How the Baseball Cap Went From Athletic Gear to Fashion Statement

The “Philadelphia style,” with a sturdier brim, debuted in 1908, and was quickly embraced by major-league teams. Designers continued to tinker, as crowns grew higher and materials became sturdier. The advent of television—the first major-league game was telecast on August 26, 1939—brought a whole new audience to the sport and precipitated a rush of uniform redesigns and team relocations. By 1945 every team was wearing its own branded hat, and the accessory soon threaded its way into the hearts of children, especially those who played Little League and would take the look into adulthood.

In the 1960s and ’70s, agricultural companies began embellishing their foam-front hats with company logos and cheap, plastic adjustable straps. Mesh backing also made the hats more breathable for workers, and long-haul drivers embraced these new accessories, inaugurating the phenomenon of the trucker hat.

In the 1980s, New Era, the company that had supplied Major League Baseball for decades, started selling authentic team-branded hats to fans. Soon they were de rigueur. Tom Selleck’s character in “Magnum, P.I.,” set in Hawaii, wore a Tigers hat. You could see baseball hats on the cover of French Elle, in rap videos and atop the head of Princess Diana, whose occasional appearance in jeans and a baseball cap helped nurture her reputation as the “people’s princess”: It signaled approachability, even for a royal. And it worked for other luminaries as well. Steve Reich, a composer whose work has been played in some of the grandest halls in the world, and Paul Simon, one of the most successful pop musicians of the last 50 years, are both inseparable from rumpled, unbranded caps, even when they’re wearing black tie. No stuffy art-world or rock-star glamour here, the hats say. These are millionaires you could have a beer with.

The Advantages of a Snapback Cap

Adjustable Hats Fit Better

There is one problem that many people have with fitted caps, and this is that they do not always fit very well. They are either a bit too loose, or a bit too tight, and the next size up or down is way too loose or tight. The caps that come in small, medium and large are just not always right for everyone. With a snapback, you can adjust it so that it is a perfect fit, which is going to make your hat really comfortable too. Adjustable hats are easy to adjust, and can be fitted to many different sizes quickly and easily. There are no buckles to jab into the back of your head or straps hanging out, and no Velcro for your hair to get caught up in.

Show Your Team Spirit

When people go to sporting events, they often wear clothing with the logos of their favorite teams to show their support. One great way to show your team spirit is to wear a snapback tap with the team logo on it. It is a lot less expensive to get a hat than other sports-related clothing items, such as jackets and shirts, and unlike these pieces of clothing, you can wear the same hat every day if you want, and no one is going to notice or even care. If you were to wear a team shirt every day, people will notice, so a hat is a much better way to be able to show your team spirit whenever you feel like it.

Great Gifts

If you are looking for a fun gift that will not cost a lot of money, an adjustable baseball cap is the ideal gift. If you have a sports enthusiast in your family, they will love getting a hat that has their favorite team's logo on it. The best part is, with a snapback cap, you never have to worry about whether or not you have gotten the right size, because it can be adjusted to just about any size.

Trucker Caps Let Israelis Stand Out, but Not Too Much

TEL AVIV—A craze for trucker cap in Israel this year is allowing people here to finally express themselves sartorially—and at the same time look just like everyone else.

Israelis have an easy-going fashion sense that doesn’t much stick out in a crowd. Thanks to the lasting influence of the state’s founding socialist ethos, many avoid bold fashion statements. Among the nonreligious, plain T-shirts with jeans, or shorts when it’s hot, are the most common uniform. High-powered CEOs shun suits. The fanciest restaurants rarely have a dress code.

ut the mania for the caps—preferably with an animal on the front—is giving Israelis an opportunity to express themselves, up to a point.

Made by San Francisco-based hat maker Goorin Bros., the hats come embossed with different animals, often accompanied by a play on words. People choose which one they wear to offer a hint as to their personality.

“It’s a hat with a presence,” said Amit Deutsch, a 36-year-old Tel Avivi, who sported a cap with a black panther, and had bought five of them at 150 Israeli shekels, or $46. “It’s become a type of icon.”

Hodaya Elkayam, 23, who purchased a blue suede cap with an eagle and the word “America” in a Tel Aviv market on a sunny Friday afternoon, said the hats “have got style, they’re pretty and comfortable. So they’re good for all occasions.”


