I have seen many images of individuals wearing the bicorne hat. The infantry wore them to fore and aft, while gendarmes wore them from side to side. Same for senior officers. My question is are these hats designed to be worn both ways or are they different types of hats?
Hans and John -
And "tricornes" not really being 'tricornes,' they are also perhaps best called 'hat,' 'chapeau,' etc.
It would depend about what time period - and if that hat was from a rank and file or an officer. I dislike using the word bicorne, in case it had to be used it would be of late empire officer fashion or maybe gendarmerie. The better word for b - would be hat, or in case one must, a tricorne - the only classical bicorne I do know is the Prussian hat of 1792.
The hat should be worn in an oblique slanted way - the tip in line with the left eye, and in fact, the hat became so wide that when you had to shoulder army, the only way to wear it without knocking off the hat from the head would be in this oblique fashion and fore and aft for the infantry.
I would agree that a hat of a gendarme and that of an infantry soldier are different, not necessarily however of the heavy cavalry of the French Revolution which was quite similar in outlook at those of the infantry.
In later years - when the infantry adopted the ugly shako the officers continued to wear the hat but then the front tip became less and less pronounced, like on Old Guard hat or officers hats and the hats did grow in height.
Here some original hats - officer of 4e de ligne
and a hat of a soldier 9e de ligne