Baseball caps are one of the most prominent accessories on the planet, filling the wardrobes of people of all ages, genders and origins.
So, what are the 5 major types of baseball caps?
We will look at these types in more depth below, but first we will look at the attributes of a baseball cap, to help us understand the differences between these five types.
Baseball Cap Profile
The profile of a baseball cap refers to the height of its crown, which, for those of you who are perhaps unfamiliar with cap terminology, is the main body of the accessory. The three recognized types of profile are rather simply 'high', 'medium' and 'low'. If the crown height is around two to three inches, it's classified as low profile, and when pulled down, this front of the cap will rest on the forehead. Medium profile hats really are the best of both worlds. With a height of three to four inches, they'll provide a standard look. High profile caps tend to be harder to seek out – as buyers tend to favor more-subtle styles – reaching four inches and towering beyond, and they leave plenty of space for large hairstyles or bold fashion statements. The trucker hat is a prime example of a high-profile cap, while the dad hat is the most recognisable example of a low-profile cap.
Baseball Cap Structure: The Buckram
The structure of your baseball cap is just as important. If you've not been introduced to the buckram before, allow us to. You can find the buckram inside the two front panels of your cap. It's essentially cotton that's been dipped in a bath of starch paste, making it stiffer. It's sold to hatmakers in sheets, and with several options of weight and thickness available. Once cut into the correct shape, the buckram is lightly sewn in place behind the front panels and later serves to be a key structural component of your hat, helping it retain its shape. Without any buckram, your cap will just be limp fabric. We call this an unstructured cap, and some people do look specifically for this kind of hat because it's a little more relaxed and comfortable to wear. The dad cap is again a prime example of an unstructured cap, as most low-profile caps tend to be unstructured, or have a very thin buckram. Most other styles of cap generally have a buckram.
Baseball Cap Materials
There's a multitude of materials that designers are able to craft their hats from, but let's speak about the most common ones - cotton, acrylic and polyester.
Cotton is a blanket name (quite literally!), for different species of fibrous flower-producing plants. It's highly favored due to its lightweight properties, durability and multipurpose use. As well as being easy to wear as an accessory, it's accessible all across the globe and is a solid staple within the textile industry. You'll see many cotton hats floating about, and for manufacturers, it's an ideal product.
Acrylic, on the other hand, refers to synthetic materials that are made with chemicals. Its texture is a little course, and their fibers are not the best of friends with high temperatures - they'll be damaged when exposed to them. They do, however, act as a good defense barrier against stains and liquids, as well as retaining the body heat of the hat-wearer. Acrylic hats are usually found with stickers, motifs or logos on the front. One trend that's appeared over the years features high-profiled caps with flat visors that have circular stickers left on them. The whole idea was to make the cap look as unused and pristine as possible.
Polyester is another synthetic material, differing slightly from the couple above. Its ability to retain heat is practically non-existent, but this ensures excellent airflow and breathability. It's key to consider which material will suit you and your required purposes best whilst searching for the ideal hat.
As mentioned at the top of this article, the crown is the main body of the baseball cap. In essence, the crown shape relates to how many panels compose this structure. Most hats you see will be made from six triangular panels, giving that infamous round shape. The seam travelling down the very front of the cap can tell you just how many panels there are. Yet more recently, caps with only five panels have come into fashion. Why is this, you may wonder?
Well, some designers and hatmakers wanted more space to lay down their logos and artwork, but found the front seam interrupted their visions (specifically, the quality of the work produced by their embroidery machines). And so, a new style of the fifth panel was created, allowing the cap to still have its spherical shape - just lacking the front seam.
Normally made using a polyester plastic, whether it's a component of your cap or not really depends on your personal taste. Some prefer the look of fully fabric-covered caps, whilst others desire the breathability and convenience that having mesh offers. You'll most probably find mesh on trucker hats, whilst dad hats and fitted caps will be solely composed of fabric.
Let's talk about closures. Most caps are sold as “one size fits all”, using adjustable closures that allow the cap to fit most head shapes and sizes. If you're looking to buy an adjustable cap, here are a couple of your potential options:
First, we have the snapback closure. Funnily enough, you can find them on snapback baseball caps, and they're characterized by two plastic strips that sit underneath a half-moon-shaped gap in the fabric. One of these straps will feature raised nodules, which, when slotted into the corresponding holes on the opposite strip, will snap shut. When this action is reversed, you can adjust the fit of the cap with ease. The snapback closure is highly popular, as plastic is simple to produce and you can customize the strips with any color out there.
