Most people don’t know their trucker hat from a snapback cap. And the reason is not what you think. You see, technically a Snapback refers to the fastening strap on the headgear. You know, where the little plastic clips and snap into the holes on the strip. So this means your favourite hat could technically be a strapback, even if its a mesh hat, trucker cap or ball cap style.
The History of the baseball cap
We contacted the experts at Rag Sourcing to explain, mainly as they make them for urban wear brands including the best caps on the current market. We wanted to know the background and difference types and they were very knowledgeable on the subject.
“So Baseball caps come in a variety of styles, colloquially called Snapbacks after the fastener at the back. The ballcap was first seen in 1860 as part of the Brooklyn Excelsiors baseball team uniform. The intention was intended to keep the sun out of eyes for both batter and catcher. The modern appearance came with latex rubber stiffening material in the 1940s and continued as the baseball cap for men baseball teams, with logos and colour to identify. But it was during the 1920’s popularity of Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees that fans bought the replicas to show their support.”
They are often made from wool or polyester as one-size fits all, with the adjustment strap at the back hence the term snapback. Hats are constructed with the buckram button holding it together, or they are unconstructed as floppy caps. Then you have the stiff bill or peak, which is either hip-hop style flat or a curved like the baseball “dad” hat. They are arguably more popular as fashion accessories than ever, although it seems flat snapbacks are falling out of style.
You can blame Tom Selleck for the baseball hats exploding popularity, with the 1980s sex symbol Magnum P.I character starting the trend with his trademark Hawaiian Shirt and Detroit Tigers Baseball cap pushing it out of being simple baseball equipment. Then in the 1990s, it became a big part of popular pop culture in particular in Hip Hop fashion.”
Variations of the Fitted Baseball Cap
- Snapback hats – (a hat with a snap closure in the rear) with flat brim, high profile, adjustable.
- Adjustable hats – (a hat with a velcro closure in the rear) unstructured, low profile, curved brim, adjustable.
- Fitted caps – curved or flat brim, structured cap, high profile, unadjustable.
- “Flexfit” hats – curved or flat brim, structured cap, high profile, adjustable by the use of elastic materials.