Trend Report: The Dad Hat
T-Shirt Trends
min read

Trend Report: The Dad Hat

The only thing better than dad jokes? Dad HATS.

In recent years, we have seen the emergence of several massive apparel trends. Tote bags took the world by storm as the de facto I-have-good-taste millennial statement piece, and have stuck around as everyone else becomes privy to their practicality (and businesses capitalize on their popularity.) Work pants have also had their moment in the sun, with everyone from Brooklyn to Brickell to Bozeman, Montana aspiring to look ranch-ready in Dickies and Carhartt

Among these many trend pieces, one piece of apparel stands alone as the trendiest: the “dad hat.” If you’re a dad, the dad hat is just a hat. But to everyone else, the dad hat is a nostalgic accessory that looks as good on A-list celebrities as it does on average Joes. Defined by its vintage vibe, and decidedly non-fussy fit (the polar opposite of a “fitted” cap,) the dad hat has also become the go-to canvas for brands looking to get their logo on the craniums of the masses. 

At Real Thread, it’s our job to know trends — and we’ve been keeping a close eye on the so-called dad hat. Below, we explore the origins of the dad cap, and offer some design advice for those looking to design custom hats online. 

Origins of the Dad Hat

While it may seem like what we now know as the “baseball cap” has been around forever, that’s not the case. In fact, the Brooklyn Excelsiors — a former amateur baseball team in New York — were the first to adopt the “new” style of cap which would become the baseball cap we know and love. While everyone else in the league still wore “pillbox” caps (think: train conductor) these soon-to-be trendsetters rode their own wave, and we owe the dad hat to them. 

In modern day, style icons like Kanye West and Beyoncé have led the dad hat charge — both as an expression of their own personal style and as a multi-million dollar merch opportunity. See, while we’ve known for decades that dad hats were stylish, it wasn’t until 2016 that the world realized what a great branding opportunity custom hats could be.  

How to Nail the Dad Hat

"Hey, you stole my hat!" -Dad

One of the best parts about the dad hat is that just about everyone can rock the look. But to make a dad hat everyone will want to rock, you’ve got to think like your audience. Custom hats should take cues from the original dad hat designs which took the world by storm, and keep designs simple but eye-catching. Dad hats adorned with embroidered emojis have recently grown in popularity, and for good reason — a sun emoji says “I’m walking on sunshine!” even better than text does. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all! 

Ride the Dad Hat Wave with Real Thread

The dad hat trend has been going strong for nearly a decade, and we don’t see this wave crashing anytime soon! Dad hats are still a fashionable accessory and a valuable marketing tool — and the team at Real Thread has you covered whether your dad hats aim to launch your all-new label or introduce your business to a new audience. Our easy-to-use design tools make designing your custom hats a breeze, and 20-item order minimums allow you to test the dad hat waters before making the plunge. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to designing hats online, the custom connoisseurs at Real Thread are more than happy to help. 

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