Given its simplicity and usefulness, it is small wonder that the flat cap has almost global appeal. But then, whilst Peaky Blinders might have energized fascination with it and its own six or eight-paneled cousin that the baker boy’ design, the apartment cap has existed since the 14th century.
An Act of Parliament in the UK at 1571 made it mandatory to put on a woolen cloth cap on Sundays and public holidays — more as a boost to sheep farming compared to weekend style. But today, it’s all about aesthetics and exactly what it could add to your look.
There are plenty of pitfalls, of course, however, these can be easily prevented if you know what you are doing. The entire’faux-gentleman’ thing that embraced the flat cap (as well as the beard and exaggerated mustache) has come and gone, but it’s possible to wear a single and seem both modern and cool.
What’s The Flat Cap?
There is, in actuality, a genius inherent to the cheap and durable design: less formal than more structured hats — and so less off-putting for men who can’t, as it were, get their minds around hats — its design remains a clever one.
Cut deeper at the back, it has more purchase than it seems like it will — useful particularly when lifting eyes into the sky while shooting, such as; the brim is brief but still sufficient to shade eyes; and the entire thing is foldable, easily stowed inside a pocket.
The Classic Goatee
These are all notions nicked by spin-offs such as the driving cover, cycling cap as well as the baseball cap. Perhaps the most attractive thing about the flat cap at this time though is the fact that it’s not a baseball cap. Ever understated, you’d never get a set cap sporting some brash logo.
The Way to Wear A Flat Cap
Like its American equivalent, the baseball cap, the horizontal cap has an everyman quality to it, as fitting atop a pigeon-fancying Yorkshireman since it’s an estate-touring toff, whether working the property or possessing it. It found a place in skinhead culture, but also hip-hop and continues to be favored by everyone from Del Boy into Samuel L. Jackson.
Likewise, while it is not a hat for all seasons — lace versions may work for summertime, but the flat cap is fundamentally a cold-weather design — it’s a hat for virtually all occasions. Unlike the baseball cap, the flat cap is as at home with tailoring as with jeans and T-shirt, flattering most faces into the deal.
Opting for you in a neutral color such as black or navy gray will provide up the maximum flexibility. Introduce one as part of a monochrome appearance composed of black tailored pants, a grey T-shirt plus a navy bomber coat, and it’ll serve you well in a casual office environment in addition to the weekend.
Unarguably one of the UK’s most prestigious hatters — its namesake’s story in hat-making could be traced back to the 1750s, and the company is thought to have devised the bowler hat — that is the place to go should you need a hot weather flat cap. They have fashioned in cashmere and Escorial wool, but in addition linen.
Yes, there is really an official’Peaky Blinders’ flat cap, not because the TV show’s creator, Steven Knight, establish a company to make them along with other clothes befitting a Brummie hoodlum at the turn of the last century. The English-made tweed fashion names? Arthur, Thomas, and Shelby, of course.
Full Boxed Beard
One of those all-time great American hatmakers, it was Bailey — once better called Bailey of Hollywood — which produced hats for all the big stars of the golden era of theatre, Gary Cooper and Cary Grant amongst them. Grant’s best hat moment? Bailey’s also makes them into showerproof cotton.
Better known for its own bucket hats — LL Cool J might spring to mind — Kangol is the authoritative headwear of US hip-hop, despite being a British manufacturer. It embraced its marsupial emblem only in 1983 to cope with American’s consistently and puzzlingly requesting’ the Kangaroo hat’. Its cloche-like 504 flat cap is a classic.
Gamble & Gunn
According to Portsea Island near Portsmouth, where a naval cap might be more in order, hatmaker Gamble & Gunn have built a deserved reputation for its bolder selection of substances where it makes its own caps, ochre Donegal tweed, suede and lux merino wool among them.
Launched in Scotland in 1748 by one Miller Christy — his firm would later win one of the initial contracts to supply hats to the newly formed Metropolitan Police, while Queen Victoria’s consort Albert favored its best hats — Christys’ offers flat caps in trad tweed but also hardwearing melton along with moleskin.
It was a Borsalino that Warren Beatty wore in Bonnie and Clyde, Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca and Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones — a tall crowned felt fedora that in time would take the title of its manufacturer. But who’s to say the Italian hatter can not turn its hand to caps? Its version, in actuality, has an advanced multi-paneled back section for a closer match.