Men's Clothing Forums banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

· Registered
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
By Andy Gilchrist

First, the difference between hats and caps is that: 

A hat
is a head covering consisting of a crown and a brim, from a word of Saxon origin “hæt, hætt” meaning hood.  A hat is a cover for the head, it can be in any form, soft or structured, smart, casual, or practical but it has a shape given to it, as opposed to a simple wrap or scarf.

A cap
is a hat, but usually a soft and close-fitting head covering without a brim or with a partial brim.  If there is a brim, also known as a peak or bill, it usually extends out at the front. The word is from Middle English cappe, from Old English cæppe, from Late Latin cappa, meaning a hooded cloak.

1.  Material.  Original baseball caps were made of wool but check any cap for quality fabric (usually only indicated by price).  Natural fabrics (wool, cotton, etc.) breathe and may be more comfortable, but synthetics may be more durable and weather resilient.
2.   Sweatband, a separate piece of fabric, should be stitched inside and around the bottom of the circumference of the cap. The fabric should be cotton, which absorbs or leather, which is resistant to perspiration.
3.  Lining of winter caps may be quilted for greater warmth.
4.  The bill or visor should be durable so that it can be formed.  Inner linings of fiberboard are flexible, but often returns to its original shape, high density plastic will remain in the position you form it into.
5.  Adjustor. If the cap doesn’t come sized (remember those? Another lost quality!) make certain that the adjustor for “one-size-fits-all” is secured by a sturdy stitch onto the cap.  The best adjustors are the buckle type, but currently on the market you may only be able to find Velcro, or the little plastic teeth that fit into holes.


A cloth cap, with a partial brim (bill) at the front. It was originally a 5-panel cap worn by baseball players with the team monogram on the front panel.

A cap which is part of national Scottish dress (the Bluebonnet of the Highlanders) is like a tam or beret, but has a reinforced band below the crown, and is angled to one side and may have a pom-pom on the top.

In 1850, Queen Victoria and her Prince Consort made the Aberdeenshire, Scotland, castle of Balmoral their summer residence. The Queen dressed the prince in the Highland costume and created a fashion.

The bonnet should display the crest buckle and strap in silver of the wearer, (if he is entitled to wear one i.e., a member of that clan).

The diced (or orange checkered) band around the base of the Balmoral indicates loyalty to the House of Hanover, i.e., the King/Queen of England.

Beanie: Skullcap (no brim) cut in gores to fit the head, mostly worn by children or freshmen students as part of hazing.

Bellboy or Bellhop: A small, stiff cap in pillbox shape, usually trimmed with braid or buttons, sometimes with a chin strap traditionally worn by hotel bellboys.

Beret: Flat tam made of felt, felted jersey or fabric with soft, wide circular crown, with or without a headband.

Square cap worn by clergy the crown has three or four projections.

Calotte: A close-fitting skullcap as worn by the Roman Catholic Clergy.

Coalman: A short visor cap with a protective flap at the back.  It was derived from a hat worn by English coal deliverymen to protect their backs from dust.

Coif: A 13th century close fitting bonnet of white linen tied under the chin worn by professional men.

Davy Crockett coonskin
: Cap of raccoon fur with tail hanging down back, named after David Crockett, frontiersman and politician who fought and died at the Alamo in 1836.

Deer Stalker: 
Check or tweed hunting cap with visors at the front and back and earflaps that can be tied up over the crown when not in use, also known as a Sherlock Holmes hat.  Also called a “fore-and-after”. The after bill was a style element but also kept the rain and sun off the back of your neck.

Cap Beige Sleeve Font Bag

Dunce Cap or Fools Cap: 
A cone-shaped paper cap, placed on the head of a slow or lazy pupil. The dunce cap comes from a 13th-centrury “Scotist” philosopher, John Duns Scotus (dŭnz skō’tas), (known as “the Subtle Doctor”) 1266–1308.

He felt that conical hats increased learning potential.  His theory was that knowledge is centralized at the apex and then funneled down into the mind of the wearer. Its purpose, to make slow pupils learn better, became a humiliation for the wearer.

Duns Scotus was known as making excessively fine distinctions in reasoning and came up with terms like “haecceitas,” or “thisness.”  He was widely praised in his day, but eventually fell out of intellectual favor and strongly criticized in the 16th century.  His “duns cap” was an obvious target of derision and came to symbolize stupidity.

Eight-point (also Forage):
  Soft crown made by sewing eight wedges of fabric resulting in an octagon-shaped crown with a stiff front visor.  Worn by policemen and the military.

Round cap with visor worn by railroad workers, usually of blue and white striped cotton.  The crown is box pleated onto the band.

English driving, Ivy League, Gatsby, touring, or newsboy caps: 
 A low-profile cap with a small brim at the front, some styles can snap to the crown. The crown may be tailored with side panels or gored (sewed with triangular inserts of fabric).

In 1571 an Act of the English Parliament ordained that on Sundays and holidays all males over six years old (but excluding the nobility) were to wear caps of wool, manufactured in England.  The Act was repealed in 1597, but by that time the flat woolen caps were established. In 1906, Keir Hardie, the first Labour Party member of the British Parliament, wore a flat cap as a gesture of working-class solidarity.

Glengarry: Part of the uniform of Scottish Highland regiments, it’s a cloth cap creased to fold flat usually with a tartan band at the edge, regimental badge at the side front and two black ribbon streamers in back.  Named after a valley in Inverness shire, Scotland.

Greek Fisherman: A soft cap of denim or wool with crown higher in front than in back.  Elaborately trimmed with braid on visor and at the seam where the visor meets the crown.

