The flat cap — also known as an ivy cap, driving cap, or golf cap — falls somewhere in between the casualness of a baseball cap and the formality of a fedora. Once a sign of the working-class man during the 19th century, the flat cap has evolved into a piece of headgear that’s popular with the Hollywood elite, trendsetters, and well-dressed men.
Men can choose flat caps in a variety of styles, patterns, and fabrics to suit their lifestyle. Remember to choose the fabric according to season—lighter fabrics for warmer weather and heavier fabrics for cooler temperatures. Read on to discover which occasions are best to wear flat caps for men.
Wear To WorkIf you work in a smart-casual type of environment, the addition of a flat cap will easily elevate your style without making you seem overdressed. If it’s cooler weather, choose men’s winter hats made of wool or felt. Think black chinos, gray wool blazer, and a coordinating wool cap. In warmer months, when lighter-weight clothing is called for, men’s summer hats—such as a flat linen cap—would be perfect.
When eating lunch at the pub with co-workers or shopping for that quick 30 minute lunch, don a flat cap (also referred to as a “driving cap” because chauffeurs favored its low crown). It’s the perfect choice to make a classy yet casual statement when paired with cargo pants, chinos, or jeans. Men’s flat caps made of corduroy, cotton, polyester, or linen are good picks for a busy day in the city. There are many professions where a flat cap is suitable. Bankers, taxi drivers, bartenders, and office administrators are just a handful.
Sporting ActivitiesWhether you’re driving a ball down the fairway or sitting on the sidelines, a flat cap made of a lightweight fabric is an ideal accessory for a golf game hence the moniker “golf cap.” Don’t stop with golf, however. Wear a rough tweed cap to a football or basketball game to punch-up your outfit, or a smooth linen one to a baseball outing. Choose jeans, chinos, cargo shorts, polos, button-downs, sports jackets, and the like for pairing purposes.
Although men often wear the flat cap under casual circumstances, you can pair it with a suit for more formal occasions such as weddings, graduations, or other celebrations. (Just remember to remove it during the actual ceremonies.)
A tartan-patterned suit (fabric with crisscross vertical and horizontal lines of different widths and colors) or a woolen suit coupled with a coordinating V-neck sweater are perfect picks to top off with a flat cap.
Making the Leap
From parties to pubs, workdays to ball games, men’s flat caps can be worn for a variety of occasions. Your choice to sport one of these fashionable caps is limited only by season and your willingness to take the leap and elevate your style to a new, fresh look with a classic appeal. If you’re feeling adventurous, add several flat caps in different styles and fabrics to your wardrobe, so you’ll have many options for different occasions.