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Baseball Hat vs Dad Hat – What’s The Difference?

Like so many things in fashion, baseball caps originally had a very practical and simple purpose.

They were used to shield the player’s faces and keep the sun from glowing directly into their eyes.

However, over the years, baseball hats made their way into regular clothing items for people of all professions and from all aspects of life.

Besides being part of everyday wear, thanks to numerous music and movie stars wearing them, baseball hats have also become something of a fashion statement.

As baseball caps became popular outside of baseball, numerous different styles began to appear.

Some of these different variants are now probably even more widespread than the traditional baseball cap.

The popular “dad hats” certainly belong to this group.

Still, many people are unsure what are the differences between a traditional baseball hat vs dad hat and what makes the latter stand out among other styles.

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Baseball Hat

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Baseball hats have been an iconic wardrobe staple for over 100 years.

First introduced by the Brooklyn Excelsiors baseball club in the 19th century, these caps changed a lot over time, with the modern versions, still in style, appearing in the 1940s.

Today, baseball hats are the first thing we think about when we say “cap.”

They come in several different forms, and there are dozens of different versions of what once was only used as a part of baseball equipment.

The classic baseball hat  is a relatively soft cap with a structured front and a crown made of 5 or 6 panels.

Another staple of the traditional baseball hat is a front-facing curved brim.

In most cases, they’re made fitted, with one size fitting all, but may feature adjustable closer on the back part.

In general, they’ll also have team logos or similar elaborate symbols on the front center.

Dad Hat

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The dad hat has several unique features that make it distinct from other baseball caps.

They first appeared in the 70s when their somewhat large size and comfortable fit appealed to middle-aged men, hence the name “dad hat.”

Nevertheless, today, dad hats have grown their popularity way beyond this core group and are worn by people of all ages, genders, and fashion preferences.

Dad hats  are less structured than traditional baseball hats and can be considered a relaxed and more informal variant of the original baseball cap.

Commonly made of six panels, they’re usually made of cotton or canvas material.

Front panels lack the buckram on the inside which typically makes them softer than the other baseball cap types and makes the cap lie directly on the wearer’s forehead instead of forming its own shape.

The brim is commonly slightly curved and, in most cases, there’s no back snap closure.

Baseball Hat vs Dad Hat – What’s the Difference?

Baseball Hat
'47 Brand MLB NY Yankees Clean up Cap - Vintage Navy
Dad Hat
The Hat Depot 100% Cotton Pigment Dyed Low Profile Dad Hat Six Panel Cap (1....
'47 Brand MLB NY Yankees Clean up Cap - Vintage Navy
The Hat Depot 100% Cotton Pigment Dyed Low Profile Dad Hat Six Panel Cap (1....
Baseball Hat
'47 Brand MLB NY Yankees Clean up Cap - Vintage Navy
'47 Brand MLB NY Yankees Clean up Cap - Vintage Navy
Dad Hat
The Hat Depot 100% Cotton Pigment Dyed Low Profile Dad Hat Six Panel Cap (1....
The Hat Depot 100% Cotton Pigment Dyed Low Profile Dad Hat Six Panel Cap (1....

Last update on 2022-10-05 at 12:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

While the dad hat belongs to the group of baseball caps, it’s still unique enough to make a clear distinction when compared to the traditional baseball hat.

Below are the main differences between these two types of hats.

Brim

The difference between baseball and dad hats starts where the caps start themselves – at the brim.

Depending on the type, baseball hats may come with a flat or curved brim, with the latter commonly needing some breaking in.

On the other hand, dad hats always come with a pre-curved brim.

Still, the brim a of dad hat is less structured and softer than the one on the classic baseball hat.

The reason for this is that this type of brim is more practical and comfortable for everyday use.

At the same time, stiff and flat baseball hat brims are more practical for baseball games as they don’t obstruct the peripheral view while still protecting players from the sun.

Closure

The closure of a baseball cap refers to the gap at the back and the way it can potentially be adjusted to fit the size of the head.

A Conventional baseball hat will usually have a snap closure or an elastic band so it can fit different people with different head sizes.

Dad hats come without these types of closure but should be big and flexible enough to stay on the head without any additional adjustments.

Crown and Lining

Compared to dad hats, classic baseball hats have a slightly higher crown which may make them more comfortable for some.

However, the dad hat crown is much looser and not so firmly structured.

The main reason behind the higher baseball hat crown is the plastic or buckram lining which most dad hats don’t have.

In most cases, the entire dad hat will be made from the same material.

Occasionally, dad hats may feature a soft lining to prevent perspiration from soaking through the cap.

The unstructured crown also means that dad hats can be easily folded, which classic baseball caps will probably get damaged and lose their form if folded.

Fit

The features previously mentioned impact the fit and stability of each of these hat types.

Baseball hats are much more tight-fitting, stuck firmly to the head.

On the other hand, dad hats are bigger and looser, allowing for a more relaxed fit and casual appearance.

This casual style of dad hats is only enhanced by their typical worn-out look, even when they’re brand-new.

Conclusion

Baseball caps have gone a long way since they first appeared more than a century ago. Today, baseball hats are much more than just another part of sporting equipment.

Likewise, dad hats are not just for middle-aged men anymore.

Both of these types of headwear have developed to be a way for people to express themselves, make a fashion statement, and feel comfortable while doing that.

That’s why both baseball and dad hats are wardrobe staples for so many people.

Of course, they’ve still kept their original practical purposes, meaning that baseball hats are still a standard at baseball games, while dad hats are casual wear, used more for appearance than functionality.

In any case, they’re both comfortable and still very much in style, so which one you’ll wear will mostly depend on your fashion sense and personal preference.

Paul Hall

Paul Hall

Hello, I’m Paul, a 45 year old passionate baseball fan and the owner of this website. I hope my article could help to answer your questions.

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