy’s direction, her hat had fallen off, and she too was shouting furiously.

Goblet of Fire

10When Harry wakes up with his scar hurting and is imagining Dumbledore on summer vacation:

He amused himself for a moment, picturing Dumbledore, with his long silver beard, full-length wizard robes, and pointed hat, stretched out on a beach somewhere, rubbing suntan lotion onto his long crooked nose.

11When entering the Great Hall and Peeves begins dropping water balloons on the entering students:

Harry looked up and saw, floating twenty feet above them, Peeves the Poltergeist, a little man in a bell-covered hat and orange bow tie, his wide, malicious face contorted with concentration as he took aim again.

Note I am assuming this reference to a hat is in fact a wizard’s hat; which may or may not be true. Peeves is said to be the spirit of mischief so it’s not clear if his hat is a wizard’s hat.

12A little while later after Professor McGonagall slips on the wet floor:

”Peeves, get down here NOW!” barked Professor McGonagall, straightening her pointed hat and glaring upward through her square-rimmed spectacles.

13After entering the great hall, looking at the teacher’s table trying to figure out who is missing:

Harry scanned the table more carefully. Tiny little Professor Flitwick, the Charms teacher, was sitting on a large pile of cushions beside Professor Sprout, the Herbology teacher, whose hat was askew over her flyaway gray hair.

14During the sorting hat’s song:

...
Yet how to pick the worthy ones
When they were dead and gone?
’Twas Gryffindor who found the way,
He whipped me off his head
The founders put some brains in me
So I could choose instead!
…

15When lining up at Hogwarts’ entrance to greet the students from the other schools:

The Heads of Houses were ordering their students into lines. “Weasley, straighten your hat,” Professor McGonagall snapped at Ron.

16Before the Yule Ball:

Professor McGonagall, who was wearing dress robes of red tartan and had arranged a rather ugly wreath of thistles around the brim of her hat, told them to wait on one side of the doors while everyone else went inside …

17Dumbledore dance with Madame Maxime during the Yule Ball:

He was so dwarfed by her that the top of his pointed hat barely tickled her chin; however, she moved very gracefully for a woman so large.

18During Charms class:

“Snape said Moody’s searched his office as well?” Ron whispered, his eyes alight with interest as he Banished a cushion with a sweep of his wand (it soared into the air and knocked Parvati’s hat off).

19While Harry is looking down into the Pensieve for the first time:

They seemed, he thought, to be waiting for something; even though he could only see the tops of their hats, all of their faces seemed to be pointing in one direction, and none of them were talking to one another.

20Before the entering the maze for the third task:

Hagrid, Professor Moody, Professor McGonagall, and Professor Flitwick came walking into the stadium and approached Bagman and the champions. They were wearing large, red, luminous stars on their hats, all except Hagrid, who had his on the back of his moleskin vest.

Order of the Phoenix

21Picking Harry up as part of the Advance Guard:

“Dedalus Diggle --” “We’ve met before,” squeaked the excitable Diggle, dropping his top hat.

A few paragraphs later:

Several of the witches and wizards made odd hissing noises; Dedalus Diggle dropped his hat again, and Moody growled, “Shut up!

22Inspecting the teacher’s table looking for Hagrid:

Harry’s eyes followed hers. They lit first upon Professor Dumbledore, sitting in his high-backed golden chair at the center of the long staff table, wearing deep-purple robes scattered with silvery stars and a matching hat.

23After Ron insults him at the welcome feast:

Unfortunately, Ron’s mouth was packed to exploding point again and all he could manage was “node iddum eentup sechew” which Nick did not seem to think constituted an adequate apology. Rising into the air he straightened his feathered hat and swept away from them to the other end of the table, coming to rest between the Creevey brothers, Colin and Dennis.

24Once Hagrid gets back and Umbridge pays him a visit:

Professor Umbridge was standing in the doorway wearing her green tweed cloak and a matching hat with earflaps.

25While inspecting Hagrid during his class on Thestrals:

Professor Umbridge had arrived. She was standing a few feet away from Harry, wearing her green hat and cloak again, her clipboard at the ready.

A few paragraphs later:

She held up ten stubby little fingers, then, her smile wider and more toadlike than ever before beneathe her green hat, she bustled from their midst, leaving Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson in fits of laughter, Hermione actually shaking with fury, and Neville looking confused and upset.

