Nantong Foremost Garments & Accessories Co., Ltd.
Nantong Foremost Garments & Accessories Co., Ltd.

Dad Hat vs. Snapback: What is the Difference?

Nantong Foremost Garments & Accessories Co., Ltd. Updated Jul. 02,2024

I. Introduction

From Rihanna to Obama — everyone loves dad hats. After all, dad caps are comfortable, convenient, and oh-so-versatile. A dad hat for men and women is generally a six-panel baseball cap with a curved brim, giving it a chic look and feel.

While snapback caps, as the name indicates, are a type of hat with a snapback strap at the rear. The adjustable closure allows you to fit it perfectly on any head size making the cap a one-size-fits-most headgear. This hat style has a rich history dating back to the 90s.

Streetwear, a style of casual clothing which became global in the 1990s. It grew from New York hip hop fashion and Californian surf culture to encompass elements of sportswear, punk, skateboarding, 1980s nostalgia, and Japanese street fashion. These two hats are deeply connected with this kind of style.

For today’s article, we would try to dissect the differences between dad hats and snapbacks to aid in informed choices, what are you waiting for, let’s dive in!!

II. Dad Hats: The Casual Classic

A dad hat is a low profile baseball cap that has an unstructured crown, slightly curved brim, and a strapback closure. These caps are usually made from cotton but can also be made from alternative materials like polyester or nylon. 

Dad hats were traditionally associated with middle aged dads, hence the name, but this amazing unisex style is a fantastic choice for dads and non-dads alike! A wonderful option for any outing, the style’s unique features combine to make it one of the cornerstones of headwear fashion.

With the advent of MTV in the 1980s, the baseball cap became associated with rap and hip hop groups, a legacy that continues to this day. Dad hats evolved from the traditional snapback hats worn by baseball players and have developed their own culture in recent years.

Why do people wear dad hats? Well, originally worn by baseball players to shield their eyes from the sun, dad hats quickly gained popularity as a fashion accessory in the 1970s. The curved brim and relaxed fit of dad hats made them a favorite amongst middle-aged men, college campuses, and American baseball teams.


III. Snapbacks: The Statement Piece

The snapback hat is just one of many types of baseball caps, but this one gets its name from the adjustable strap in the back that snaps together. The snapback gained popularity during the 90s thanks to hip hop artists like Tupac and Ice Cube.

Many people assume snapback hats emerged during the 1990s, but this flat-brimmed hat actually originated in the early days of baseball. Interestingly, the first baseball teams wore straw hats, not the caps we see as part of the baseball uniform today. In 1858, the Brooklyn Excelsiors sported caps featuring a rounded crown and a short, flat brim. It was referred to as the Brooklyn-style cap, and is thought to be the precursor of all modern day ball caps.

Snapbacks are available in a huge variety of colors, patterns, and designs. Opt for a simple olive green hat, or go all in with a wild design. Snapback hats are not just for men, there are plenty of ladies styles as well.


IV. Fit and Comfort

Fit: While dad hats are all about the fit, snapbacks are about the fad. Dad hats have flat and wide brims and softer front panels. On the other hand, snapback hats have round and pre-shaped brims with hard front panels. The front panel helps flaunt big, over-the-top designs.

Hat Closure: Hat closure is a significant player concerning hats and the way they fit. We all know that person who will only wear fitted hats because they like a snug, polished, athletic look. On the flip side, some prefer a cap with a snap closure for ultimate comfort and adjustability. Both dad hats and snapbacks have a djustable closures in the back. Dad hats typically have a sliding closure to push back and forth that tightens or loosens the hat. Named after the way they close, snapbacks are easy to adjust with two plastic pieces that snap together.

Shape of Front Panel: The front panel of a snapback hat is stiffer and reinforced, allowing for more visible and pronounced designs. In contrast, the front panel of a dad hat is softer and more flexible.

V. Style and Versatility

Versatility: Dad hats have a vintage appeal, suitable for various looks and styles. Snapback hats have a more sporty origin, making them a statement piece in the world of sports and entertainment.

