A classic of English history, the Driving cap remains a warm and comfortable choice for men across the globe today.
Depending on where you are it might be known as a flat cap, Scally cap, Bunnet, Dai cap, Paddy cap, or even as a Cheese-cutter. Stateside of the Atlantic ocean, however, it is known as a driving cap – a much more sensible name if you ask us.
Whatever you choose to call them, driving caps are the perfect accessory for chilly winter days to keep you warm and well-dressed. Compared to many hat choices, a flat cap is softer and less intrusive to incorporate into your look throughout autumn, winter, and spring. Not just reserved for driving, the flat cap is perfectly suited for the golf course or a walk through the woods to keep your head warm and dry. They go really well with muted and dark colors, so try pairing them with some brown chukka boots and a navy hunting jacket for a timeless and well-kept aesthetic. If you’re into driving vintage cars, then wear a flat cap with some suitable leather driving gloves for a really classy appearance.
Flat caps are unstructured, soft, rounded caps with short brims. Flat caps essentially come in two different construction types, one that is made with a single piece of fabric on the top of the hat, and another (commonly referred to as a newsboy cap) that consists of eight triangular panels that meet together at the top underneath a cloth button, similar to a baseball cap in terms of concept.
A ton of celebrities tend to rock this haircut and style. You can see Irish caps on Brad Pitt, David Beckham, and a ton of young men these days. The look itself is very Ireland like, but when styled with the right clothes you will get that upper class feel to it. Always go for a rounder cap and browse through the latest updates and the right catalog to find your inspiration.
1. Material Matters
While driver caps come in lots of different fabrics, patterns and colors, you need to be careful when considering your choice of hat. For one, you need to make sure it doesn’t clash with the rest of your outfit. This is especially important if you’re going for a traditional tweed, houndstooth or herringbone. The last thing you want is to have two slightly similar fabrics that end up with your hat throwing your whole outfit off. In this case, we recommend pairing any pattern with a solid block color in the rest of your look in order to avoid this.
2. Keep It In Context
What we mean when we say keep it in context is save your flat cap occasions to those that they were meant for. Save them for the outdoors in the colder months, and don’t try to squeeze it into a summer outfit because it simply won’t suit. Even though there has been a rise in flat cap hats being made from lightweight cottons and linens, we would recommend staying clear of these and saving them for the cold weather, rather than donning one with a T-Shirt and shorts. There are plenty of other hats you can wear in the heat from baseball caps to beach hats, so opt for one of these instead.
3. Use Your Head
Yes, use your head. Figuratively and literally.
The softness of flat caps is something you can use to your advantage to suit your face and head no matter what shape it is. Play around with the brim a little, but not too much, in order to find out what works best for you. While most flat cap hats come with quite a straight brim, you’re well within your right to give it a bit of a curve. Not as much as you’d expect to find on a baseball cap, but a little bit can go a long way in helping your cap to fit more comfortably on your head and help to shape your face as well.
PS: Those who wish to pull off that late 1800s England look should go for a polyester, cotton, or merino wool cap. Ready to shop?