What is a Paperboy Hat?

J. Airman

A paperboy hat is a classic working person's cap style with a short, wide brim and baggy crown. Also called a newsboy, a gatsby, and a cabbie cap, the paperboy hat is commonly made of heavy woven natural fibers like cotton and wool. The short curved brim on a paperboy hat blocks the sun without covering the eyes. Extra material in the portion of the hat covering the head, called the crown, increases airflow and comfort for the wearer. Many paperboy crown designs consist of eight triangular sections joined in the center by a large fabric-covered button.

Golfers wear a variation of the paperboy hat called a "cheesecutter."
Golfers wear a variation of the paperboy hat called a "cheesecutter."

Paperboy hats grew in popularity in American and European cities during the late 1800s and early 1900s. A newsboy cap is functional and durable without the use of expensive materials. These attributes made the paperboy hat an appealing value to the working class. The style gained its many names as a result of it being worn by blue-collar workers in a variety of male-dominated professions. Most paperboy hats are now worn as style accessories and are less often a part of a daily uniform.

Many modern newsboy style hats are designed to be worn during the colder seasons to keep the head warm. Mohair, linen, and wool are just a few of the materials used to make the wide variety of paperboy hat styles available today. Paperboy caps are generally produced in small, medium, and large band sizes instead of a range of fitted incremental sizes. Some newer versions of the paperboy cap are lined with synthetic fabrics to hold in heat and moisture. A wide variety of paperboy hat colors are available to match with just about any winter coat or scarf.

Travelers can appreciate the way a paperboy hat regains its form almost instantly when removed from luggage. Many of the heavy materials used in newsboy caps do not hold wrinkles. The short brim on paperboy hats is often reinforced with pressed cardboard to retain its curve.

Cheesecutter caps, also known as a golf hats, are a well-known variation on the paperboy hat design. To create the recognizable wedge shape, the cloth-wrapped button is removed and the loose material from the crown is pulled forward onto the brim and secured with a snap. Many golfers appreciate the way the short, wide brim of the cheesecutter blocks the sun without obscuring their field of vision. Golf hats are often made of lightweight materials that are more expensive than the rough woven textiles used in traditional paperboy hats.

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