26After being guilt-tripped into visiting with Lockhart in St. Mungo’s

The curtains had been drawn back from the two beds at the end of the ward and two visitors were walking back down the aisle between the beds: a formidable-looking old witch wearing a long green dress, a moth-eaten fox fur, and a pointed hat decorated with what was unmistakably a stuffed vulture and, trailing behind her looking thoroughly depressed -- Neville.

27Fred and George showing off their newest product:

“Headless Hats!” shouted George, as Fred waved a pointed hat decorated with a fluffy pink feather at the watching students. “Two Galleons each --- watch Fred, now!” Fred swept the hat onto his head, beaming. For a second he merely looked rather stupid, then both hat and head vanished.

Note Yeah I know this one is weak… but it is a student wearing a pointed wizard’s hat in Hogwarts.

28When Fred and George make their dramatic exit from Hogwarts:

And Peeves, whom Harry had never seen take an order from a student before, swept off his belled hat from his head and sprang to a salute as Fred and George wheeled about to tumultuous applause from the students below and sped out of the open front doors into the glorious sunset.

29After Harry catches up to Nick intending to question him about Sirius:

The ghost stuck his head back out of the wall, revealing the extravagantly plumed hat and dangerously wobbling head of Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington.

Half Blood Prince

30When Dumbledore comes to pick up Harry from Privet Drive:

There in the doorway stood a tall, thin man with waist-length silver hair and beard. Half-moon spectacles were perched on his crooked nose, and he was wearing a long black travelling cloak and a pointed hat.

A few paragraphs later:

“Until we meet again,” he said to the Dursleys, who looked as though that moment could wait forever as far as they were concerned, and after doffing his hat, he swept from the room.

And again after talking to Slughorn and taking Harry aside into the Weasley’s outhouse where they kept broomsticks:

“It was cruel,” said Dumbledore softly, “that you and Sirius had such a short time together. A brutal ending to what should have been a long and happy relationship.” Harry nodded, his eyes fixed resolutely on the spider now climbing Dumbledore’s hat.

Still in the outhouse talking to Harry:

“I take my hat off to you -- or I would, if I were not afraid of showering you in spiders.”

31When Fred and George take Harry into the back room of their shop:

“You wouldn’t believe how many people, even people who work at the Ministry, can’t do a decent Shield Charm,” said George. “‘Course, they didn’t have you teaching them, Harry.” “That’s right… Well, we thought Shield Hats were a bit of a laugh, you know, challenge your mate to jinx you while wearing it and watch his face when the jinx just bounces off. But the Ministry bought five hundred for all its support staff!”

32Before the attack on Katie Bell, when Harry, Ron, and Hermione enter the Three Broomsticks:

The three of them turned to see Professor Slughorn, who was wearing an enormous furry hat and an overcoat with matching fur collar, clutching a large bag of crystallized pineapple, and occupying at least a quarter of the shop.

33While discussing Slughorn’s party in Herbology:

The pod flew out from under Ron’s fingers and hit the greenhouse glass, rebounding onto the back of Professor Sprout’s head and knocking off her old, patched hat.

34Harry meeting Slughorn at Slughorn’s party:

Slughorn was wearing a tasseled velvet hat to match his smoking jacket.

A little later on:

“Ah, Sybill, we all think our subject’s the most important!” said a loud voice, and Slughorn appeared at Professor Trelawney’s other side, his face very red, his velvet hat a little askew, a glass of mead in one hand and an enormous mince pie in the other.

35Christmas lunch at the Burrow:

Everybody was wearing new sweaters when they all sat down for Christmas lunch, everyone except Fleur (on whom, it appeared, Mrs. Weasley had not wanted to waste one) and Mrs. Weasley herself, who was sporting a brand-new midnight blue witch’s hat glimmering with what looked like tiny starlike diamonds, and a spectacular golden necklace.

A few paragraphs later, welcoming Scrimegeour:

“Please, come in, sit down, Minister!” fluttered Mrs. Weasley, straightening her hat.

36After burying Aragog:

And Odo the hero, they bore him back home To the place that he’d known as a lad sang Slughorn plaintively. They laid him to rest with his hat inside out And his wand snapped in two, which was sad

37Charms class after Harry found out Ginny and Dean split up:

“Yes… for homework,” said Professor Flitwick, re emerging from under the table and pulling shards of glass out of the top of his hat, “practice.

