What Are Dad Hats & Why They’re Popular


Dad hats have surged in popularity in recent years, becoming a go-to fashion accessory for people of all ages and style preferences. What was once associated with dads at baseball games has now evolved into a staple item that has made its way into the wardrobes of people from all walks of life, from celebrities and fashion influencers to everyday folk. 

But what’s all the craze about? Why are dad hats so popular? Keep reading – we’re about to unravel the enigmatic allure of this timeless headwear, answer all the questions boggling your mind, and spill all the dad hat tea. 

Definition of Dad Hats: What Is a “Dad Hat,” Exactly?

Dad hats are a type of baseball cap characterized by their curved brim and solid color, giving them a laid-back and effortless look. Originating from the baseball scene, these hats were traditionally worn by baseball players. However, they have undergone significant style variations, becoming a fashion statement beyond the baseball field and evolving into a widespread fashion statement.

The pre-curved brim and basic designs offer a sense of simplicity and versatility, making it easy to match with various outfits. This led to an expansion in design possibilities, with embroidered designs and custom artwork becoming common features allowing individuals to express their personal style while offering the practical benefits of shielding the face from the sun or easily and stylishly hiding a bad hair day.

With their flexible fit and distinct aesthetic, dad hats have become a staple in the fashion industry and a beloved accessory for people of all ages and style preferences.

Why Is It called a “Dad Hat”?

In the groovy ’70s, the streetwear dad hat took its first breath, gracing baseball players during their fierce matches. With their generous fit, dad caps found a home on the heads of mostly mature, middle-aged gents, giving rise to the iconic moniker “dad hat.” 

But don’t let the name fool you – today, people of all ages and styles adore the laid-back charm of a classic dad hat.

smiling man wears dad hat

Dad Hat Origins: How the Ageless Trend Began

Dad hats have a rich history that can be traced back to the early days of baseball. Originally worn by baseball players to shield their eyes from the sun, dad hats quickly gained popularity as a fashion accessory in the 1970s. The curved brim and relaxed fit of dad hats made them a favorite amongst middle-aged men, college campuses, and American baseball teams.

Over time, dad hats transitioned from being solely associated with baseball to becoming a staple in the fashion realm, gradually evolving into the iconic baseball caps we know today.

From ’70s to Modern Must-Have: Variations in Dad Hat Style Over Time

The style variations of dad hats through the decades can be attributed to factors such as the influence of popular culture, the growing demand for customization, and the need to appeal to a diverse range of fashion-conscious individuals. These changes have made dad hats a mainstay in the fashion industry, with their iconic images adorning heads worldwide.

Dad hats skyrocketed in popularity beyond baseball fields in the 1990s, thanks to their adoption by rap and hip-hop artists, who embraced them as a trendy accessory with embroidered graffiti-like taglines and logos. Rap and hip-hop groups began to rock the style, making it a trending fashion statement associated with their culture and the music scene, propelling dad hats into the popular fashion spotlight.

This newfound attention led to an expansion of the dad hat’s design possibilities. From plain solid colors, dad hats evolved to include embroidered designs, allowing for customization and personalization. Additionally, custom artwork and graphics became common features, reflecting the individuality and creativity of wearers. The design of dad hats also became more versatile and appealing to a broader audience. 

While remaining true to their curved brim and flexible fit, dad hats started to cater to different personal styles. This resulted in a wide range of options, making them versatile enough for people to incorporate dad hats into casual streetwear looks and more sophisticated ensembles.

Are Dad Hats Still In? The Popularity of Dad Hats Today

Are dad hats in style in 2023? You bet! Dad hats are trending today as much as half a century ago! The secret to the widespread appeal of dad hats lies in their versatility and simplicity. With their curved brim and solid color, these hats effortlessly complement a variety of outfits and personal styles. Today, dad hats are worn by people of all ages and can be spotted in various settings, from the streets to high-profile events.

They have become a beloved accessory worn by actors, musicians, and influencers, even making appearances on red carpets and in iconic images. From Kanye, Chris Brown, and Ri-Ri to Gigi, Bella, and Kendall, numerous celebrities can be seen sporting one in style. Add their timeless functionality and style to the mix, and we’ve got a win-win. A bad hair day? Pop on a dad hat. Scorching sun in your eyes? Dad hat.

They provide a comfortable and laid-back vibe while still adding a touch of style to any look. On top of that, dad hats can be worn all year round, making them a versatile fashion statement for any season. Did you know the hashtag #dadhats is dominating the ‘gram with over 442,000 mentions? The younger generation adores them just as much as dads and baseball players did in the 70s, and they’re not shy about spreading the love. 

A true testament to their timelessness!

man with black dad hat standing in front of the fence

Characteristics of a True “Dad Hat”

Dad hats are still all the rage – a timeless fashion trend loved by individuals and celebrities alike. But what defines a true “dad hat”? Unlike other styles of baseball caps, dad hats are known for their unstructured front panels, simple logos, and lack of frills.

Another characteristic that sets dad hats apart is their faded appearance. Many dad hats are made from materials that have been distressed or washed, adding a touch of nostalgia and giving them that worn-in feel that many people find appealing.

What’s the Difference Between a Baseball Hat and a Dad Hat?

