How to Display Hats in a Store 

 Philip Treacy, the famous hat designer, stated “How a hat makes you feel is what a hat is all about.”  I think this is true enough. If your customers like how a hat makes them feel, they are more likely to buy it. Before it gets to that point, however, the hats need to be seen. More than that, the display of hats for sale has to draw the eye and grab the interest of your buyer. I’ve learned if you are creative and varied in the different approaches to hat displays, your customers will find that just the right hat for them, and sales will rise. Here are a few ideas on how to display hats in a store.

Kind of Hat Racks

Hat racks are my usual go-to for a hat display. It is the most common way used by a store. One rack does not fit all though. There are different kinds of hat racks to choose from.

Slatwall Racks

Slatwall is a grooved building material. The grooves are why it is called Slatwall. You can choose from various finishes, like plastic or wood, plus it comes in a variety of colors. So, while it is not unique on a basic level, you can adjust it and interchange components to build a display that fits your store. Although by name it sounds like it is only for the wall, you can purchase free-standing Slatwall displays. Add the wire racking to the Slatwall where you want to display your hats.

Freestanding Circular Racks

These circular racks offer a benefit to the customer in that most of them turn or spin. This allows their perusal of the entire display. Others are stationary. Shorter ones are sometimes used on the counters, tall ones on the store floor. Usually, they are constructed of thick black wire, although you can get them in other colors..

Cap Tower Rack

This rack placed on the wall is a long length of wire rack shelf. It is good for hats like sports caps. The top of the hat fits into the hat above it, causing them to nestle together in a tight display. 

Wire Pocket Racks

Wire pocket racks hang on the wall. The difference is the hat does not hang from a wire. Instead, the wire forms a pocket where the hat is placed into it.


Endcaps are attached to the end of a shelving unit. You can use store shelving or a pegboard with pegs sticking out to hang the hats on. Endcaps often work as impulse buys. So having one of these near the checkout might encourage a person to grab a cap he hadn’t planned to purchase on his way to the checkout.

Many of the racks are more functional in their display of hats. Wall racking clears floor space yet still makes the hat available for purchase. Most racking displays functional hats as well, although some slat racks are used to create vivid displays of dressier or fashionable hats. There are other ways to display hats in a more creative, eye-catching way.

Do it Yourself Display Ideas

Display Heads 

Use display heads or old wig stands to display a fashion hat collection. These can be the ones with actual facial features or blank ones. This is a vivid counter display where customers can see what the hat looks like while being worn. If the head has a bust, accessorize with jewelry or scarves that complement the hat and set it off. There are also more modern versions made of wire.

Wooden Backing

Flat wooden boards nailed to a wall with pegs added bring a classy touch to cowboy hats or any kind really in this DIY wall hat rack. Attach pegs to the boards for hanging. A variation of this is a small tree branch nailed to the wall. Add pegs or even attach sturdy twigs to the branch for pegs.

Bicycle Wheels

Another great idea for a bicycle hat display on a wall hat rack is to display them against bicycle wheels on a wall. Hang the wheels in the pattern you desire. Place pegs, nails or maybe bicycle spokes in between the wheels to hang the hats on. 


Hang decorative fish netting up on the wall, spreading it out to the desired width. Hang the hats on pegs or nails on top of the netting.


Tie a few scarves together end to end, making the tied knots very large. Tack the scarf up lengthwise to the wall. Hang the trendy type hats on the large knots in the scarves

Fairy lights

For a magical in-store display, hang fairy lights in a crossing pattern. Use hooks to hang the hats from the fairy lights

Hat Boxes

A series of closed hat boxes on a counter creates a space-saving display for specialty or seasonal hats. Place the hat on the top of the closed box. Add some props. For example,  with Valentine’s Day hats, sprinkle hearts and glitter. For winter hats, fake snow, and some mittens or gloves.

Hat Box Wall

If you have quite a few specialty hats, like Easter hats, secure hat boxes to the wall bottom side down. Place the hats inside bottom down. You could use a couple for Easter grass and plastic eggs to set off the display.

Wire and Clothespins

For a general type of display for all kinds of everyday hats, secure a large square of wire grid to the wall. Clip the hats at interesting intervals onto the wire with clothespins.

I hope these ideas give you a foundation for creating your own favorite hat displays for a store. Good displays transform into higher sales. Displays point out the hats that affect the buyers’ needs and emotions. As Philip Treacy said, ” Try on 100 different hats if you can until you find the one that suits you best. It’s a trial and error thing.”

Other Key Terms:

  • Beanie hat display
  • Hat stand
  • Baseball hat storage
  • DIY hat rack
  • Dome dock
  • Trendy hats