Hat Lore

The Cap That Caps Them All

Softball team,
Ottawa, ca. 1985
Photograph by Harry Foster
CMC K95-2218
This cheap, simple, visored, cloth hat has wandered from the baseball diamond to perch on more heads than probably any other kind of headwear today. The proletarian baseball cap is antiélitist, deliberately shunning high fashion and respectability. What the baseball cap communicates depends on who is wearing it. The cap can proclaim the wearer's affiliation with a particular baseball team. It can be an emblem of solidarity among blue-collar workers. It can be a memento of a special place or event. It can show what kind of beer you drink or what kind of music you like. Worn with designer jeans, it can become trendy weekend wear. When worn back to front by young people, it can be a means of peer identity or a badge of defiance.

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