The flat cap, ivy cap, driver cap, all are names for the same type of head wear that’s become an increasingly popular alternative to the baseball cap in the last several years. The history of these types of caps can be traced back to England as far back as the 1400’s. Working class British and Irishmen wore rough, wool flat caps, while caps made of finer materials such as silk and cashmere were worn by upper-crust golfers and country-clubbers.
The hats made their debut in the Americas with these same British and Irish immigrants who came through Ellis Island. Soon, the flat cap took on two new identies, becoming known as the driving cap, synonymous with taxi-cab drivers in New York and New England, and the ivy cap, due to it’s relation with the Ivy League schools of New England.
Lately, the flat cap resurgence has become sort of a mid-point between ultra-casual baseball caps, and dressier fedora style hats. It’s a piece of headwear that shows you’re putting thought in to what you wear, but you’re not trying to make as bold a statement as a fedora. Here are a few looks that show the versatility of the flat cap in the 21st century.
A quintessential flat cap look, the tweed suit, wool cap pairing is an homage to the leather-elbow-patched Ivy professor while the casual-chinos give the look a proper edge.
Our best bet: Stetson Gatsby Wool Bandera Ivy Cap
Along the same lines as the previous cap, this look goes a step further with wool dress slacks, for the full Ivy professor in December loo.
Our best bet: Stetson Welbach Wool Ivy Cap
Fall weather usually means it’s time to start layering again. Warm days start giving way to brisk nights come September and October so it’s always good to have a sweater to pull over when the time is right. For this casual but put together look, a wool sweater over a flannel shirt pairs nicely with a gray wool flat cap, and the earth tones are perfect for a fall evening.
Our best bet: Henschel 6/4 Duckbill Herringbone Ivy Cap