The appropriately chosen headwear is certainly a stylish addition to both casual and more formal outfits. Some caps indicate belonging to a particular social group or a particular occupational group. In which groups does headwear play a key role? What does each of them mean? Find out all about this in the article!
Headwear and its role throughout history
Hats, caps and flat caps are examples of headwear that almost everyone wears these days – regardless of age, gender or social status. Has this always been the case? Well, no! The history of fashion clearly shows that certain headwear was reserved for specific people and had more than just an aesthetic function. Our ancestors used the hat mainly for practical reasons – it was supposed to protect them from the cold, wind, rain or scorching sun, mainly while working in the fields. A similar function was performed by the first flat hats, which were reserved exclusively for men and … factory workers. Hats, by contrast, were very often a sign of high social status. An excellent example of this is Stetson headwear – cowboy hats worn by rich farmers who could afford the expensive items of clothing for those times. Today we also tend to associate certain hats with particular professions or social groups. Which ones? Here are some of them!
A perfect example of the fact that some headwear is an attribute of representatives of a specific professional group are berets. This model, associated with Parisian chic, has found its way not only to the heads of modern elegant women, but also to professional soldiers and employees of uniformed services in many countries. Beret colour plays a key role in the Polish army – particular colours indicate membership of a particular military formation. Here are some examples:
- Black berets – Navy and armoured units,
- Maroon berets – Paratroopers,
- Scarlet red berets – Military Police
- Olive green berets – Territorial Defence
- Light grey berets – Military Unit GROM
- Dark green berets – Special Troops Command
The way the beret is worn in the army also plays a key role. It is worn slightly tilted to the right ear (except for the Navy, Special Troops and Territorial Defence). The right edge of the beret should be lowered slightly backwards so that it overlaps the ear.
Sports headwear – a baseball cap
You probably have a classic baseball cap in your wardrobe – one with an adjustable strap and a mesh back. Not surprising! Just take a walk down the street in spring or summer and we guarantee that you will meet many people wearing this headwear. It will probably also come as no surprise to you that it has been designed with people who play sports, especially baseball, in mind. The beginnings of a baseball cap in a sports version date back to 1954 – the model, which was intended to protect players mainly from the scorching sun, was designed and made by the New Era Cap Company. The baseball cap, as it later turned out, also had a kind of identification function – each model produced had a sports club badge sewn or printed at the front. Baseball caps gained their greatest popularity in the 1970s and the 1980s – over time, players in other sports and fans of outdoor activities have also become interested in them. Today, it is also very often used by fans to identify themselves with their favourite club.
Replicas – something for historical reconstructions fans
People taking part in historical reenactment are certainly not a social group, but certainly a hobby group. Members of such groups deal with reenacting historical events, important battles or scenes from everyday life of people living several decades or several hundred years before us. The key element of their image is, above all, their carefully crafted costume which is in keeping with historical truth. A
discerning eye can detect even the smallest detail, which is why attention to detail is so important in the work of such groups. One of these is the headwear worn by people of a particular era – members of re-enactment groups therefore enrich the role they play with various types of caps, hats or other headgear characteristic of the times.
Youth subcultures, or what hip-hoppers wear on their heads
Youth subcultures are a very broad subject. When it comes to clothing and headwear, hip-hop culture is certainly worth mentioning, with its strict dress-code created by rappers and those closest to them. Wide baggy trousers, hoodies and colourful sneakers, necessarily with the logo of a well-known brand, are the main styling elements. In the hip-hop world it is all about glamour, which is most easily achieved with accessories – gold jewellery is often accompanied by headwear characteristic of this social group. The most popular are baseball caps, so-called full caps, and bucket hats – sports-style caps with a small brim.