The baseball cap has long been one of menswear’s most polarising accessories and the focus of a fierce debate: does donning a brimmed, bonce cover elevate your look to the ‘peak’ of all that is stylish and contemporary? Or is it a one-way ticket to the sartorial naughty step? It’s an argument that has split the fashion world down the middle for decades, but as time progresses, a growing number of men are beginning to realise that, like beanies, the real question isn’t if we should wear them, but how we should wear them.
Unless you’re completely oblivious, it probably won’t come as much of a surprise to learn that the baseball cap was first brought into existence by a baseball team. That team was the Brooklyn Excelsiors and the year was 1860. But it was another half a century before the concept fully took off. So you’ve been eyeing up a snapback but you’re not sure how to pull it off? Well, fear not, because here to make sure you know what’s what when it comes to your brand new hat.
To the cap connoisseurs amongst us, this might sound like a silly question. But the reality is that there are so many different styles of caps out there that it’s worth taking the time to distinguish between the different types. And where better to start than the snapback itself? The snapback is a baseball cap with a wide flat bill. It draws its name from the fastener at the back of the cap which allows the wearer to adjust its size.
The six panels that form the dome of a snapback hats are rigidly structured, meaning that it is more likely to retain its original shape if it is squashed or folded. This results in a high dome at the front, providing a larger available space for text and graphics. Snapbacks were created by New Era Caps, who continue to produce them today. The brand has strong links to the sporting world, most famously with the New York Yankees.
Today, their New York snapbacks are not only popular amongst Yankee fans, but have become a part of the global fashion landscape. A close cousin of the snapback is the fitted baseball cap. It encompasses all of the qualities of the snapback except the adjustable strap at the rear. Although this may seem an insignificant detail, it can actually make a big difference when shopping.
While snapbacks are one-size-fits-all, the fitted cap comes in a variety of sizes. So make sure to try before you buy. Fitted caps do have their advantages though. The extra space gained at the rear can be utilised for further subtle design features, such as brand logos and monogramming.