Baseball Caps Aren’t Just For Bad Hair Days Anymore

They’re officially dad-chic

by
Rihanna wearing a black womens baseball cap
(Photo: Getty)

While I’ve had my Blossom hat and beret phases, one chapeau I’ve never had much of an affinity for is the baseball cap. Perhaps I’ve always thought them too humble for my maximalist leanings, and maybe I also didn’t want to give the impression that I was in any way the sporty type—because I am tragically nowhere close. Whatever the cause, they’ve long occupied the functional, not fashionable category in my mind.

That changed when I received a cute one from Lacoste to celebrate their Keith Haring collaboration; Haring is one of my favourite artists and I thought, hey, if I was going to take a baseball hat for a spin this was the time. Boasting a stitched version of the artist’s iconic Dancing Dog character, this was a special enough item that I didn’t want to merely treat it like the alternative to dry shampoo that for many years I had typecast baseball caps as. Instead, I was committed to wearing one as a proper accessory—and lately, I’m not the only one who’s treating caps as their crowning glory.

From Gigi Hadid to Lena Waithe and Rihanna, the baseball cap has become an It piece, boasting not only fashion house logos but quirky embroidery and other chic-ifying design details. Because they come in such an array of styles, like the structured six panel to the sloped dad hat, there’s basically a baseball cap to suit any aesthetic. These elements have helped elevate them from being a simple sporty staple—although there’s no denying where the style set’s adoption of baseball caps as accessory began: “I feel like it started with the whole athleisure movement a couple of years ago,” says Gravity Pope brand manager Kalie Johnston. “[And] it’s slowly been morphing into something that you can even wear to work.”

Gravity Pope’s selection of caps ranges from workwear brands like Carhartt to more fashion-forward labels like A.P.C. and Stephan Schneider, who’s taking a very holistic approach to his offering. “He’s using collection fabrics to make baseball hats, so you can order any fabric from the collection in a baseball cap,” says Johnston. When I note that this is quite a sustainable idea, Johnston agrees. “I think that’s part of why designers are going down this path,” she says. “It’s a great way to tell that story, use up some scraps of fabric that don’t have uses otherwise because they’re small patterns to make a hat.”

In the case of the baseball cap, though, a little indeed goes a long way. Johnston mentions something else about baseball hats that I’ve come to appreciate as well. Now that I rock a cap once and a while, I’ve started noticing how other women style theirs; I’ve spied them worn with slouchy suits, floral frocks, and Kim Kardashian wears one with an LDB and outsized fuzzy coats (while her husband has regrettably been known to opt for a MAGA cap, himself).

It’s likely Kardashian and her fellow influencers wear baseball caps to keep a modicum of anonymity, too, but it seems as though they’re becoming more of an eye-catcher than something to hide away under. “Now girls have their long, luxurious hair coming out with highlights and stuff—it almost calls attention to your hair rather than hiding it,” says Johnston, adding that this is a far cry from a cap’s other role as the lazy solution to looking half-way presentable. Noting that she enjoys their functionality while biking because they keep her bangs in place, Johnston says she’s come to appreciate the baseball cap’s versatility and vibe. “I also really like them for day-to-day outfits because they kind of make me feel a little tougher and cooler.”

Shop our fave caps below.

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7 Indigenous Designers Redefining Traditional Accessories

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