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Scally Cap History of Style and Culture

The Boston Scally cap is a short brim flat cap typically with a unique duckbill shape that gives it a unique look. It’s a hat that has history however, and it has come to represent an entire culture of hard-nosed, no-nonsense living in a blue collar world.

Scally cap in grey herringbone pattern
The scally cap has a history, and it looks great with a sweater, collared shirt and jacket.

Early in the 1900s the scally cap was worn by the general public who worked in factories or performed the manual labor that made society run.  Now, you may have made the connection between the word “Scally” and the derogatory slang scallywag, used to refer to pirates and other criminal elements. While there may be a relationship, there is no direct connection. The term scally is used to describe the lower classes of English and Irish culture as far back as the 16th century. But a scally was a simple laborer or tradesmen, a farmer, or any other worker who would now be referred to as blue collar.


However, the hats became so popular that aristocrats and other upper classmen wore them. As the classes migrated over to America, even those who went on to higher learning, the caps were still worn, perhaps to represent their roots, and a grounding in common values. Today, these caps look great and give your look a little bit of character with a historical flavor. You can buy one here >>.

Wear a scally cap in cooler weather with a jacket, or other nice clothing to complete your look.
Wear a scally cap in cooler weather with a jacket, or other nice clothing to complete your look.

Those upper classmen didn’t want to abandon the values and sensibilities that made a blue collar life attractive. There’s something appealing about keeping yourself grounded in good morals, and in having a backbone fortified like a no-nonsense trade.

Today these scally caps are still worn with pride. They are worn as a representation of a culture that still works hard, and earns their keep everyday. The scally cap also looks great. You can wear it like a ball cap, with casual clothes like a jeans and t-shirt, or with more formal dress, even a suit.

Finding the right cap is just a matter of browsing your options and pairing the variety of styles with your taste. Take the plaid scally cap for instance. It’s perfect for a weekend hat in cooler weather. It goes perfectly with a collared shirt and jacket. It can also complement a designer jeans and t-shirt ensemble.  The leather scally cap takes your best style up a notch. Wear this one with your leather jacket or nicer clothes. Ideal for more important dinner dates, or a night on the town, a trip to the casino, nightclub or big game.

Take a look at these flat caps and scally caps and find something that complements your style today.

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