In HBO Max's abortion road trip movie Unpregnant, Simonelli introduces Barbie Ferreira's character, Bailey — who's all of the above — wearing a purple angora Kangol bucket hat as she pops up over a bathroom stall divider. The hat's unexpected color and plushness, which match and clash with her shaggy green stuffed animal backpack, also help convey Bailey's innate but unintentional style. "I don't know if she's registered the cool factor that she has," adds Simonelli. Plus, her face-framing headwear was actually inspired by Ferreira serving her own outfit inspo in a textured white variation on Instagram.

A nostalgic look back at the bucket hat icons of decades past really does run the gamut of individual style and creative talents. Simonelli references late-'80s hip-hop legends Run-DMC, the white cotton canvas classic of author and founder of the '70s gonzo journalism movement Hunter S. Thompson, and, of course, all the floppy and floral-accented toppers worn by Mayim Bialik in Blossom, which ran from 1990 to 1995.

"Then you think of some of the late-'80s and '90s R&B singers, like Brandy, SWV, Missy Elliot, and Janet Jackson," says Smith, who also name-checked Blossom. "That cool sense of style that's laid-back and chill." During the early-2000s return of carefree teen pop, a trifecta of Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson, and Britney Spears in the relaxed look, also come to mind.

All About Knitted Hats

Who knows when the first person decided to put something over their head to keep it warm, but knitters know that knitted hat is some of the most fun and easy things to knit.

When they’re worked in the round there is little in the way of shaping, except when you get to the crown.

Most hats are worked from the bottom up, with stitches cast-on and worked in a snug stitch pattern such as ribbing, or in stockinette for a rolled bring hat, using a smaller size needle than is used for the head portion of the hat.

In many hat patterns, the hat is worked straight for the desired length of the crown, then nearly all of the stitches are evenly decreased over the course of just a few rounds.

The yarn is cut, the tail threaded through the remaining stitches, pulled tight, and fastened off to the inside of the hat.

The hat can be topped with a pom pom, i-cord, tassel, or whatever embellishment strikes your fancy.

A great book for learning to make hats is Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Patterns, from which some of the material on this page is excerpted. There are chapters on basic hats as well as the type of hats called “tams.”

There are several types of hats, but the most popular knitted hats are beanie-type caps, tams (sometimes called “berets”), slouch hats, earflap hats, and tuques.

Beanies: These hats can be super simple or dressed up with a lace or cable patterns. In cooler climates, they’re wonderful gifts for knitters to make.

Tams/Berets: There are so many different stitch patterns to use in this style. Tams and berets can be plain stockinette or intricate Fair Isle. This style of hat is really flattering on just about every face shape, too.

Earflap Hats: These hats are popular in cold climates. They’re great for keeping ears warm and they’re fun to knit. The knitters of Peru specialize in these hats, as shown in the photo at right.


Reaching for a straw hat to complete our seaside look—or frankly, any summer outfit—is as instinctive to us as say, oh I don’t know, breathing. Next to sunglasses, it’s one of the most obvious accessories to use as protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays, but its origins are less than clear. When an item is as ubiquitous as that of a straw hat, it’s virtually impossible to determine its original maker or even pinpoint the first documentation of its existence. (Fun fact about hats: Historians believe that some type of head-covering piece—as protection against inclement weather—was the first article of clothing ever worn by humans.)

Straw hats—distinguished by their woven makeup of different types of straw or fibers similar in texture and strength, like braided hemp, raffia, and jute—are believed to have been worn in Europe and Asia as early as the 15th century (after the Middle Ages). In most countries in Asia, including Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, rice paddy workers topped their heads with conical-shaped hats to shield themselves from the sun and the rain, though legend in Vietnam has it that the hat, or nón lá in Vietnamese, originated from when a goddess descended from the sky wearing an enormous hat made of four large leaves held together by bamboo sticks, which protected the people from a torrential downpour.

In the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, the most famous surviving example of an illuminated French Gothic manuscript created from 1412 to 1416, short-brim straw hats are shown mostly worn by men. Though by the 1700s, French women wore straw bonnets and in the 1800s, European paintings all depict women posing for portraits in ribbon-adorned floppy straw hats and floral-strewn ones with an upturned brim. Vincent Van Gogh even immortalized his straw hat in a self-portrait in 1887. The first cowboy hat—made of straw, might we add—was invented by John B. Stetson in 1865, and the silhouette basically remains unchanged to this day.

By the late 1800s and early 1900s, straw hats were embraced by everyone. But it wasn’t until President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1906 visit to the Panama Canal—when he was photographed at the construction site in his pale suit and Panama hat—that the accessory catapulted to fame. Light in weight, the summertime staple exuded equal parts casual and polish; by 1944, it became Ecuador’s number-one export.


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