Styles of men’s hats have changed through the centuries. The plumed hats and tricorns of yesteryear have been replaced by baseball caps, cowboy hats, and fedoras. Berets and newsboy caps are some other popular types of contemporary men’s hats.
The forerunner of the baseball cap appeared in the 1860s as part of a baseball team’s uniform. These earlier men’s hats were limp, while the modern version has a stiff brim in the front that extends several inches to keep the sun out of the wearer’s eyes. This brim is attached to a round cap that often has either elastic or an adjustment band in the back so that the hat can be fitted to any size head. Contemporary baseball caps commonly feature a company name or logo and are popular promotional items for corporate advertising and political campaigns.
Cowboy hats have a wide brim all the way around to keep the sun off the face and neck. They have a high, round crown and are commonly made of felt, although leather and straw versions are available. These hats come in different sizes, and there is usually a band inside the crown to help provide a snug fit. Cowboy hats are popular headgear in the western United States and among people who work with livestock and horses. They are also considered fashionable by those who enjoy the country and western look.
Fedoras appeared at the end of the 19th century. These men’s hats have a brim that is generally at least 2 inches (5 centimeters) wide and encircles a creased top that is often pinched in the front. Although it has remained in style since it first appeared, the fedora experienced a resurgence toward the end of the 20th century when the popular Indiana Jones series of films featured a heroic character who constantly sported a fedora. These men's hats can be found in many colors, but neutrals like brown, gray, and black are the most common.
The beret is a round hat without a brim. It has commonly been used as a part of a military uniform in various countries. Berets are made of various materials, with felt, wool, and knits the most common. Berets are often worn by those who want to sport an artistic, Bohemian style.
Another popular fashion in men’s hats is the newsboy cap. Also known as a fisherman’s cap, the newsboy resembles a beret, but has a short, stiff brim in the front. This casual style is still associated with newsboys, and has become popular with professional golfers.