Everything you need to know about ball caps

Everything you need to know about ball caps

PRODUCTS| 19.01.2023

Designed to keep the sun off baseball players’ eyes and faces in 1860s USA, the ball cap is now a streetwear classic, which has evolved into a few distinct varieties. Here’s all you need to know about the baseball cap.

What are the different styles of ball caps? 

The commonest types of cap are the classic baseball cap and the trucker cap, although they both get called baseball caps as they’re pretty similar to each other. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to materials, fastener or logo – it’s a blank canvas hat.

Essentially, though, the cap types go like this: baseball caps are made of the same fabric front and back, while trucker caps have a mesh back and solid fabric front. Apart from that, there’s no standard design for curved or flat bills or whether there’s a snap, buckle, elastic, touch fabric or press stud fastener – it’s all down to personal choice and the preference of the designer. There are so many different types of caps that you’ll probably want a few in your collection.

How are baseball caps sized?

There’s no need to size baseball caps as the adjustable strap at the back accommodates all adult sizes for men or women. If you’re buying for a kid, stick to specific children’s hats, but other than that, you’ll find one size fits all.

It’s handy to have an adjustable strap even if you’ve found your perfect notch – if there’s a bit of a breeze, you can tighten the hat a little to stop it blowing off or have a more comfy fit if it’s a calm sunny day. (If you insist on a fitted baseball cap, there’s a guy on Savile Row who’ll tailor one for you, but we’ve lost his business card.)

What is in the brim of a baseball cap?

Traditionally, the brim of a baseball cap was made of cardboard or rubber, but these days it tends to be plastic or a more rigid stiffened fabric, such as canvas. The problem with cardboard is that it’ll disintegrate in the wash or rain, which is why alternatives are preferable.

The material of the peak is important because it determines whether it can be bent into a curve when you buy it. Baseball caps used to come with a flat bill, which people would bend to fit better or just to look cool, but now they come in both styles, which usually means the peak is less pliable. That’s why it’s best to just buy the style you want.

What is a low-profile baseball cap?

A low profile cap sits snugly on your head, following its shape, with a wider gap above the ears. Normal baseball caps have a bit of air space above the head, which helps with ventilation or more voluminous hairstyles.

How to wear a baseball cap

The baseball cap is a wardrobe staple nowadays and can be worn with anything, whether you’re loafing in a hoodie and jeans or suited and booted on a presidential run. Fashion baseball caps are timeless and are a great leveller, so if you wanna wear one, wear one!

The trucker cap is a lighter, airier hat, which goes with anything from a chunky coat and pants on the job to a vest and shorts on the basketball court. There’s an unlimited choice of colours and logos, so you might fancy matching your look, but in truth, the contrast works too.

The classic baseball cap, with its panelled construction, gives off a more classic vibe, and it’s probably what has made it popular with skaters – we love a hint of retro, after all. Again, the whole range of colours, imagery, sizes and styles applies, so you’re never going to struggle to find one that suits your vibe. You can go for a plain or a camouflage hat with a prominent or more subtle logo. Your head, your rules.

Should you wear a baseball cap back to front?

This is one of those questions that divides people almost as much as “Hawaiian” pizza, so we’re not going there. Basically, what’s cool with you works. Some wearers insist it’s comfier with the peak at the back, and if that sounds like you, put that 180 in motion.

What are baseball caps made of?

Different manufacturers use a whole range of fabrics to construct their caps, so they can be cotton, polyamide, leather, wool or any material that can be moulded into the desired shape. Natural fabrics tend to allow better airflow, but trucker cap mesh is usually synthetic and works fine.

How do ball caps keep their shape?

The bill of all baseball cap styles isn’t just a protection from the sun; it’s a pretty rigid structural element too. Whether it’s curved or flat, long or short, it acts as a natural stiffener that will keep the cap in its original shape unless it’s damaged.

What is the best way to store baseball caps?

If you’re obsessive about your caps, you might want to invest in hangers or shelves to give each their own space. Squashing them might damage the peak and therefore the cap, so just be careful when packing suitcases if you want them to remain pristine. 

For most of us, a baseball cap isn’t something we add to our insurance policy as they’re not expensive. They’re pretty hard to damage in normal use anyway, and like a pair of trainers, they can actually benefit from a bit of wear and tear. A beloved cap that’s seen you through many a year will certainly have a lot more character.

What is the best way to wash baseball caps?

It’s not a good idea to throw your cap in the machine. You’re always better off simply spot cleaning any small stains by rolling a wet cloth over the affected area or giving it a hand wash in warm soapy water if it needs to be de-grimed.

Just hang it out to dry at its own pace when you’ve washed and rinsed it. It won’t take too long. Obviously, if your cap has washing instructions on the label, that should be your first port of call. A soft cotton cap might even be machine washable and tumble dryable.

Where’s your head at?

There aren’t really women’s and men’s hat styles at Dickies® – they’re all the same and suit anyone who wants to look effortlessly cool. They’ve hardly changed in 150 years, and there’s a reason for that – they just work and look the part. Find yours now.

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