Picture this. It’s the 1980s and you’re standing in the streets of Compton. Baseball caps sit on the heads of practically every man who passes you, and, what’s that shiny label you can see on their brims? They, my friend, are stickers - the stickers that always took centre stage when it came to styling this popular accessory.
So, should you keep these stickers on your baseball caps? It truly depends on what style you’re setting out to get, and this varies from person to person. Stickers, although able to determine status and rarity, can be rather impractical when it comes to their removal. Read on and we’ll tell you more.
Although a seemingly small feature of baseball caps, stickers have the ability to make or break the desired style of its wearer. As you’ll find out by reading further, a lot of interesting background information comes along with them. And, if you’re still deciding whether to rip off that label or not, we suggest you take a look below before you do anything - you’ll learn both the positives and negatives of following this controversial trend, as well some extra tips and tricks at the end.
Let's Look Back in Time
Nowadays, whenever we’re lucky enough to treat ourselves to a new fashion item, our first port of call is to grab it from the bag, scrunch up the receipt and rip off the tags. Hey ho, and off we go. Decades ago, however, certain cap wearers took it upon themselves to break this routine. And, some may say they changed it for good.
The quirky trend of keeping tags on slowly developed during the late 80s. People left their brand new labels on Nike clothing, and as soon as Starter was introduced a decade later, this habit transitioned to both hats and baseball caps. And, as the popularity of stickers and caps gained speed, they skyrocketed arm in arm, usually being found as part of a duo. Back in those days, a crisp, new baseball cap with a fresh sticker really was the crème de la crème.
Nike wasn’t the only brand to ignite this interesting trend. Buyers were known to leave their foil stickers on their Yankee hats, in order to show they weren’t counterfeit. This style of foil tag even has a presence within the technology industry - take Microsoft products, for example. The foil stickers found on product packaging highlight their authenticity, and act as a key branding feature. We see a foil tag and we think of authenticity. Simple.
This is perhaps why the sticker trend was favored by so many. Even something as basic as a logo has the ability to make passers-by aware of its brand, rarity and price tag. And, if you’ve splashed the cash on a particular baseball cap, it’s no surprise you’d want to show it off. This truly is a priority for some.
Stickers and Superior Status
As mentioned above, some buyers genuinely consider how their cap will fit into society before sealing the deal. This can sound relatively materialistic, but it hasn’t always been this way.
Let’s teleport back a few decades - back to the 80s, where everything first began. For those who were poor, owning a baseball cap in brand new condition could seem like a major status symbol. Keeping their stickers firmly stuck to their caps meant that others who saw them understood how ‘fresh’ their new prized possession was. Some took great pride in this ritual, and the emotional impact it had on people transcended beyond just headwear.
As with every aspect of society, different situations exist among different cultures of people. The middle class, for example, appropriated this new method of displaying wealth, despite it not being a symbol for them as such. Instead, its originating purpose was abandoned and was recognised solely as a fashion trend.
And so, product stickers were proudly plastered over baseball caps in every state. This screamed the statement that the hat was untouched and expensive, expelling materialistic values. There were, of course, the sticker-keepers who actually liked the look of the whole thing. The shiny, sleek effect of the label could lend the cap a little extra flair, and keep ‘boring’ hats unique.
Should You Keep Your Stickers On?
Let’s walk through some reasons why you may want to leave your sticker alone.
· Some people genuinely want to demonstrate just how new their cap is - and, if that person is you, by all means, go for it! Never feel pressured by the opinions of others.
· Some cap lovers may even favor the sticker more than the accessory itself, as it reveals the cap’s status, rarity and price.
· Stickers can suit baseball caps with flat bills especially. The flatness of the visor will contribute to a pristine, perfect appearance, and if you’re going to purchase one of these caps just for its freshness, you may as well go full-out and leave the sticker on, too.
· There are some rather impractical issues with removing your sticker. Although discreet at first, a cap that’s been sitting on a shelf for a long time and is therefore dust-marked will show a slightly brighter color where the sticker once was. This, of course, can prove to be a slight inconvenience for those who take pride in their hat.
· Others dislike the sticky residue that removing labels may cause. It’s not exactly wanted.
· Taking stickers off reduces the cap’s monetary value, which isn’t a wise move if you’re planning to sell your cap on. In order to reel in that cash, you’d better leave it be.
Or, Should You Remove Stickers?
Now, let’s position ourselves on the other side of the fence. Here’s why maybe you should take your labels off.
· Let’s be honest. There are mixed opinions when it comes to this trend. It’s extremely obvious that many people dislike the general look it gives - they believe it perhaps decreases the cap’s value in a visual sense, as opposed to raising it.
· Many turn their noses down at this flash trend, claiming it’s a look sported by only teenagers and those who are brave enough to bear the opinions of others.
· These days, it’s becoming less and less popular on a mass scale, as these baseball caps are shown-off by celebrities and hip-hop stars who choose not to keep the stickers on. Move over, 50 Cent. Your stickers are moving out of fashion. Many apologies.
· For moral reasons, some disagree with the perhaps boastful aspect of leaving on the labels. No one likes a show-off, after all.
· Sourcing caps with stickers can be pricey, probably because they’re rarer than ones without.
As you can tell from what you’ve just read, there are clear positives and negatives for either choice. It all depends on what style you’re trying to achieve, and who you’re trying to impress. If you’re setting out to show off, you’ll probably want leave your sticker stuck firmly in its place. Either way, though, your sticker will eventually fall off, and it’s up to you to decide whether you’d want an annoying mark left behind. Stickers are powerful things, believe it or not, and for many cap wearers, they hold a status like no other.
However, at the end of the day, fashion is extremely personal and individual. Everyone has their likes, dislikes, and in-betweens. You should feel comfortable in whatever you choose to wear - and, if keeping your stickers on your cap floats your boat, so be it. Similarly, if you’d rather keep it simple and sweet, just carefully remove your labels and you’ll earn yourself that low-key look.
How can I remove my baseball cap sticker? There are several simple ways you can remove your baseball cap sticker, but contrary to popular belief, a quick peel-and-grab could do more harm than good. We’d recommend you grab a pair of tweezers and begin lifting up the sticker from one corner. Then, pull upwards and towards the centre of the shape, as this’ll ensure a more even removal. If you’re planning on preserving your sticker and putting it elsewhere, this step is especially important - you don’t want to rip or tear the label, so be gentle and have caution. Some glue used on older caps tends to have a stronger bond, so when peeling this type of sticker away, do it in one swift action.
How can I remove the sticker’s residue from my baseball cap? In order to remove the sticker’s residue from your cap, grab yourself a clean, dry cloth and soak it with some rubbing alcohol. For smaller residue stains, rub the area until the glue detaches itself from the fabric. From there, you can just brush it off and it won’t cause any further issues. Some marks will be more stubborn than others - in this case, drench the same rag with some more rubbing alcohol, and place over the problem area. Simply leave the cloth resting for five minutes, and that should do the trick.