Unless you’re completely oblivious, it probably won’t come as much of a surprise to learn that the baseball cap was first brought into existence by a baseball team. That team was the Brooklyn Excelsiors and the year was 1860. But it was another half a century before the concept fully took off.
After 1900, the baseball cap became an important means by which to identify teams, as well as offering the practical benefit of keeping the sun out of players’ peepers while pitching and hitting their way around the diamond.
The explosion of television sports in the 20th century brought the baseball cap into people’s homes and onto their heads. Suddenly, the piqued interest in the peaked accessory saw it become a part of the everyday man’s casual uniform. The idea of only ever wearing one on the field was now – pun fully intended – old hat.
“[Today] it plays to the wider trend of sportswear infusing contemporary wardrobes,” says Nick Paulson-Ellis, founder of online sportswear store The Sports Edit. “Combine this with the influence of hip-hop figures like Jay-Z and his much beloved New York Yankees cap, celebrities wearing them incognito, and even Gucci adding upscale versions to recent catwalk shows, and it’s plain to see why the baseball cap will always have a place as a staple menswear accessory.”
However, this modern essential’s wide range of variations mean it’s a famously tricky item to style. So, when it comes to picking one out, stick to these tried and tested favourites to guarantee yourself a home run.