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The baseball cap is a fashion accessory that, initially, you might overlook based on its name.
For a bit of history: The garment came to be in the 1800s when the sport was invented; though, the earliest baseball players did not wear standardized caps. Instead, they wore anything with a brim that shielded their faces from the sun (the earliest caps were made from straw, then merino wool), which would become the basis for the cap we know today. According to Vogue, the modern baseball cap began to take shape around the turn of the century, and over the years, people adopted it for their respective uses. Agriculture companies realized its potential for advertising (giving way to a new and more breathable version, called the trucker hat), while figures like Tom Selleck and Princess Diana, on television and IRL, helped to usher the cap’s transition into fashion.
Today, stylish people consider the baseball cap an off-duty essential. It’s an easy solution when you can’t be bothered to do your hair, and it can be an integral piece to create an effortlessly cool look when paired with anything from a knitted sweater to a blazer or even a bomber jacket.
“Usually, a baseball cap is a bit of an afterthought when I'm pulling together an outfit,” fashion editor Aemilia Madden tells Byrdie. When she’s headed to the farmer's market or to run errands about town, her look usually includes a pair of relaxed jeans, a casual topper such as a sweatshirt, and a pair of Birkenstocks, Blundstones, or sneakers. To keep her face protected from the sun, first and foremost, and then to make this casual look feel “a bit more elevated,” she adds a hat and sunglasses into the mix.
Ahead, discover Byrdie’s list of the best baseball caps offered right now, along with key insights from Madden and celebrity stylist Mickey Freeman.
Best Overall: Everlane The Baseball Cap
You can't go wrong with Everlane. For being so versatile, these unisex caps are reasonably priced at $40. They're made from organic cotton which is not only durable but adds that sustainability benefit, as well. The cap is offered in four neutral colors as well as a gingham print that would be perfect for spring/summer.
Material: 100% organic cotton | Colors: Black, Ecru, Pastel Yellow, Adobe Brown, Lavender Gingham
Best Budget: Kangora Cotton Adjustable Baseball Cap
This unisex baseball cap has garnered the praise of nearly 3,000 reviewers for its good quality and fit. Like the one above, this cap is simple in design but comes in more than 25 colors. For less than $10, it seems you can’t go wrong with it.
Material: 100% cotton | Colors: Aqua, beige, black, blue, brown, charcoal, fuchsia, +more
Best Splurge: Prada Re-Nylon Baseball Cap
For something more luxe, try this cap by Prada, which encompasses everything we know and love about the brand. It’s made from regenerated (i.e., recycled) nylon and decorated with the brand’s distinct enamel triangle logo. Though, if the nylon material seems a bit too plain for your taste, you could perhaps opt for the denim version instead.
Material: Regenerated nylon yarn, cotton lining | Colors: Black, White
Best Color Range: Aritzia Tna Dad Cap
Aritzia has mastered the art of creating basic, wear-with-everything pieces; this cotton hat is no exception. Like a classic cap, it features embroidered eyelets and an adjustable back strap. At such a reasonable price point, you could perhaps snag multiple in several colors to add to your edit.
Material: 100% cotton | Colors: Black, Dark Iris, Scarab, Nature Green +more
Most Iconic: 47 Brand New York Clean Up Cap
New York lovers, take a page from the off-duty style handbook of Gigi Hadidi and Kaia Gerber by shopping this iconic cap from ‘47 Brand. It’s made of cotton twill, with a ‘NY’ logo embroidered onto the center. Use it to finish off your best denim or bomber jacket looks.
Material: 100% cotton | Colors: Khaki, Navy, White, Moss, Maroon, Red +more
Best Minimalist: Totême Khaki Canvas Baseball Cap
Totême understands the impact of luxe minimalism. While it is perhaps a splurge, this khaki-colored hat in cotton canvas will tie together, even polish, virtually any off-duty look.
Material: Canvas | Colors: Camel
Best Eco-Friendly: Pangaia Organic Cotton Baseball Cap
Shop sustainably with this all-cotton cap by Pangaia. The brand uses cotton for its eco-friendly qualities, as plant fibers like the material are natural, renewable, and inherently biodegradable. Plus, 95 percent of the water used to grow the cotton is billed to be rain-fed, protecting other water resources from overuse.
Material: 100% organic cotton canvas | Colors: Orchid Purple, Celestial Blue, Saffron Yellow, Off-White
Best for Winter: Totême Wool & Cashmere Baseball Cap
Six-panel baseball caps can be something of a sporty statement reserved for warmer weather (they’re generally made from cotton or polyester). So, luxury brand Totême set out to expand its reach. This cap is made with wool and cashmere, so you need not abandon this piece in colder months.
Material: 90% wool, 10% cashmere | Colors: Black, Cream
Best Leather: LITA By Ciara Leather Baseball Cap
LITA By Ciara's leather baseball cap is perhaps the sleekest way to cover up a bad hair day. The exterior is made from supple lambskin, and it features subtle details like logo stamp lettering on the backstrap (which is adjustable). LITA By Ciara is a brand under The House of LR&C (short for love, respect, and care), which was founded by Ciara and Russel Wilson.
