Hat or Cap – Choose One by Knowing the Difference

Since fashion evolves continuously and new styles keep emerging, hat makers tweak the designs while maintaining the basic style elements of hats. People are familiar with various types of hats like bowler, fedora, top, trilby, Panama, safari, but it is not easy to identify hats by names only as manufacturers use names that are often a mix of two different styles. Moreover, opinions vary about styles because everyone might not view the hat styles in the same way. Despite the broad hat styles that are popular, there are so many specific nuances within a particular style that the list of hat styles can be almost endless. 

Choosing a style can be difficult – know what to do 

Selecting hats can be quite tricky if you do not get familiar with the hat terms. It is essential to know the various styles and shapes in the market to get a clear idea about what to expect from the hat. The different parts of a hat and the hat material contribute to its functionality of providing shade and comfort while defining the wearer’s experience. Knowing the details about different types of hats will make it easy to distinguish between similar hats. 

Confusing hat bands with sweatbands can be a disastrous fashion mistake, which nobody would like to make. Deciding whether a hat or a cap would be better for you can also be a bit confusing unless you are aware of how these headgears differ from one another in their looks and functionality. In addition, when selecting hats, you need to consider the season because some hats, especially some types of caps like the beanies are ideal for winter only. 

Hats are more for fashion than function

Nowadays, hats have become an integral element of style and fashion. However, conventionally hats have had cultural influences and were an essential part of formal dressing during various periods of civilization. During the early days, hats were primarily protective headgears but later transformed into stylish fashion accessories. Today, people wear hats to make a bold fashion statement and create their signature style. With time, hats have erased the gender divide, and most hats are suitable for both men and women. Even when men and women wear the same type of hats, the decorative elements for women’s hats will be distinctly different from those of men’s hats. 

So, now let us dive deeper to understand how hats differ from caps.

Anatomy of a hat

Hats typically have a shapely crown and an encircling brim. The crown is central to the hat covering the head, and the brim surrounds the entire hat structure to provide shade. The crown and brim work in tandem to add style and function to the hats. Altering the shape and size of the crown and brim helps to create different styles of varied level of protection. The specific shapes of the hat parts relate to some respective hat styles. The crown of Fedora hats has a typical dent and is pinched at the front with prominent creases that run on both sides of the crown. In addition, Fedoras have flat brims that create its special identity. 

Fedora, trilby, Panama, floppy, top, cowboy hats, or any similar hats have the same structure of the crown and brim. Changing the crown and brim shape and size helps to create different styles. For example, cowboy hats have brims folded on the sides that create a unique style. Again, trilby have narrow brims and shorter edges slightly curled upwards. The brims of Panama hats are wider than other hats so that they can provide maximum sun protection. Knowing the hat structure and the anatomy should help one understand how the hat sits on your head and the kind of looks to expect from the hat.

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The parts of a cap

Caps belong to the category of hats, but the structure is entirely different from the traditional hats described above. Although caps are stylish headgears, the functionality overrules the style because providing shade is the primary purpose of caps. Unlike hats, caps have structured or unstructured crowns that sit flatly on the skull with a visor that projects from the front and provides shade to protect the eyes from the direct sun rays. The cap’s crown consists of several panels of cloth or some similar soft fabric stitched together like six panels of a baseball cap. 

Caps have a closure made from a thin strip of cloth or plastic placed at the back of the crown that helps adjust the cap for the right fit by loosening or tightening the strap. Caps with vents facilitate proper air circulation and keep the head cool during summer, and they can provide warmth in winter when made from wool or cashmere. 

Some hats like fedoras, trilby, and homburg go well with formal outfits, while some others like the cowboy hats, Panama hats, and floppy hats are for creating the casual looks. On the other hand, you can never wear most of the cap styles for formal occasions as these only suit casual attires.

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