A cap is a flat headgear, usually with a visor.
Caps have crowns that fit very close to the head.
They made their first appearance as early as 3,200 BC.
Caps typically have a visor, or no brim at all.
They are popular in casual and informal settings, and are seen in sports and fashion.
Caps are typically designed for warmth, and often incorporate a visor to block sunlight from the eyes.
They come in many shapes, sizes, and are of different brands.
A knit cap, originally of wool (though now often of synthetic fibers), is designed to provide warmth in cold weather. Dating from the 15th century, the earliest type of knitted wool cap was produced in the Welsh town of Monmouth.
Historically, a wool knit cap was an extremely common form of headgear for seamen, fishers, hunters and others spending their working day outdoors from the 18th century and forward, and is still commonly used for this purpose in the northern regions of North America, Europe, Asia, and other cold regions of the world.
Santa Claus is often shown with a knitted cap or a sewn cap following the typical Scandinavian-style knitted cap with a pom-pom, a trait he has inherited from the Germanic/Scandinavian tradition. The Scandinavian tomte is likewise usually depicted with a red knitted cap, such a cap is also used as a national symbol (sometimes negatively) in Norway.
A beret is a soft, round, flat-crowned cap, usually of woven, hand-knitted wool, crocheted cotton, wool felt, or acrylic fibre.
Mass production of berets began in 19th century France and Spain, and the beret remains associated with these countries. Berets are worn as part of the uniform of many military and police units worldwide, as well as by other organizations.
Archaeology and art history indicate that headgear similar to the modern beret has been worn since the Bronze Age across Northern Europe and as far south as ancient Crete and Italy, where it was worn by the Minoans, Etruscans and Romans. Such headgear has been popular among the nobility and artists across Europe throughout modern history.
A flat cap (sometimes scally cap) is a rounded cap with a small stiff brim in front, originating in the British Isles. The hat is known in Ireland simply as a cap, in Scotland as a bunnet, in Wales as a Dai cap, in New Zealand as a cheese-cutter, and in the United States as a golf cap. Cloths used to make the cap include wool, tweed (most common), and cotton. Less common materials may include leather, linen, or corduroy. The inside of the cap is commonly lined for comfort and warmth.
The style of a flat cap can be traced back to the 14th century in Northern England, when it was more likely to be called a “bonnet”. This term was replaced by “cap” before about 1700, except in Scotland, where it continues to be referred to as a bunnet in Scots.
In Peaky Blinders, a BBC television show about a former Birmingham-based gang, characters are seen wearing Baker Boy Caps, a similar style often confused for flat caps. It was thought, and adapted, that the gang had sewed-in razor blades on the peak of their flat caps for use as a weapon.
Baseball caps are one of the most common types of cap.
In 1860, the Brooklyn Excelsiors wore the ancestor of the modern rounded-top baseball cap, which featured a long peak and a button on top, and by 1900, the “Brooklyn style” cap became popular.
During the 1940s, latex rubber became the stiffening material inside the hat and the modern baseball cap was born. The peak, also known in certain areas as the “bill” or “brim”, was designed to protect a player’s eyes from the sun. Typically, the peak was much shorter in the earlier days of the baseball hat.
Also, the baseball cap has become more structured, versus the overall “floppy” cap of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The baseball cap was and still is an important means by which to identify a team. Often the logo, mascot, or team’s initial was placed on the cap. Usually, the cap was also fashioned in the official colors of a particular team.
The square academic cap, graduate cap, mortarboard (because of its similarity in appearance to the mortarboard used by brickmasons to hold mortar) or Oxford cap, is an item of academic dress consisting of a horizontal square board fixed upon a skull-cap, with a tassel attached to the centre. In the UK and the US, it is commonly referred to informally in conjunction with an academic gown as a “cap and gown”. It is also sometimes termed a square, trencher, or corner-cap. The adjective academical is also used.
The mortarboard is generally believed by scholars to have developed from the biretta, a similar-looking hat worn by Roman Catholic (and High Church Anglican) clergy. The biretta itself may have been a development of the Roman pileus quadratus, a type of skullcap with superposed square and tump (meaning small mound).
The “rastacap” or “tam” is a tall (depending on the user’s hair length), round, crocheted cap. It is most commonly associated with the pat as a way for Rastafari (Rastas) and others with dreadlocks to tuck their hair away, but may be worn for religious reasons by Rastafari. The cap is worn mostly by men. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as a “Tam”, a different kind of cap loosely ancestral to the rastacap. Other Caribbean terms for the rastacap include: rastafar (sometimes with a silent -r), toppa, toppah, and simply cap or hat.