Unlike the high-profile baseball caps typically worn by baseball players on the field, dad hats have a more relaxed and casual look. While baseball caps boast a rigid construction, dad hats take a more relaxed approach with unstructured front panels, giving them a laid-back vibe. Their “buckle-type” rear closure is also a distinctive feature of dad hats.

What’s the Difference Between a Dad Hat and a Snapback?

Dad hat is usually a 5-panel baseball-style cap with a slightly curved brim. On the other hand, the snapback hat brings six-panel flair with a flat brim. Both offer the versatility of “one-size-fits-all” designs, with an adjustable strap at the back.

Popular Materials Used for Dad Hats

Dad hats are crafted using various materials contributing to their evergreen comfort and style.

  • One popular material used for dad hats is canvas, known for its durability and sturdy texture. Canvas dad hats are rugged and casual, perfect for everyday wear.

  • Cotton is another commonly used material for dad hats. It is lightweight and breathable, making it comfortable to wear for long periods. Dad hats made from cotton often have a soft and smooth texture, adding a touch of luxury to the hat.

  • Polyester is known for its moisture-wicking properties, making it an excellent choice for dad hats in hot and humid climates. It is also wrinkle-resistant, ensuring the hat maintains its shape even after multiple wears.

  • Lastly, wool is a popular material for dad hats during the colder months. It is warm, insulating, and adds a cozy and comfortable feel to the hat.
man with curly hair wears blue dad hat

Key Features that Make Dad Hats Perfect for Any Occasion

Dad hats are the go-to accessories for any occasion due to their famous versatile nature and unique features.

Adjustable & Comfortable

Are dad hats comfortable? Absolutely! One of their key features is the adjustable fit, which allows for a comfy and personalized feel. Whether you have a small or large head, the adjustable strap at the back of the hat ensures a perfect fit every time.

Unlike structured hats, the unstructured body of dad hats adds a relaxed vibe to any outfit allowing for a more comfortable fit. It’s no wonder they have gained popularity among people who appreciate practicality and style.  


Another feature that sets dad hats apart is their ability to be fully customized. You can easily add patches or embroidery to showcase your personal style. This customization option allows brands and their customers to create truly one-of-a-kind headwear that reflects their interests and personality and tells a story.

A Timeless, Unisex Appeal 

Dad hats are no longer just for dads. They have become a go-to accessory for individuals looking to add a touch of effortless style to their outfits. The classic dad hat design has gained a strong unisex appeal, making it a popular choice among men and women of various age groups. This versatile headwear trend has transcended gender boundaries, setting itself as a fashion staple.

The simplicity of the classic dad hat design allows it to be paired with a wide range of looks, from streetwear to sporty ensembles, that can be dressed up or down. This adaptability makes dad hats a key element in creating a trendy and laid-back aesthetic. Whether you’re wearing khakis, jeans, or sweats, dad hats effortlessly complement any outfit.

smiling girl wears grey dad hat

Where to Find the Best Quality Dad Hats

When looking for premium quality dad hats, choosing a reputable and reliable retailer is crucial. Look for ones that offer a wide selection of dad hats, including different styles, colors, and designs. It’s also a good idea to opt for high-quality materials to ensure durability and comfort.

Additionally, consider the availability of customization options, allowing you to add patches or embroidery to create a truly unique hat. Finally, take into account customer reviews and ratings to get a sense of the overall quality and satisfaction level with the products to find dad hats that not only look great but also stand the test of time.

Guess what? At Apliiq, we’ve ticked all these boxes! As the masters of product sourcing with over 150 years of expertise under one roof, working some serious customization magic, Apliiq is your one-stop shop for designing one-of-a-kind custom dad hats that make a statement – on demand. Have any questions? Feel free to live chat or book a call with one of our experts anytime to see what we can do for you!

With fast turnaround times, seamless fulfillment, low minimums, bulk discounts, 24/7 live expert support, and endless customization options – it’s a no-brainer.

Custom Dad Hats for Brands That Want to Stand Out from the Crowd

Dad hats have firmly established themselves as a popular headwear product category flying off the shelves that business brands from all niches want to get their hands on. Custom dad hats are a great way for fashion and non-fashion brands to stand out and leave a lasting impression. 

From unique designs to embroidered logos or quirky messages, they offer a wide range of options to fit everyone’s personal style, making them a valuable tool for brand promotion and marketing. With so many brands competing for attention in today’s saturated market, it’s important to find creative ways to differentiate yourself. 

Our custom dad hats offer a unique opportunity to showcase your brand’s style and personality. With embroidered patches, printing, and a wide range of materials, styles, and colors to choose from, they are a must-have. You can also take it a step further with our woven and private labels!

smiling man and girl wears dad hats

A Trend That’s Here to Stay: Design Custom Dad Hats for Your Brand Today!

With their versatile and timeless design, it’s no wonder dad hats have become a popular accessory in the fashion industry and beyond, mass-produced by both fashion and non-fashion brands. From the baseball scene to the fashion realm, dad hats have truly made their mark as a staple headwear product category, cementing their place in iconic images of our time.

Notable companies and brands have already embraced custom dad hats to make a mark. Are you one of them? If you’re looking to promote your brand and make a statement, adding custom dad hats to your arsenal is the way to go. With their ability to be fully personalized and their timeless popularity, these hats are a powerful marketing tool that will help you stand out from the crowd. Don’t let your brand’s hat game fall flat – start designing custom dad hats at Appliq today and make a lasting impression!