38Leaving the Great Hall to go down to the grounds where a very important funeral was being held.

He had never seen Professor Sprout, Head of the Hufflepuffs, looking so clean; there was not a single patch on her hat, and when they reached the entrance hall, they found Madam Pince standing beside Filch, she in a thick black veil that fell to her knees, he in an ancient black suit and tie reeking of mothballs.

Deathly Hallows

39Arriving at Privet drive to escort the Dursleys into hiding.

“Harry Potter!” squeaked an excited voice, the moment Harry had opened the door; a small man in a mauve top hat was sweeping him a deep bow, “An honor, as ever!”

And later when departing:

“Oh, I’m sure we shall end up the best of chums,” said Diggle brightly, waving his hat as he left the room.

One last time when Harry looks out the window at the departing car:

Harry ran back upstairs to his bedroom, arriving at the window just in time to see the Dursley’s car swinging out of the drive and off up the road. Dedalus’s top hat was visible between Aunt Petunia and Dudley in the backseat.

40The guests entering Bill and Fleur’s wedding.

Exotic flowers and bewitched birds fluttered on the witches’ hats, while precious gems glittered from many of the wizards’ cravats; a hum of excited chatter grew louder and louder, drowning the sound of the bees as the crowd approached the tent.

41Aunt Muriel entering Bill and Fleur’s wedding.

As she drifted off after her father, Ron reappeared with an elderly witch clutching his arm. Her beaky nose, red-rimmed eyes, and feathery pink hat gave her the look of a bad-tempered flamingo.

A little later joining in on Harry and Elphias Doge’s conversation about Dumbledore:

Harry and Doge looked up to see Auntie Muriel standing there, the plumes dancing on her hat, a goblet of champagne in her hand.

42Mrs. Weasley at Bill and Fleur’s wedding.

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley strolled up the aisle, smiling and waving at relatives; Mrs. Weasley was wearing a brand-new set of amethyst-colored robes with a matching hat.

43Unnamed wizard at Bill and Fleur’s wedding.

Fred and George had long since disappeared into the darkness with a pair of Fleur’s cousins; Charlie, Hagrid, and a squat wizard in a purple porkpie hat were singing “Odo the Hero” in a corner.

44When questioning Phineas Nigellus about the sword of Gryffindor:

“Well, good night to you,” he said a little waspishly, and began to move out of sight again. Only the edge of his hat brim remained in view when Harry gave a sudden shout.

45When Harry enters the room of requirement so that he can empty it to get to the room of hidden things:

It was empty except for three women: Ginny, Tonks, and an elderly witch wearing a moth-eaten hat, whom Harry recognized immediately as Neville’s grandmother.

46When Harry enters the Head’s office after the battle of Hogwarts:

But it was applause. All around the walls, the headmasters and headmistresses of Hogwarts were giving him a standing ovation; they waved their hats and in some cases their wigs, they reached through their frames to grip each other’s hands ...

  • 10
    Mother of God! +over9000 – Alfredo Hernández Jan 28 '16 at 0:18
  • 6
    "Comprehensive" doesn't even begin to cover the work done for this answer. Wow. Just... wow. – Jane S Jan 28 '16 at 0:37
  • +1 for sure, though I do miss Dobby wearing a tea cozy for a hat (GoF) or, later, all those tiny hats that Hermione had knitted (OoP). – David Banner Jan 28 '16 at 4:38
  • @DavidBanner Indeed. I did try to limit the list to 'pointed hats' though otherwise it would probably be twice as long. My impression of Hermione's hats was that they were more of a beanie. – Kapler Jan 28 '16 at 17:10
  • The "top hat" McGonnagall was wearing at the Christmas meal is implied to have come out of a cracker, so it isn't her usual attire. Great answer with lots of info! – Cooper Nov 3 '16 at 13:46
5

While the book text (exhaustively detailed in Kapler's answer) provides some insight, Rowling's drawings show several situations where the author clearly envisioned hats being worn. Plenty of freehand circles will be included to identify which parts of the pictures are being referred to.