Style: Dad hats are perfect for daily wear, primarily if your look is classic and casual. Jeans and t-shirts are perfect for dad hats, while snapbacks complement an edgy or hip-hop look. Dad hats offer plenty of room to adjust and fit perfectly to your head, snapbacks are a fit a bit tighter under the brim. 

Hats are a reflection of personality. Though they might seem like nothing more than a fashion accessory, they're a window into the life of a stranger and, based on the brim style we choose, can even show the world our mood.

As for personal style expression, the type of hat you wear can influence how others perceive you. Different hat styles are associated with various personality traits and fashion preferences, so your choice of headwear may convey certain messages about your identity and interests.


VI. Popularity and Cultural Significance

Originally worn by baseball players to shield their eyes from the sun, dad hats quickly gained popularity as a fashion accessory in the 1970s. The curved brim and relaxed fit of dad hats made them a favorite amongst middle-aged men, college campuses, and American baseball teams.

While for snapbacks, famous sitcoms from the 90s and Supreme (clothing brand) in the early 2000s lead to more snapbacks in popular culture and more people wearing them. Now they are closely associated with skating, hip hop, sports, and many other aspects of popular culture.

Celebrities & hats: Celebrities, with their fame and success, often become role models for teenagers. These role models can provide a sense of direction, offering values, beliefs, and behaviors that teens may want to emulate. Role models play a crucial role in shaping the aspirations, interests, and choices of teenagers. 

Rihanna took dad hats for a spin, Kim Kardashian West has worn a string of them, and North West prefers a cute dad hat in a soft shade of baby pink. Did little Nori steal her much-lensed dad hat from Papa Kanye? The world may never know.

Evolution of dad hat trends: In the 1990s, dad hats gained popularity as rappers started wearing them. The caps for men and women went perfectly well with their outfits, such as baggy pants, dresses, and so on. The trend briefly faded away in the 2000s, but made an emphatic comeback in 2016.

VII. Durability and Maintenance

Material: Snapback is typically made from a lightweight, breathable material such as cotton, polyester, or a blend of the two. A common theme for dad hats is their cloth material. We feature several different choices for fabrics like 100% cotton, canvas, denim, and more. You can choose the ideal fabric whether you are stitching on a patch, embroidering, or screen printing.

Factors affecting longevity: fabric type, stitching, and hardware. There are two types: natural and synthetic. Natural fibers are obtained from plants and animals. For example, cotton comes from plants while silk comes from silkworms. Synthetic fibers, on the other hand, are made entirely synthetic matter created by man. Chain stitch – hand or machine stitch for seams or decoration. Cross-stitch – usually used for decoration, but may also be used for seams. Catch stitch (also 'flat' and 'blind' -catch stitch) – flat looped stitch used in hemming. Darning stitch – for repairing holes or worn areas in fabric or knitting.

Tips for cleaning: Most modern hats can be soaked in water and hand-cleaned. Add a dash of mild detergent to a bucket of water and stir. If you have tough stains on the hat, use a stain remover and a toothbrush to pre-treat.

What to consider when buying a hat? Well, your head shape and hair length are a few factors in choosing the ideal hat, but you'll also want to consider your personal style and the occasion for which you'll be wearing it.

VIII. Making the Choice

The snapback is made of a metal or plastic snap, adjusted for various head sizes. A band of fabric makes an adjustable strap closure and is adjusted through a hook-and-loop or buckle closure. On the other hand, dad hats have a strap closure or buckle at the back.

Anyway, you’re the one who is about to make choice, so personal preferences matters more than anything. Identifying your preferences is a big part of Choosing the kind of work you might want to do. Identifying your preferences is deciding what you are looking for in a work situation. 

Identifying your preferences can help you to think about what works for you, and what you prefer in any environment. You can try to do many things to experiment both styles. Ultimately, the choice between dad hats and snapbacks boils down to individual taste and comfort.

IX. Call to Action

Social medias are a lot, so don’t forget to share your favorite headwear styles and experiences with us if possible.

Also, you can try to explore related content on fashion and streetwear culture, "What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language." It’s never too late to build your own fashion preference and styling love.

That’s all for today, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment below and let us know!!

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