Hats were one of the biggest fashion statements of the 20th century. They were worn by everyone from aristocrats to the peasants, albeit in a different type and style. The end of the century marked a falling demand for hats, as symbols of industrialisation and authoritarianism were slowly being wiped out. Simple yet ergonomic caps begin to dominate the headgear segment as a buffer of change, in the late 90s and early 2000s. However, they too paved-way nearing the beginning of this decade.
Lately we’ve been seeing a lot of classic elements being reintroduced in to the fashion circuit. An example is the modern Pompodour, which was trending in Instagram throughout 2016 and 2017. Starting 2017, hats are also making a comeback.
Caps are worn by almost all famous celebrities and this association is providing huge demand. However, classic hats including the Panama, bucket and Fedora are being brought back purely as fashion statements.
Thought hats and caps were the same? They are not. Here’s a guide to their anatomy : Difference between hat and cap
India is and was typically averse to western caps, but they seem to have gained slightly more acceptance now. Here are some of them that you can try:
Common types of caps
Baseball caps are what you would call normal caps, and in their base form get an angular brim, 6 panels and head-fitting crown. However, over the years there have been many variations including snapbacks, fitted caps and dad caps.
Snapbacks are caps which have a plastic snap at the back for adjustments. Strapbacks, on the other hand, have straps instead of snaps Fitted caps, as their name suggests, is tailor made to fit a particular head size (like MLB players).
Nowadays, caps with flat brim and high crown are generally called Snapbacks and are associated with MLB players.
Trucker cap/ mesh cap
Trucker caps are similar to Baseball caps but gets mesh fabric on all but the front panels.
Dad caps are another variation of baseball caps with five panels instead of six. It is mostly associated American dads and hence the name.
Private or Military cap
The Military cap is a stubby alternate to the baseball caps. It is usually made of soft fabric, has a short brim and gets flat crown.
The Fedora, arguably, is the most common type of hat in the world. It has a huge celebrity following and is a perfect accessory to have at a formal outdoor event. Lately though, the style has found a wider audience with the common folk and thus, some of the the more fashion-conscious denizens are shifting to its variations like the Trilby.
The Fedora has a prominent length-wise crown with pitch on either side. Its brim is wide with a upturn at the back. The front is snap-brim- meaning it can be turned up or down.
Trilby is a variation of the Fedora with a shorter brim.
Cowboy or Western
While the Fedora is the most common hat type, the Cowboy or Western is definitely the most popular. Worn extensively in the arid planes of western United States in the 19th century, it is a staple of all Wild West movies including the iconic ‘Good Bad and Ugly’.
The Cowboy hat is characterised by a long crown and large curvy brim. Don’t let its celebrity status fool you though, as there are not many occasions were you can wear it in the first place.
Porkpie is usually seen as a casual alternative to the Fedora and is characterised by a flat top and medium-size brim. The hat has gained a huge fan-following in recent year due to its association with hit series ‘Breaking Bad’.
Though it has root in Ecuador, the Panama hat became widely popular during the construction of the Panama canal. It is a timeless classic, worn not just by the working populace but also heavyweights like the Teddy Roosevelt. The cap is characterised by its loose and airy straw make.
Panama hat is not an all-weather hat though, and is best suited for places that have warm and sunny climate like the one it is known for.
Homburg or Godfather hat
The Homburg hat is most famous for its stint as Al Pacino’s headgear in the Godfather. It is also called the God Father hat, not just because of this association but also because men tend to have a scary alter ego when it is donned. Nonetheless, the hat is making a comeback in 2018.
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Bowler or derby hat
The Bowler hat is as British as the Hakney Carriage. It started life among high born British aristocrats of the bygone era but later got stints with common worker folk and in the banking circuit. Nowadays, it is not as popular as some of the others in this list but is slowly making a comeback.
Bucket hats have a quirky inverted bucket shape and are not typically expected to rule the fashion world. However, they have loyal fan following in the electronic music world and that has led to an increased rise in sales over the years.
Gambler hats are characterised by distinct oval shaped crown flare, medium length brim and curved sides. It is famous in the Gambling circuit and can be made out of variety of materials.
Steam Punk Hats and Top hat
Both types of hats have long crown and medium length brim. The Steam Punk has a cult following among the ‘Burning man’ attendees and is usually adorned by a number of ornaments. The Top hat, on the contrary, is a strictly formal headgear.
Beanie, Paperboy and other popular types
The Beanie is a tight-fitting cap made with either wool or cotton. It is basically a cold weather essential but nowadays, has taken up stint in the fashion circuit. A long crown version of the Beanie-called the long stocking cap is what’s most popular now. It is meant to be worn with the top hanging off the top.
Tam is a variation of the Beanie with a large base and loose fitting. It is usually worn by people with longer hair.
Among all the caps here, this is probably the most recognisable. It doesn’t have a lot variations and is essentially a beanie with extended sides and decorative weave.
Flat caps or Ivy caps
Flat cap is another popular hat that is gaining lots attention among the fashion-centric youth. It has a low-profile crown with integrated or short front brim.
The Beret is popular associated with artists and is round and stubby with a poof at the center
This Paperboy is arguably the most popular among short formal caps. It is a bigger, more rounded version of the Ivy cap with a small curved brim at the front.
That’s it for this week’s head gear segment. Feel free to leave a comment if you found this interesting!