Another adjustment option is the strapback. Not to be confused with the snapback mentioned above, this closure mechanism is usually made from the same fabric as the cap's crown. There'll be a strap with a double-loop buckle at one end, and you'll simply have to pull the second, longer strap through this. Good-quality caps will let you tuck any excess strap away, but even with this option available, some don't feel the need to do this. Having an untucked strap can prove to be a fashionable look. The main benefit of the strapback closure, though, is how comfy it is to wear. There's no plastic irritating the nape of your neck, (or your forehead, if you choose to rock your cap backwards). They're highly desired, and perhaps more so than snapbacks.
Other closure options include velcro, nylon webbed clips or even leather belt-style buckles. The list of possibilities is endless, and completely dependent on what style you're looking for. Not every cap comes with a closure, though. Case in point: the fitted cap.
Let's move onto the brim/bill/peak/visor. The terms used for this part of the hat should have their own dictionary. The visor is an essential part of the baseball cap and can come in a variety of styles and curvatures. Essentially, the visor's role is to protect our eyes from the sunlight and provide shade. Now, though, they've become a firm fashion feature in their own right, and can boast different colors, styles and shapes. The most common options include a regular (curved) peak, the sandwich peak, and the flat peak (which can be either round or squarer in shape). You name it, someone's created it.
Now we've run through the main aspects, what are the most popular types of baseball caps? Buckle yourselves in, as you're about to find out.
1. Snapback Caps
We've already spoken a little about this popular accessory - they're baseball caps with that simple snapback closing mechanism. They typically have a flat visor, and a high-profile with a buckram. Their history can be traced back decades and decades, to a time when they once had strong sporting links. They were the definition of simplicity - one-size-fits-all, limited colors and virtually design-less, bar the embroidered artwork on the front. That's very much the case today, too. Hip hop artists and youths have jumped on the snapback trend, meaning they're worn by just about anybody.
2. Dad Hats
Dad hats are unproblematic, and subtle. Like the snapback, they started off on the sports fields. They tend to be made from cotton canvas, with a slightly curved peak, and a strapback closure. People started to grow tired of the high-profile, structured caps offered, and craved something more comfortable. Sporting a relaxed shape, popularity rocketed, as they're flattering yet understated. What's not to like?
3. Fitted Caps
As their name suggests, these caps are supposed to fit its wearer perfectly. Because of the lack of closure, there's no gap and so it looks more uniform and put-together. This leaves an open canvas where creativity can flourish, ideal for product designers. Should you want to, you can flip this cap around and wear it backwards - there's no potentially-irritating closure that may chafe against your forehead. Online stores can find it difficult to shift fitted caps from the shelves, though, as they're hard to sell when people don't know their measurements. Let's be honest - when's the last time you measured your head? Exactly.
4. Trucker Hats
These all-American hats truly reach new heights due to their towering crown. Their features, including a slightly curved peak and plastic meshing, made them perfect to wear as a worker's accessory back in the days of hard labor. They were an excellent promotional, as their build allowed bold messages and logos to be displayed across the front. The snap closure at the back is easy to manufacture, and before we knew it, these caps were being produced on a mass scale. Since then, their value has most certainly increased. They've encountered the hip hop, rap and skateboarding subcultures, brandished by anyone who can get their hands on one.
5. 5-Panel Caps
Last but definitely not least, we've got the 5-panel cap. Also referred to as the camper hat, they're extremely versatile and popular with skaters and those seeking a trendier look. Usually unstructured, they provide a comfy and convenient fit, able to be thrown on and sported with most outfits. You'll probably see camper hats with some form of artwork displayed on their front, as their adapted panel arrangement gives designers the uninterrupted space they desire.
As you can tell, when it comes to the baseball cap, there really is more than meets the eye. Perhaps seen as a relatively basic accessory upon first encounter, many people fail to recognize the importance of the components and the roles they have to play. Even something as simple as the snapback closure, for example, has buckets of history and has been hugely influential in the fashion industry. Luckily for you, there are so many options in terms of customization and personalization. Whether you're looking for a cap with a low or high profile, structure or none, a snapback closure or a strapback, you'll be able to find it at HYPERSUPPLY. Baseball caps have an incredible amount of versatility - it's no surprise they'll always be a wardrobe staple for many, many years to come.