United States Flat Caps: Popularity

Figure 1.--Here we see the neighborhood boys in an unidentified area all wearing flat caps. They were so popular that they almost look like a uniform cap. Note the different ways of wearing the flat cap. The snapshot is undated, but looks like the 1910s to us.

The flat cap was one of the most popular styles of caps for boys, although for a relatively limited period. Few headwear styles were as dominant in a given period as the flat cap. Flat caps were also worn in Europe, but were never as popular as in America. They seem to have been a cap that was popular with boys and acceptable to parents. These caps in Europe seem to have had a working-class association. This does not seem to have been the case in America. We see both working-class boys and middle-class boys wearing them. Boys wore flat caps for casual wear and when dressing up. Some more affluent boys might wear British-styled peaked caps, but this was a relatively small proportion of boys. Some suits even had matching flat caps. We see many snap shots taken during the period with all or most of the boys wearing flat caps. They seem especiallu popular in the 1910s and 20s, butwre also common in the 1900s and early 30s. The declining popularity e of the flat cap seems as much associated with the decline of the cap as the overall decline in boys wearing headwear. Nothing really replaced the flat cap. Essentially boys stopped wearing headwear except for cold-weather caps during the winter.


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Created: 11:09 PM 5/16/2009
Last updated: 11:10 PM 5/16/2009