How To Wear Your Favorite Cap

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When trump sported the ‘Make America Great Again’ cap for the 2016 elections campaign, the designer world was quick to capitalise on the newly arrived fashion scene. And what was an already stimulated fashion piece in the celebratory world since the arrival of this decade saw a resurgence amongst commoners too.

Caps with an instantly recognisable big bold typographic logo or iconic pictures and patterns are a good way to flaunt your allegiance to the brand or the idea you belong to.
However, while sporting these designers’ caps, avoid carrying too many colors or shouting
designers prints on your outfit. You don’t want to look like a branded mannequin advertising several brands.

Headgear fashion has come and gone, but the cap style seems to be present for a while now. A white t-shirt, blue jeans and a cap is the typical image of a cap-wearer. Thanks to the advent of fashions gurus and style makers, the cap has become a good hybrid of function and fashion. Hats have become the popular sartorial touch with the fashionista as they make an impression without actually having to tweak much of your attire.
They can also be an assertion of the style that you incline to. Today, many celebs have made it a vital part of their iconography.

The garment world offers plethora of hat designs to suit your comfort and style. We have selected the following tried and tested ones to keep it simple and relevant to the Indian environment given it’s a tricky item to style.

BASEBALL CAP

snapback vs dad hat
Snapback with a stiff rounded crown and flat brim

Probably the most common of the caps today, a baseball cap is easily recognisable with rounded crown and a stiff peak projecting in front. Historically, it was worn by the baseball teams for identification and keeping the harsh rays out of the vision. Nearly a century later, it has become the most fashionable and common piece of headgear styling. From sports to fashion to everyday use, baseball cap has a become a staple menswear accessory.

The Snapback is the classic baseball cap which has an adjustable strip on the back, thus making it convenient for any head size to sport one. Owing to function and statement, a lot of designer brands create their own.

snapback vs dad hat
Dad hat with a soft crown and rounded brim

Dad caps are a sub-genre of the baseball caps. Smaller in size, a bit loose on the fit they are very relaxed as the name suggests. Also noticeable is the round shape brim of the Dad cap as opposed to the flat brim of the Snapback. The front panel of the Dad cap is very soft and thus very comfortable, whereas, the Snapbacks have a hard front panel allowing to showcase the design of the brand.

While both can be ‘one size fits all’ thanks to the adjustable straps, point of difference is the Snapback having a plastic closure while the Dad caps have the metallic closure. They also serve different purposes; Snapbacks are a bit loud while the dad hats are subtler. Dad hats are a true vintage style pieces while the Snapbacks have been dominated by the Hip-Hop artists.

Suiting your style, you can choose between the modern Snapbacks and the authentic Dad hats.

FEDORA

Interesting as it sounds, it was named after a famous stage play called ‘Fedora’ in 1891. This classic and cool hat is timeless in the fashion industry. Musicians and artists alike are ardent fans of this hat.

Trilby is very close relative to the Fedora and is a favourite amongst young men known to attract women. Though similar to the Fedora in design, it has a shorter flat brim, taller crown and is worn slightly off the face. Aamir Khan popularised this in India, as he was seen sporting it in Dhoom 3.

trilby vs fedora
Trilby (left) vs fedora (right)

While a trilby is mostly worn as a casual hat, a fedora can be dressed up or down for a casual or a semi-formal setting. A fedora with a smart jacket, well fitted trousers and a good shirt gathers lot of eyeballs, our humble opinion.

FLAT CAP

flat-cap-outfit-david-beckham
David Beckham is very often seen wearing a flat cap

Flat cap is a rounded fabric cap with a short front brim. The fabric can either be wool or cotton. Flat caps in UK were a representation of the working class people. So much so that the English Parliament in 15th century enforced it on everyone except those belonging to Noble class. Folks found not wearing one had to pay a fine. The good news is the act no longer exists, but the desire to sport one of these hats is overwhelming these days.

Thanks to modern times, this can be won with a smart casual or a good t-shirt/jeans combo. If you prefer the British look, we recommend it with a three-piece suit. Let us know if any of our fellow countrymen give you a weird stare. David Beckham, Guy Ritchie and Prince of Wales are all devotees of this hat style. If you have seen Peaky Blinders, we don’t need to tell you further!

BOWLER HAT

bowler hat
Bowler hat

What do Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill and Laurel and Hardy have in common? They all donned the famous bowler hats. Born in England, this hat was designed in 1849 by the London hat makers Thomas and William Bowler. From Earls to the common man this hat has had quite a significant history in the British culture. It was worn by business class people in London called as the ‘City gents’. Unlike a trilby, it has no pinched crown and often has a curved brim. They basically just sit on the crown of the head without coming down much.

Earlier it was worn with suit and a coat. Thanks to evolving times, you can pull of a smart look with a washed jeans and well fitted t-shirt or a shirt. Once a second nature of the English gentlemen to wear a Bowler hat before leaving home has now become almost obsolete. Why not try this classic piece before the Fashion industry actively revives it again?

BEANIE

beanie
A knitted skull-hugging beanie

Perhaps many in the Northern India already wear them when the cold outside becomes unbearable. Coming in different styles and forms like skull cap and knitted hat, they all have a basic design which is head hugging. Commonly made from cotton, they can also add a style element to your casuals. Not the best to wear in warmer thanks to the firm fitting, but definitely a good blend of function and fashion come winter.
If you like to go adventurous with your fashion tools, why not try the pom-pom?

TIPS FOR WEARING A HAT

  1. Always, always get rid of the label, stickers or any tags from the cap periphery. No one wishes to know how new is your cap!
  2. Unless you’re a hip-hop artist or celebrity, don’t bother pulling the lid over your eyes.
  3. The best use of hat is to shield you from the sun outdoors, the least would be to add it to your suit. No matter what, never finish of your suit with a cap (except for Hats), the tailoring world offers statement lapels for it!
  4. Don’t wear it sideways, gone are the days of 90’s music fashion.
  5. The position of the cap is best sat a bit backwards.
  6. More often than not, a simple classic head piece goes with many options in your wardrobe. Although a designer one stands out with a plain outfit.
  7. Caps are not your hair’s best friend. If you plan to wear a cap/hat only for a short time before exposing your hair open, better not wear one. They are easy to cause a distress to your hair.
  8. In the end, make sure its comfort. In the heat of India, comfort will almost always overrule style. If worn right, caps can also put you in the delicate zone of smart casual and casuals.

HOW TO LOOK AFTER A HAT

  1. The best way to store is to hang it up on a rack. The chances of a hat getting crumbled or squeezed by a load when kept on a flat surface is high and it is also susceptible to layers of dust sitting on the crown quite easily.
  2. Being an open garment, it easily attracts dust. Use a damp cloth to clean the dust. Make sure to clean the hat from time to time to remove hair by using a lint roller or the sticky tape method.
  3. Stains leave an unforgiving mark on your favorite cap, a sponge sprayed with a special hat cleaning spray can do good help in clearing any stains on your hat.
  4. Timely brushing of the cap ensures longevity and keep your hat fresh from any lingering dust particles. A shoe brush with clean bristles should do the job. Be gentle in the action to avoid any damage to the hat material.

Related : Other men’s accessories for styling up an outfit.

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