An In-Depth Look Into Dad Caps

Posted on December 06 2020

Dad caps or dad hats are a comfortable, laid-back style of headwear. Though frequently compared to snapbacks, the contrasting differences between the two are hard to miss – if you know what to look for.

Among the differences between these two hats are the following:

  • The design
  • Wearability
  • The importance of the sticker
  • The rear closure
  • The panel
  • The brim
  • The angle of brim versus the cap’s front panel

Another relatively significant difference is who wears them. No, dads are not the only ones allowed to wear dad caps. The name, however, may have originated because these are the hats that your dad probably wore.

Let's make an up close and personal examination of today's dad hats.

An In-Depth Look Into Dad Caps

The History of the Dad Hat

The truth behind the legend of the dad hat is murky at best.

While a fancy-schmancy marketing ploy is the reasoning behind the term "dad hat", according to some sources, others have a friendlier outlook on the origin of the term. Some say that the birth of the hat, during the 90s, originated with a flat brimmed baseball cap. Maybe dads were the only folks truly rockin’ the hat.

So where, in all of that, does the truth actually reside? Apparently, this dates back to another "dad fashion" known as the "Dad Sneaker". These monstrosities were clunky and white and, before they enjoyed any true popularity, were quickly ancient history. Tragically uncool, they were dubbed Dad Sneakers because dads (unfortunately) wore them.

If this sounds like a dig on dear old dad, sadly, it was.

Today, however, the dad hat enjoys quite an altogether opposite reputation. The comfortable, familiar, worn and torn appearance of the hat dear old dad wore has taken on a life of its very own! Now, you can thank dads all over the world for the inspiration of what is lovingly referred to as today’s dad hat or dad cap.

Dad Caps – What And Why?

How did the dad hat come into existence? First things first – what is involved in one of these caps? Typically, the dad cap is a pre-curved, six panel, unstructured hat. Made of a soft, washed cotton blend, it has an adjustable closure and comes in numerous prints and colors.

Remember when people were shredding their jeans (and maybe still do)? The same principle lies behind the origination of dad hats. They're made to look distressed – even when they’re brand-new. The look is laid-back, relaxed, and comfortable. “Cool kids”, back in the 90s, according to a New York Times writer, turned to the front seam of traditional baseball caps and sliced out the buckram. They then curved the brim after achieving their relaxed fit and voilà! The dad hat was born.

One of the first famously photographed dad hats, and possibly best worn, appeared on the toddler of Kanye West. The mini Kanye paired his dad hat with a fur coat – of course.

Though popularized way back in the 90s, the future of dad hats shows no sign of waning. Whether out for a day of fishing, at the beach, hunting, shopping, or relaxing in front of the TV, dad hats will be worn on the heads of both men and women for decades to come – maybe centuries!

The Best Place To Shop For Your Dad Cap

At Hat Heaven, we have more dad hats than you can imagine. Our KBEthos dad hats come in numerous colors, with or without embroidered pictures/words, with sports logos, and more.

Not looking for a dad hat? No problem. We also have trucker caps, snapbacks, and more. That's because we are the go-to, one-stop shop for all things baseball cap related.


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