How to wear a baseball cap without looking like a teenager

The baseball cap has long been one of the most polarizing accessories in menswear and the subject of fierce debate: does wearing a brimmed beanie blanket elevate your look to the “peak” of everything? that is stylish and contemporary? Or is it a one-way ticket to the sartorial naughty step? It’s an argument that has divided the fashion world for decades, but over time more and more men are starting to realize that, like hats, the real question isn’t if we should wear them, but How? ‘Or’ What to wear them.

The history of the baseball cap

Unless you’re completely oblivious, it probably won’t be as surprising to learn that the baseball cap was first created by a baseball team. That team was the Brooklyn Excelsiors and the year was 1860. But it was still half a century before the concept took off in full swing. After 1900, the baseball cap became an important means of identifying teams, as well as providing the practical benefit of keeping the sun out of the sight of players while throwing and weaving its way around the diamond. The explosion of televised sports in the 20th century brought the baseball cap into homes and over heads. Suddenly, the interest in the spiked accessory saw it become part of the everyday man’s casual uniform. The idea of ​​wearing just one on the field was now – pun intended – an old hat. “[Today] it’s part of the larger sportswear trend infusing contemporary wardrobes, ”says Nick Paulson-Ellis, founder of the online sportswear store The Sports Edit. Combine that with the influence of hip-hop figures like Jay-Z and his beloved New York Yankees cap, celebrities wearing them incognito, and even Gucci adding high-end versions to recent runways, and it’s clear that the baseball cap will always have its place as a staple men’s fashion accessory. However, the wide range of variations on this modern essential makes it a notoriously difficult item to style. So when it comes to picking one, stick to these proven favorites to guarantee you a home run.

6 key baseball cap styles

The Snapback

With its flat brim, six panel construction and structured design, the snapback cap has become a uniform for Major League heavy hitters, hip-hop heroes, hairy hipsters and countless others. Its name comes from the snap closure on the back of the hat, but adjustable “strapback” versions are also common. If you were looking for a classic, this is it.


The best snapback caps

Nike Jordan Jumpman Snapback Cap - click to buy New Era Men's MLB Basic NY Yankees cap - click to buy STUSSY SMALL STOCK LOCK STRAPBACK CAP - click to buy REIGNING CHAMP 6-PANEL CAP - click to buy

The panel of five

With its roots in performance cycling, the five-panel cap became an unlikely skateboarding icon in the 1990s, before finding its spiritual place in the streetwear world. Favored for its rounded and understated shape, the five-panel has been immortalized by skate stalwarts like Supreme and Danish minimalists. Nordic projects, both of which have made style its calling card of headgear, sparking thousands of imitations.

The best five panel caps

CARHARTT WIP Backley Cap - click to buy NORSE PROJECTS 5 PANEL POLARTEC CAP - click to buy Thrasher 5 Panel Cap - click to buy STUSSY STOCK LOGO CAMP CAP - click to buy

The truck driver

All right, we’ll put our hands up. We know that the trucker cap isn’t really a staple in the hat world. In fact, thanks to Von Dutch, Ashton Kutcher and, finally, the truckers, it’s quite the opposite. But there is still hope. Pick the right one, pair it with the right gear, and it might be possible to make this mesh paneled outcast palatable again.

The best trucker caps

adidas Originals adicolor Trucker Cap - click to buy Vans Men's Classic Patch Trucker Baseball Cap - click to buy New Era Trucker Cap NY Yankees - click to buy topman Red Blazers Trucker Cap - click to buy

Dad’s cap

The dad cap has been around for years, but it’s only recently that it’s named after him. Supposedly due to its resemblance to the sort of thing your old man would wear (obviously), it is often characterized by a simple curved visor design, unstructured body, and additional details such as a washed-out look, c is a simple cover that is a good starting point for beginners.

The best dad caps

H&M Washed cotton cap - click to buy POLO RALPH LAUREN Cotton-Twill Baseball Cap - click to buy J.CREW Garment-Dyed Cotton-Twill Baseball Cap - click to buy HYPE White Sherpa Dad Cap - click to buy

The sports cap

The traditional baseball cap may have been introduced to this world through sports, but that was over 100 years ago. There is no shortage of high-tech lightweight fabrics and cutting-edge manufacturing processes these days that would make the athletes of yesteryear cry and likely make the CEO of Nike burnt at the stake or something.

