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If there is anything consistent about the fashion industry is the constant recycling of designs. Time and time again, we see trends take a hiatus before making a major comeback. Some fashion pieces would even disappear for decades before they come back into the spotlight. Dad hats are the perfect examples of this.
Dad hats disappeared in the early 2000s. Then in 2016, celebrities like Kanye West and Obama brought them back into the scene. The hats caught up immediately, and now they’re pretty much everywhere.
And no, dad hats are not for dads alone. These hats complete the perfect casual look for men and women of all age groups.
So, why are they called dad hats then? And how are they different from a baseball cap and snapback hat?
Let’s find out.
What are dad hats
A dad hat is a 6-panel cap with an adjustable closure. The overall design is very similar to baseball caps, except for a few differences. One of the most notable distinctions is the slightly curved brim. Dad caps are also designed with six panels, whereas baseball caps have five panels.
Most dad hats have an unstructured crown, so they usually end up taking the shape of the wearer’s head. That makes them very comfortable.
Dad hats are typically made of soft materials such as cotton and canvas with buckram lining the brim. But you can also get the caps with other materials such as wool, linen, and corduroy. Corduroy is particularly trendy as it makes the caps look more stylish.
Structured dad hats are also fairly common. These typically use buckram material in the crown.
History of dad hats
Dad hats trace their origin back to the late 1970s when baseball hats emerged in the fashion industry. They were quickly adopted into the showbiz industry by hip-hop and rap artists. As you can expect, the hats caught on pretty fast among college and high school students. The adult population eventually jumped on the trend.
These hats went on to build their own legacy, so they evolved from baseball hats into dad hats.
But, how does a cap popularized by youthful celebrities and students end up being called a dad hat? The story is that they were called dad hats because they seemed to be too big for young people. And that may have been true back then, but it’s no longer the case thanks to the introduction of adjustable closures.
Towards the end of the 90s, these hats were all over TV. And they weren’t used by rappers alone. Male and female actors, athletes, and other celebrities were part of the trend. Then in the early 2000s, the hats disappeared.
Fast forward to 2016, and the caps made a major comeback courtesy of stars like Rihanna, the Kardashians, Katty Perry, etc. They’ve been around ever since, and they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Key design features of dad hats
Here are some of the critical design features of traditional dad hats:
Dad hats are designed with comfort in mind. The unstructured crown ensures the cap blends perfectly with the shape of your head. The use of soft materials like canvas and cotton adds to the overall coziness of the caps.
Dad caps come with a pre-curved brim stiffened with cardboard or some wood. The lightly curved brim gives the hat a subtle yet stylish design. It looks incredible on virtually anyone.
In contrast, snapback hats have a bolder “on-your-face” brim that some people may find a bit too much.
Dad caps come in a one-size-fits-all design, with a metal or velcro closure. The adjustable closure makes finding the right fit for your head an effortless experience.
You can also adjust the closure based on your hairstyle and needs. For example, if you are taking a casual walk by the beach, loosen the closure for extra comfort. If you are out for a jog, tighten it to ensure the cap stays in place.
Dad hats have a very minimalist design thanks to the pre-curved brim and faded appearance. And although they do have some space for a logo, it isn’t as big as it is on snapback and trucker hats.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a stylish yet subtle appearance, this hat in a simple color like navy, black, or charcoal grey is the way to go.
Dad hats are great for casual wear. They go well with jeans, khakis, sweatpants, shorts, t-shirts, and hoodies.
They are ideal for hiking, fishing, camping, sports, and any other outdoor activity.
Why get a custom dad hat
The only thing cooler than a dad hat is a custom dad hat. With a custom design, you get something unique and sentimental. Therefore, a custom dad hat is a great purchase and an even better gift for a loved one.
Besides the cool looks, dad hats are also very practical. Remember, they come from baseball caps, which proved to be very effective at protecting players from the sun. Dad hats serve a very similar purpose.
And not just for shielding your eyes against the sun, but they also protect you from distractions. It’s actually one of the many reasons why celebrities love them – the hats shield their eyes from all the paparazzi cameras.
Customizing a dad hat extends its practicality even further. You get to choose the material you want, the logo or branding of the brim, the type of closure, and so on. You can make the ideal hat that works for you. That also means you can customize and make it sentimental if you’re hoping to deliver it as a Father’s Day hat gift.
Lastly, custom dad hats present the perfect opportunity to build brand awareness. Capitalize on the popularity of these hats to produce them in bulk with your company logo or badge on the brim.
It’s a smart advertising tactic, plus it’s pretty affordable. That’s particularly true when bought in bulk since you’ll typically get free shipping and all sorts of discounts.
Best Dad Hats
Below are some of the best dad hats that you can as inspiration for your next custom cap project:
Quiet Golf Country Club Dad Hat
The Quiet Golf Country Club Dad Hat is a mixture of elegance and sophistication. It’s as cool as any dad hat can get. Plus, it also rocks a bold logo on the brim.
This particular hat is made of cotton. It features a curved brim and an adjustable strap closure.
The design is a worthy consideration for both personal and business use. So you can create a similar hat with your company name and logo at the front.
Billy Reid Make Cornbread Cap
The Make Cornbread Cap has a very simple design. The logo is decently sized, so you can get your brand badge on there without making the entire hat too dramatic. And since it is plain all around, the badge will naturally draw eyes. That’s exactly what you want if the goal is to build brand awareness.
The hat is made of 100% cotton.
Champion Black & White Tie-Dye Dad Hat
Consider this hat if you are looking for something more stylish and dramatic. The logo is pretty simple, but the pattern will surely turn heads.
Dad hats are an excellent accessory for outdoor activities. They are functional, comfortable, and very cool. The cherry on top is you can personalize the caps with a custom design.
If you need any help crafting your custom dad hat, get in touch with Acme Hat Co. Our professionals are eager to help.