Front, back or sideways? Matching your kicks, t-shirt or tie?
As you may remember from previous stories, caps have been around for a while. Nonetheless, they are yet to be introduced into the top end of the fashion world, the dress codes and the arenas of class from which they have long been banished due to their simple beginnings and athletic associations. Still the caps have maintained, becoming ever more popular headgear selections with the modern man or woman, and throughout this continuous development it has seen itself used in many ways. But how did this development occur, and where is it headed?
Phase 1: The playful cap
As the cap made its way into the mainstream from its beginnings as mere sports apparel, the pioneers were - as is often the case - the youth. Children and young adults, constantly challenging the norms of adulthood, adopted the baseball cap as an accessory to their everyday outfits. This brought along all kinds of playful experimentation, with the caps being matched with basketball jerseys and kicks, getting cluttered with patches and pins representing the owner’s favorite bands, or worn with the brim pointing anywhere else but the front. No part of popular culture embodies this playful phase better than the iconic Fresh Prince of Bel Air where Will Smith was regularly seen experimenting with caps in all colors matched with anything from a neon t-shirt to a black jacket, and his brim pointing to the back, side or even towards the sky.
Phase 2: The established cap
As the generation that embraced the cap matured, so too did the styles with which the cap was worn. No longer the staple of adolescence, the cap was invited to partake in cleaner, smarter outfits. While the sideways brim remained with the youth, the straight-line cap expanded into new territory. It was still considered an informal accessory, but there was no doubt that a cap worn to the front, and occasionally even to the back, was becoming a suitable addition to an adult look. The styles could range between anything from a simple black t-shirt and jeans, as demonstrated by David Beckham to a much more dressed up outfit, such as Naomi Campbell’s, without the cap on top looking out of place. Today this type of combination is so established that few would raise an eyebrow when seeing it in virtually any environment, and the cap is now poised to make another leap.
Phase 3: The formal cap
That same generation which playfully matched their caps with their basketball jerseys and later brought the cap with them into adulthood is now all grown up. They are business professionals, doctors, lawyers, executives, and yes, fashion moguls. For this generation the cap is such a natural part of its outfit arsenal that it will rather reshape the environments it enters than drop the cap to fit in. Before long these cap-loving professionals will have fused caps with formal outfits to the point where caps matching ties become the new norm. Examples of this can already be seen in popular culture, for instance in the 2014 blockbuster Kingsman: The Secret Service, where Samuel L. Jackson’s character dons a full suit with the legendary Yankees cap matching his blue tie. The maturation of the cap is far from over, and we are excited to both follow and lead it as the boundaries are pushed even further.
Phase 4: The ______ cap
Though we have discussed several stages of development in cap fashion, the main point is really to show that the cap is not limited to any one group, style or outfit. Time and time again the cap breaks the boundaries of its previous confines. First it was only for sports, then only for kids. Not long after that it was for adults as well but only in an informal setting. The cap is not going anywhere, and you decide what its next bounds should be. As well as when they will be broken.