Hat Styles & Features Guide
Even for those unfamiliar with the latest trends, it was quite obvious that bucket and dad hats were sold as the dernier cri in almost every fast and slow fashion store during the summer. Hats are steadily making a come-back while positioning as a must-have piece in every closet.
But in reality, people are not completely keen to buy a hat other than a baseball cap. In a matter of fact, choosing this accessory has a bit of science hidden.
There are some variables to keep in mind before heading to the store. Some of them are, for example, the general use you will give to the accessory, material, your head and face shape, and design of the hat. Once you take a couple of these into account, you can trust you are making a sensible choice, and getting something that you can smoothly combine with your style.
For that end, we’ve put together a list of the most fashionable and practical hats out there and the materials they are usually made with.
Performance hats are used in the sports industry. They are carefully designed to be practical and enhance breathability. This is, letting the hair pass through the fibers to keep the head nice and fresh. Baseball performance caps are manufactured with small “holes” called eyelets that allow ventilation.
Caps are one of the most used performance hats. Still, you can find bonnies, bucket hats and even 100% cotton beanies. In the same manner, you can find performance hats made with a combination of cotton and polyester.
Twill hats are made with a fabric derivate from cotton. The fabric is popular in the design industry to make jeans, hence, the hat is more fashionable than performance-oriented ones.
It is not recommended for practicing sports, but it is perfect for events in a sunny environment as they still allow breathability to some extent.
Snapback hats are basically hats with a snap on the back part of the head to make it more fittable to different sizes. They are also known as baseball caps and became highly popular since the ’90s – turned into a symbol of urban lifestyle by some hip-hop music groups.
Materials for baseball caps vary depending on the quality of the product. You can find them made with cotton and polyester completely, or a variation of the last two with straw and wool.
Different than baseball caps (snapbacks) fitted hats have a cap design and require an exact measurement of the head to be manufactured. As the name says, it is an exact fit with no elastic, snap or strap on the back, but they are made with stretchable fabric.
The material of fitted hats ranges from squatchee to exclusively engineered fabrics for branded caps such as the ones sold by Nikes.
Although shops often offer sizes going from S to XXL, many stores selling fitted hats also provide with customized options.
These share the same principle than fitted hats in terms of continuity in the back part of the head. The difference is that stretch-to-fit caps have a stretching band around the head to adjust it properly. They are mostly designed as baseball caps and camo. Stretch-to-fit are quite practical and highly used by the army.
The fabrics for the outside design of the cap are similar to snapback and sometimes to the ones used in fitted caps. The real difference is in the quality of the stretching band and how much it allows the head to breathe and cool down. A good stretch-to-fit cap needs to be able to handle sweat besides assuring the fabric will not shrink too much once exposed to dampness.
Mesh back have a 6-panel design, 3 of which are located in the back part of the head and are made with a mesh. There are some military models with a flat crown but they are not very popular in general.
The closure mechanism of the mesh caps could be through a snap, adjustable strip of fabric pressed with a metal piece or a stretching band around the head.
The mesh is made with polyester in most cases, while the front is cotton or nylon depending on the quality of the hat.
A structured hat is visually noticeable when it preserves the ideal shape of the crown even if the person is not wearing it. In other words, it sits “upright” if you leave it on the table. The reason is that inside of the hat there is a layer of a stiff fabric (buckram) under the crown.
Many mesh back and baseball hats are also structured hats – hence, the material of structural hats range from cotton to polyester. Buckram, on the other hand, is linen or cotton swamped in latex.
These ones do not preserve their shape unless they are being worn. Unstructured hats don’t have a stiff fabric to keep the form of the head. Although they may not look fashionable in the same manner than their counterpart, they are definitely more practical and lightweight.
Unstructured hats are made with cotton, polyester and nylon – basically, any material that a common baseball cap is made with.
Pigment dyed hats are a prevailing choice for people in the market for personalized accessories. Companies often consider this option to showcase their logo in a nice piece of clothing.
Both pigment and garment are typically unstructured and they have a trendy old look in the fabric. Garment hats could have a basic cap design, a safari-like style or could be a bucked hat. Pigment hats, on the other hand, tend to be common caps.
Camouflage hats are very popular among fashionistas and military enthusiast. The colors are not limited to shades of green, they also are popular in blue, grey and pink.
The design vary depending on the use, you can find it in all sort of models starting from mesh back, fitted, structured and even performance.