- "Throughout history, men have worn hats as a way of showing how much better they are than other men. “I buy hats,” a behatted man seems to say. “I am better than you.”
In wartime, hats were a useful way of conferring rank, and ensuring that casualties were confined to the lower classes (hence the famous command of “Don't fire till you see the tops of their heads” at the Battle of Bunker Hill by William Prescott, a general renowned for only shooting enemy combatants who were poor). During peacetime, hats have been instrumental for men to let the non-hatted know just who is wearing the hat around here."
- ―Classless Update
Cosmetic items (previously known as hats and miscellaneous items) are items that can be equipped in any one of the three cosmetic slots in the loadout screen. Valve introduced the first set of nine cosmetics (named hats at that point in time) with the Sniper vs. Spy Update on May 21, 2009 Patch, with one hat for each class. The nine hats introduced were the Batter's Helmet, Soldier's Stash, Pyro's Beanie, Demoman's Fro, Football Helmet, Mining Light, Prussian Pickelhaube, Trophy Belt, and Fancy Fedora. Several updates have since added additional cosmetics, including those designed by members of the Team Fortress 2 community through the Steam Workshop or the former contribution page on the TF2 Official Website. 1369 cosmetics exist in the game to this day, 109 are available in vintage quality, 918 can be obtained in strange quality, 261 can be obtained in genuine quality, and 78 can be obtained in collector's quailty. A total of 865 hats can be painted in 29 different colors by using a Paint Can.