Walking the fine line between a fedora and a baseball cap, the casual yet stylish flat cap has enjoyed hundreds of years of popularity, flattering many different face shapes over the centuries.
This often-misused and underrated classic headpiece has a floppier, baggier cousin that’s no less popular. Easily mistaken for a flat cap, the newsboy cap is named after the hardworking youngsters who used to sell newspapers at every street corner.
Before tipping our thinking caps to a brief overview of the different types of caps, a quick discussion on the differences between a hat and a cap is in order.
While “hat” is an umbrella term, it is also more specifically used to describe a headpiece with a brim going all the way around the crown, such as a fedora. Caps, on the other hand, have unshaped crowns and a visor or bill that protects the wearer’s face from the elements.
The flat cap
The flat cap, also known as an ivy cap, driving cap, or golf cap, is a classic style that dates back to 14th-century Northern England. In the 1910s and 1920s, the popularity of the flat cap soared among working class men and boys in the United States.
Rappers and pop stars in the 1990s brought another wave of interest in the flat cap. Nowadays, these fashionable toppers can be spotted on the heads of celebrities such as David Beckham and Justin Timberlake, just to name a few.
Flat caps for men are most often constructed from tweed or cotton, though leather and synthetic styles are also popular these days. The cap is generally sewn together in the back, with strips of the same fabric material. This results in a smooth, consistent look throughout the entire cap.
In its purest, traditional style, the body of flat caps are pulled over the visor and sewn or snapped into place on the top edge.
The newsboy cap
Also called a paperboy cap, newsboy caps were seen on almost every working class man and boy in the late 1800s through to the early 1900s. The upper class adopted the hat as a country-styled headpiece for sport shooting and hunting events.
Similar to a flat cap, a newsboy cap has a low profile with a small, stiff brim that’s just long enough to protect the eyes from the sun without being in the wearer’s way.
The crown of the newsboy cap is made of eight triangular pieces sewn together from the top. Almost always, a small button tops the spot where the hat material meets at the center of the crown.
How to tell the two apart
Despite the similarities, the flat cap and the newsboy cap are not the same cap (although we would forgive you for mistaking one for the other).
- For starters, flat caps for men and women are generally less puffy compared to newsboy caps, which are significantly more baggy and floppy.
- Newsboy caps have crowns crafted from eight wedge-shaped panels, while flat caps do not.
- Finally, newsboy caps usually have a button at the top of the crown; flat caps have no buttons.
The button and the eight-paneled structure of the newsboy cap are the best ways to distinguish them from the flat cap.
The Brixton flat cap
If the above has inspired you to consider adding flat caps to your signature outfits, Brixton’s Hooligan Snap Cap features a modern take on the traditional flat cap that matches most classy outfits.
In the past, flat caps were made nearly exclusively with tweed or cotton. Today, we bring together modern touches with timeless styles, offering flat caps made with mixed fabrics of a wide variety of patterns, colors, and textures. The refined look, short bills, and elevated crowns on these flat caps complement many different face types.
Find a flat cap that goes well with your favorite outfit, and discover the cultured elegance and classiness Brixton caps can bring to your everyday wear.
The Brixton newsboy cap
For a more baggy, casual yet classic feel, try pairing the Brood Baggy Snap Cap with your favorite fall outfits.
These newsboy caps come in a multitude of patterns, colors, and textures that add flair and personality to any wardrobe. The neat, little button, carefully crafted seams, and small, stiff brim make these caps a headpiece you’ll reach for time and time again. After all, as we’ve seen through the history of the newsboy cap, each cap only gets better with wear.
How to style your cap
For a first-timer, caps may seem a little enigmatic when it comes to styling, fitting, and wearing.
Here are several tips to keep you and your cap looking on point:
- The fabric on top of the brim should be minimal, never touching your ears or flopping over to one side of your head. If it fits like a baseball hat with just a little extra fabric, that’s a perfect fit.
- Keep an eye on the suitability of the flat or newsboy cap for the season you’re in. Fall is the best season to top your outfit with a cap, as colorful summer outfits may clash with the suave vibe, and winter may prove to be a bit too much for these caps.
- Best worn on errand-running days (when a baseball cap feels too casual), flat caps rarely go well with formal events, such as a wedding.
- Be careful of pairing a flat cap or newsboy cap with old-timer outfits such as suspenders. Flat caps can be matched with modern styles for a classy yet timeless appearance.
Flat cap & newsboy styles with Brixton
Inspired by the past and made for the present with innovative fabrications, modern sensibility, and an eye to timeless elegance, Brixton's newsboy caps and flat caps for both men and women achieve the delicate balance between heritage styles and modern classics.
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