Material: 50% polyurethane, 48% polyester, 2% elastane; 100% cotton lining | Colors: Black, Tan, Powder Purple, Bright Green +more
Best Collegiate-Style: Balenciaga Cities Embroidered Baseball Cap
Rep the City of Light, the Big Apple, and more in this cap from Balenciaga. It’s made from cotton-twill and embroidered with a collegiate-style typeface. Plus, the visor is slightly distressed for a worn-in look. “It's understated but instantly dresses up whatever you might wear it with,” Madden says.
Material: 100% cotton; polyester embroidery | Colors: White, Pink, Black, Green, Blue +more
Best Faux Shearling: H&M Faux Shearling Cap
Make a strong sartorial statement with a faux shearling style, like this one from H&M. While it’s not necessarily designed to provide warmth (It’s made from polyester.), reviewers say they love it for its quality and comfort. And at $18, it’s a fairly affordable find.
Material: 100% polyester | Colors: Light Purple, Black
Best Sporty: Athleta Cold Weather Reflective Baseball Cap
This cap from Athleta is built for training in cold weather climates. It’s composed of a lightweight shell and fleece-lined interior; plus, its print has a reflective quality for added visibility. Reviewers call it an essential and generally praise its strategic design.
Material: Polyester | Colors: Black Camo Lux
Best Vintage-Inspired: Tombolo Claws N’ Roses 7-Panel Souvenir Cap
Tombolo’s ‘Claw N’ Roses’ cap draws on classic souvenir styles for its look. It’s made with seven panels and features a snapback closure, brass eyelets, and a hand-embroidered bullion patch. It also isn’t shy of personal touches; on the inside of the cap, there’s a lost and found label and a timestamp with the year of manufacture.
Material: 100% organic cotton canvas | Colors: Tan/Navy, White/Red, Black/Navy
Best Logo: Museum of Peace & Quiet Wordmark Logo Cotton-Twill Baseball Cap
Create a sense of zen with this wordmark unisex cap from Museum of Peace & Quiet, a brand that promotes respite from the bustle of everyday life with its namesake phrase. Match it with one of the brand’s matching wordmark garments, like a thermal T-shirt or military liner jacket.
Material: 100% cotton | Colors: Khaki, Black, Green
Best Patchwork: Rowing Blazers Patchwork Tweed Dad Hat
A favorite of Byrdie's Associate Commerce Editor Erika Reals, this maximalist hat adds some interest to a casual look, thanks to its unique approach to the patchwork tweed design. Beyond that, it’s made from wool, so you’d best reserve this piece for those chillier months.
Material: 100% wool | Colors: Multi
What to Look for in a Baseball Cap
Hat size is based on the circumference of the head, though many brands don’t provide specific measurements to help you gauge fit. This is because they use a one-size construct with a flexible back strap; they simply disclose that one size will fit most. Read reviews on how a given hat size, as some will cite the effectiveness of the adjustable back strap or how accurate sizing is.
“I prefer cotton caps with a bill that isn't too long or flat,” says Madden. “If I'm going for a hike, I will sometimes opt for something made out of a sweat-wicking material that's a bit sportier than my usual baseball cap but still has a cool vibe.”
Freeman agrees: “Cotton is always the best material when it comes to baseball caps.” Though, he concedes that leather, tweed, boucle, silk satin, nylon, polyamide (or faux leather), and terry can also make for good options, especially if you’re looking to take a more unconventional approach to sport the accessory. You just have to try on various versions to assess which one looks and feels the best.
Why wear a baseball cap over another brimmed hat?
In recent years, designers have taken a quirky approach to baseball cap designs. For Spring 2022, Coach matched outerwear with baseball caps, while Courrèges worked them into a monochromatic ensemble. Still, the topper pairs well with just about anything, from tailored leather trousers to body-hugging minidresses, so there are plenty of ways to match it to your style. “When I think of the look that most inspires me, it's Celine's Spring 2021 runway, when the brand embraced the street style aesthetic of pairing a casual cap with basics like jeans and a leather jacket,” Madden says.
Beyond that, Freeman argues, there is an allure to the baseball cap when one wears it with a certain amount of attitude. “Pulled down just above the brow line, baseball caps are a great way to cast a shadow over the eyes that will instantly add an appealing edge and mystique to an overall look.”
What are some simple outfit formulas for wearing a baseball cap?
“A simple yet fashion-forward way to style a baseball cap would be to wear it with a great-fitting spring trench, a T-shirt, wide-leg trousers, and low-top trainers,” says Freeman. “Also, using the urban flair of a baseball cap and T-shirt to offset a sharply tailored suit will easily do the trick.”
Why Trust Byrdie
Hayley Prokos is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor focused on fashion and lifestyle. She contributes regularly to Byrdie’s commerce section and has a passion for sourcing chic and practical pieces with long-term wearability. After hours of researching and chatting with our experts, she’s gathered enough insight to determine which baseball caps are worth buying this season.