If you have ever bought any type of cap, I assume you would be familiar with the closure options they come with. This being the design feature that keeps the cap on your head.
From an aesthetic standpoint this is an important part of the overall design even if it’s not forward facing. After all, we don’t wear clothing in just two dimensions so it is crucial you ensure that your presentation is on point from all angles.
The main types of cap are:
- Stretch/Flex-fit caps (using Lycra or alternative textiles to stretch the fit to your head).
- Fitted caps. These are particular to a certain size and do not stretch.
- Adjustable caps with a fabric strap and buckle, clasp or tri-glide style fastener.
- Adjustable caps with a plastic snap closure. The most common style.
- Other adjustable straps such as Velcro.
I have listed these in order of my preference.
Most of my collection are stretch fit caps and are primarily Flexfit hats made by Yupoong. New Era also make a range of stretch fit hats that are easily sourced too.
Beyond that I also own some adjustable caps with fabric straps fastened by a metal clasp. That style of adjustable is common among premium headwear, which I have a weakness for. An example would be the UK based brand Ace Vestiti.
Full closure or strap with metal fastener:
I do not own any caps that have plastic snap adjusters. I certainly do not own any caps with Velcro straps. That last one is a big nope from me. If anyone finds a good-looking cap fastened by Velcro please contact me. I’d like to see how that could exist.
Fitted caps with no stretch material are something I am interested in but have not encountered in retail or online. It seems this style has mostly been replaced by more convenient stretch fit options. It meets my criteria for the back of the cap aesthetically though as they look exactly like stretch fit options. In order to buy one of that style you will need to know what your head measurement is, something that can be easily worked out with measuring tape.
Why do I prefer stretch fit?
My style focus is geared towards finding the optimal style for men who are either completely bald, or have noticeable male pattern baldness. This focus definitely shapes my taste in hats.
Stretch fit hats look the best on bald men of all the baseball cap options. This is because they don’t have a giant hole in the back of the cap showing off more scalp than is necessary.
One of the best reasons to wear a hat is that they frame your face in the way a hairline would if you still had one (this framing effect also works on guys with large foreheads). Wearing a hat grants a bald man the illusion of hair. It is therefore unwise to choose options that break this illusion by having a large hole in the back of the cap. Instead choose stretch fits which fully complete the closure at the back.
Some men, such as myself, also had their hair loss start in the crown. If you are looking to cover early stages of hair loss and you are suffering mostly loss on top or back of your head, then adjustable straps can risk showing off a dead zone on the scalp.
This is the same reason I don’t buy trucker caps. There are some great brands out there that I would happily wear based on the front facing designs. But the use of mesh in the back shows off far too much of the scalp for my liking. And beyond that, the mesh itself is not as aesthetically pleasing as cotton or wool textile which makes up higher quality caps.
Why don’t I own any plastic snap backs?
I do own some adjustable options but zero plastic snap backs. I don’t think they look optimal at all for men. There is something childish or adolescent about a plastic strap. Having any obvious plastic on clothing looks tacky/cheap and this goes for hats, as it would if you had plastic straps hanging off a shirt or a pair of jeans. Additionally the plastic strap often seems to come in a different colour to the rest of the cap and its best not to add unnecessary colours.
In my mind no one would buy a coat that obviously ties together with plastic straps so why is everyone buying hats that do this?
Also an important point, don’t buy a hat with a view to wearing it backwards. If you wear a snap back backwards you look immature, like a teenager. Take yourself seriously and present yourself like a man.
You can see here the difference. Backwards is overly casual. Wearing forwards presents a much sharper look. Also aided by some solid colour combination.
If you prefer adjustable caps than pick ones with a fabric strap and a metal fastener instead. Most high-end cap lines I have reviewed prefer to make their hats with these and it is a design choice I can get behind.
Overall plastic straps just don’t pass my taste check list. I can see it being something that might be preferred for a lightweight option at the beach. But as a cap you would wear on a night out, I would stick with the stretch fit and fabric strap options. They achieve a much more aesthetic closure.