Different Types of Caps and Their Brief History

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Last Updated: Sep 26, 2022

Woman Wearing White Cap. Image/Pexels

Caps are headgears that usually have a visor, and the earliest records of their existence date back to 3,200 BC. Designed to block the sunlight from shining directly in the eyes, caps are designed to keep warmth and are seen in various sports and fashions.

Baseball caps, in particular, are probably the most well-known type of caps. Even today, many people are intrigued by creating their custom team baseball caps. But let’s see precisely why baseball caps are so popular some other types of caps and their brief history!

1. Baseball Caps

The baseball cap is usually a soft hat with a rounded crown and a stiff bill projecting in the front. Millions of people wear baseball caps without even knowing about baseball. They were and continue to be a global phenomenon.

Often, the front of the cap has a logo that historically portrayed a baseball team or company. Still, noways, customized baseball caps have all sorts of things implemented in the front. These hats are adjustable as they have on the back a plastic stitch with multiple holes with one prong that can be inserted to adjust the size.

The baseball cap was invented in 1849 and was first worn by the New York Knickerbockers on April 24, 1849. The first baseball caps were made of straw but later changed to delicate merino wool fabrics.

These types of caps were worn only by baseball players. However, they grew so popular and fashionable that they generally became America’s national hat in many ways. The cap as we know it today took shape in the 1890s when air holes were added, and in 1901, a logo appeared on the front of these hats for the first time.

Baseball caps continue to be fashionable even today, and they were invented to protect the player’s eyes from sunlight. However, who could predict that many people would wear the visors backward to make a statement? A form of saying, “I don’t follow the crowd.” But this is just one out of many examples of how baseball caps are and will continue to be in the spotlight.

2. Fitted Caps

Fitted caps are variations of baseball caps, usually worn in Major League Baseball (MLB). It is a cap with an almost flat or curved brim, specifically made to fit a person’s head, and isn’t adjustable. They usually have a gold sticker and were also invented in the 19th century, as the first baseball caps weren’t adjustable in size and came in standard sizes.

3. Flat Cap

The flat cap, known as the Higdon Hat, is a rounded hat with a small stiff brim in the front, and it originated in the British Isles. Referred to as a “bonnet” in the 14th century in Northern England, the term was later replaced with “cap” by about 1700.

In 1571, an Act of the English Parliament was enacted to stimulate the general trade and domestic wool consumption. On Sundays and holidays, all six males were supposed to wear woolen caps or pay a fine otherwise.

The flat cap became firmly entrenched as a mark of a non-noble person, but by the 19th and 20th centuries, most men wore some form of headgear. In the U.S., these hats have been popular ever since the 1890s and boomed at the turn of the 20th century.

4. Newsboy Cap

You’ve probably seen it more than once in classic movies. Newspaper sellers wore Newsboy caps in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They are a subversion of flat caps. They are made from tweed and have a rounded, low profile and very small visor or brim.

Though newsboy caps peaked in popularity in the 1910s and 1920s, they never went away and are pretty trendy even in 2022 due to shows like Peaky Blinders or others.

5. Apple Cap

Another popular newsboy cap was the Apple cap, which was a larger version with eight panels and a button sewn on top. It has a vintage appeal, apparently belonging to the Victorian era. The button is placed in the middle to hold the panels together.

6. Ascot Cap

The Ascot cap, also known as the Cuffley cap or Lippincott cap, is a hard cap similar to the flat cap. However, their hardness and rounded shape make them distinguishable, and they are made out of felt or wool.

These types of caps are generally worn in winter, but summer variations also exist and are known as straw Ascots. The Ascot cap was derived from the flat cap and was invented around the 1900s.

7. Beret

The beret is a flat-crowned cap, round and soft, made out of woven, hand-knitted wool, crocheted cotton, wool felt, or acrylic fiber. Though berets were mass-produced in the 19th century in France and Spain and are commonly associated with these countries, their history goes way back.

Archeology and art history show that these headgears have been worn since the Bronze Age across Northern Europe and far south as Italy or Crete. The Minoans, Etruscans, and even Romans wore it.

The beret was worn and associated with nobility and artists throughout modern history. One of the earliest instances of mass-produced berets occurred in the 17th century as Basque-style berets became very popular in southern France.

Berets hold a firm place in history, fashion, culture, and religion. They are also commonly viewed as a revolutionary symbol due to the likes of Che Guevara.

Final Words

There are several types of caps that you can wear as headgear nowadays, and even old-school caps such as the flat cap are becoming fashionable once more. One of the best parts of our modern age is that you have the ability to customize your cap however you wish and truly stand out with your style.

You can create yourself a fantastic baseball cap with a beautiful embroidery logo, giving you that classic look, or you can go with a revolutionary beret and add to it an embroidery artwork.

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