Hunt: Cut in six segments with small visor, elastic chin strap and button on center top worn for equestrian events. Originally soft fabric but can be made like a helmet with protective properties.

Hunting:  A bright orange cap enabling the hunter to be clearly seen in the woods.

Visored cap with crown usually of bicolored sateen cut in gores worn by racetrack jockeys.

  Japanese cap of black lacquered silk, with an upright pennon (long narrow banner or streamer), decorated with the Imperial chrysanthemum crest.

Kepi or Legionnaire: High crowned flat topped frequently worn with havelock in back as protection form sun.

A Havelock is the flap covering attached to the back of a cap to protect the neck from sun or bad weather, named after Sir Henry Havelock in 1861. Think French Foreign Legion films like the 1939 Beau Geste with Gary Cooper, or Laurel and Hardy in “Sons of the Desert”, 1933.

Liberty, or Phrygian cap: A brimless, limp, conical cap fitting snugly around the head and given to slaves in ancient Greece and Rome upon manumission (look it up!). It was used as a symbol of liberty by the French revolutionaries and was also worn in the United States before 1800.

Mortarboard: The square academic cap, graduate cap, cap, mortarboard (because of its similarity in appearance to the mortarboard used by brick masons to hold mortar Oxford cap is an item of academic dress consisting of a horizontal square board fixed upon a skullcap, with a tassel attached to the center. In the UK and the US, it is commonly referred to informally in conjunction with an academic gown as a "cap and gown".

Chair Sleeve Tints and shades Rectangle Fashion accessory

The mortarboard may have developed from the biretta, a similar-looking hat worn by Roman Catholic clergy. The biretta itself may have been a development of the Roman pileus quadratus, a type of skullcap with superposed square and tump (meaning small mound). A reinvention of this type of cap is known as the Bishop Andrewes cap. The Italian biretta is a word derived from the Medieval Latin birretum from the Late Latin birrus "large, hooded cloak", which is perhaps of Gaulish origin, or from Ancient Greek πυρρός pyrrhos "flame-colored, yellow".

Nightcap:  Men’s cap worn for sleeping from the 16th to the 19th century. The cap had a deep crown made of four segments, with the edge turned up to form a close brim. It’s also the last drink of the evening!

Hat Cap Sun hat Costume hat Fedora

Overseas or Garrison:
 Flat folding, soft cap of khaki or olive drab color fabric, without a bill worn by military personnel.  Has a lengthwise pleat from front to back in the center of the crown to enable it to fold flat.

A beret style cap with close fitting headband, usually trimmed with a pompon.

Outerwear Tartan Sleeve Headgear Plaid

  Leather or plastic, with fur or pile lining and a flap around sides and back that can be folded down to keep ears warm or up to reveal lining. Originally a winter cap for State Troopers.

Stocking cap or toboggan:
 Knitted cap unusually conical often finished with a pompon

Cap Hat Headgear Rectangle Font

: Knitted closely fitting with turned up cuff usually navy-blue wool yarn. Worn by sailors on watch.

Yarmulke or Kippah: The skullcap worn by Jewish males, especially during prayers or ceremonial occasions.

Forehead Chin Eyebrow Tie Dress shirt

 Skullcap worn by Roman Catholic clergy: black for priests, purple for bishops, red for cardinals, white for the pope.

The cap should be worn more snugly than a hat, so that it doesn’t blow off in the wind.

Cotton caps may be laundered at home (even in the dishwasher) by using a plastic blocking device to keep their shape. The plastic block can be purchased in most local drug or grocery stores. The dishwasher seems to work best because the cap doesn’t get twisted and tumbled like it would in the clothes washer.

Cotton caps can also be sent to a profession laundry or professionally dry-cleaned with your wool caps.

History of BASEBALL Caps: 

Face Outerwear Cap Dress shirt Human body

The baseball cap may have had its origins in the English cricket cap, which was made of wool, with a close fit and a short front brim.

The first American baseball team, the Knickerbockers, wore straw hats! From the 1840s through the 1870s, baseball players wore all style of hats including military caps during and after the Civil War.

In the 1870s, a pillbox style hat, “Chicago Style”, with a flat top, a short visor and horizontal stripes became popular. The Brooklyn Excelsiors wore a rounded-crown, large-visor cap in 1860.

In the 19th century cloth caps with visors became standard attire for workingmen and boys.

In the 1940s, latex rubber replaced buckram, a coarse cotton fabric heavily sized with glue, as the stiffening material inside the visor. This allowed the visor to be longer. Also, the front of the crown was made higher and reinforced by an insert of stiff mesh horsehair, probably to accommodate larger team insignias. As team spirit shown by those insignias, and team uniforms became stylish the cap became standardized, too.

Face Smile Cap Flash photography Jaw

The downside of baseball hat fashion was helped along by “one-size-fits-all” and the unexplainable practice of wearing the cap backwards (as in dysfunctional). Maybe a catcher, one day, just forgot to turn it right side around after taking off his protective mask. Some accuse outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., of the Seattle Mariners, of starting the “fashion”.

Photo credit: Galina Barskaya/Shutterstock; Ysbrand Cosijn/Shutterstock; photographyfirm/Shutterstock; rosarioscalia/Shutterstock; Karkas/Shutterstock; AVN Photo Lab/Shutterstock; sergarck/Shutterstock; Victor Moussa/Shutterstock; 3DMAVR/Shutterstock; ilikestudio/Shutterstock; Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock; razum/Shutterstock
1 - 1 of 1 Posts