The best sports caps

NIKE AEROBILL running cap - click to buy ADIDAS STRIPES 4 PANEL CAP - click to buy ARC'TERYX Calvus Socora Cap - click to buy UNDER ARMOUR Elevated Jordan Spieth Jersey Golf Cap - click to buy


The role of fashion in forcing the baseball cap to grow cannot be overstated. The introduction of quality materials, textured fabrics and stripped-down, minimalist designs helped transform the headgear from anything from Fred Durst’s wardrobe to a stylish accessory that could, in the blink of an eye, be even be worn with a suit.

The best premium caps

A.P.C. LOUIS CAP - click to buy GUCCI Embroidered Cotton-Twill Baseball Cap - click to buy ACNE STUDIOS Camp Satin-Twill Baseball Cap - click to buy AMI Denim Baseball Cap - click to buy

How to wear a baseball cap: 5 ways

Luxury minimalism

We men owe a lot to these stylish Scandinavians, so what better way to take a cap off them than to go understated, clean and minimalist in the headwear department? And everywhere else, for that matter. Tactile fabrics like suede, wool, and corduroy are all great options to give your headwear a touch of luxury; especially when paired with classic wardrobe basics such as a light jacket and slim chinos.

How To Wear a Cap With a Minimalist Outfit

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Ready for summer

When it comes to real summer essentials, a baseball cap is up there with hot beer cans, a picnic packed with sand, and sunscreen. But more than just a way to avoid forcibly squinting in the sun, the right style can also add personality to standard shorts and a T-shirt. On warmer days at the beach or in the beer garden, use your cap to tie your outfit together by choosing one that is the same color as another part of your outfit – whether it’s your shirt or your sandals. Just make sure that your chosen mattress topper goes with the other layers in your bag as well when the day of drinking inevitably turns into a night session.

How to wear a baseball cap in summer

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Tone on tone stitching

If you had told someone in the ’90s that two decades from now people would be wearing baseball caps with costumes, they probably would have choked on their 3D Doritos and dropped their Walkman. Yet here we are. This look is as contemporary as it gets and the perfect way to wear a cap without looking like an angry teenager. Just pair an upscale-looking solid cap with an unstructured blazer worn over a t-shirt and finish with a pair of crisp trainers. Even someone from the ’90s couldn’t say it doesn’t look great.

How To Wear a Cap With a Suit

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From the streets

The love affair between high fashion and streetwear is still well into its honeymoon period. However, the look can be more than a little OTT to most people’s tastes. So, before heading to the pub in a Vetements anorak and a pair of Ozweegos, consider winking at the scene in a more subtle way. Go for a 5 panel style or a dad cap, with a logo hoodie or tee and cropped pants or jeans. This way, you can embrace the streetwear aesthetic in public, without looking like a badass.

How To Wear a Cap With Streetwear

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Transition mattress topper

The two annual periods of limbo between the scorching heat of one season and the freezing cold of the next can be notoriously difficult to dress. But ditching the pom-pom beanie or the bare head for a baseball cap is a good place to start. Sail these seas of style with a wool / twill cap (depending on the season), then pull on your favorite transitional jacket and layer it accordingly.

How To Wear a Cap With Layers

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Tips for wearing a baseball cap

  • Peel off the sticker from the edge, for god’s sake. You are not at 50 Cent.
  • Make sure it fits snugly on your head. There is nothing quite like frantically running a windswept cap down the street to ruin your carefree look.
  • On a related note, make sure it doesn’t cut off your circulation. A big red line on your forehead probably won’t enhance your look either.
  • Wear it inside out rarely and with care. Never wear it aside.
  • Whenever possible, go for simplicity over sparkle. A plain cap is classier and will go with more of your wardrobe.
  • If you are going to be wearing a cap for the day, make sure the hat’s hair won’t be a problem later.

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