Students wear hats during classes

enter image description here

Prefects wear hats in the halls

enter image description here

Some teachers wear hats during classes

enter image description here

  • 3
    Honestly, I'd rather have the pictures without the freehand circles, since it's pretty blindingly obvious what the hats are and the red circles distract from the interesting artwork. Yes, I know that freehand circles are a running joke on this site, but sometimes it just goes a bit too far. – Thunderforge Nov 3 '16 at 6:08
  • @Thunderforge - The Potions Master, Peeves and Percy, Prof Sprout. – ibid Nov 3 '16 at 6:18
  • The pudgy wizard in the last drawing kind of reminds me of Cathy. Ack. – 1252748 Nov 4 '16 at 0:48
  • Oh, those are the hats? I'd have missed them otherwise. – Nuclear Wang Apr 6 '18 at 15:51
  • @NuclearWang - I know, right? – ibid Apr 9 '18 at 2:14
0

From the examples in the book that wear hats(mostly teachers), it appears to be a personal choice.

  • Few Students(I don't remember many)wear it.

  • Dumbledore wore it: But he is the headmaster and old.

  • Professor McGonnagall: Wore it, she was very proper though.

Minerva almost constantly exuded magnanimity and sternness and was held in great respect (and some fear) by nearly all students and staff.

So the reasons for wearing would appear to be that older wizards and people that are more immersed in the English magic world wear it. The kids probably only wear it when they are made to.

Hogwarts Uniform:

The uniform consists of a plain black work robe and a black pointed hat. The hat is rarely worn. There are no marks, colours or crests determining between houses;

Also, the hat appeared to be worn only by first years and so they wear it so that they can be distinguished. So possibly after finishing their first year, because they find the hats stupid they opt not wear them.

I remember in the book before Harry is given to the Dursley's that there are wizards(very awkward) around Privet Drive. IIRC, they were wearing pointed hats. This scene that I am referring to occurred in the Sorcerers Stone, but I do't have a quote handy.

From the wikia article "Pointed Hat":

A pointed hat is a type of hat commonly worn by wizardkind. Wearing a pointed hat provides more stamina, defence, magic strength, and magic defence as opposed to wearing no headwear at all. A plain black pointed hat is required to be worn during the day by all Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry students as part of the Hogwarts uniform.

This is basically the whole article, but I didn't write it the wikia did.

You could go for a simple answer

To quote your question:

One Plain Pointed Hat (Black) for day wear

They said day wear, meaning that the hat is suppose to be worn in the mornings. It is perhaps a old rule, obviously not enforced though. But it could be a rule like girl's aren't suppose to go into the boy's dormitories and vice versa. Obviously no one does it, so it not enforced or that important whatever the reason is.

Bonus question: And what about the teachers? Do they have to wear hats, and when?

Obviously only a few teachers wear them. And the reasons are never stated but I would say it is because:

  • Being old fashioned

  • Personal preference

Only a few do it, so its obviously not a enforced rule.

Also, Death Eaters wear them. They are also a symbol of wizard culture.


Fascinating, but definitely not a answer.

Moviemistakes.com

Question: Why is it that the students at Hogwarts are only wearing wizarding hats in the first movie?

Answer: It is typical in a movie series for changes to be made from film-to-film, particularly concerning things like costumes, make-up, set designs, etc. It's a matter of trying something and later deciding it is not really working well. It may have been that the hats were just too cumbersome, were constantly falling off, and were affecting the actors' performances. Also, in the Harry Potter series, there were a number of different directors and each has their own artistic vision and often make subtle changes.

This was from a question answered by the user: raywest.


Alternately, I would say the hats would be to portray a important occasion or to show that a occasion is formal.

Other media

Why do fantasy writers depict pointy hats as the headgear of choice for Witches and Wizards?

Does ever Harry Potter wear a wizard's hat ?

  • 5
    -1. The two most important quotes (as evidenced by your bolding them) are uncited opinions from Wikia ("The hat is rarely worn") and ("A plain black pointed hat is required to be worn during the day by all Hogwarts ") – DVK-on-Ahch-To Aug 21 '14 at 21:54
  • 4
    Wearing a pointed hat provides more stamina, defence, magic strength, and magic defence as opposed to wearing no headwear at all. That sounds extremely made up to me. – Kapler Aug 21 '14 at 23:31
  • 3
    Item -> Hat (equip on head) -> stamina +1, defence +2, magic strength +1, magic defence +1 (attractiveness -5 maybe) – user13267 Jan 15 '15 at 11:21

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