A history of the back-to-front cap

Cap on bike

Some people prefer to wear their Flexfit caps backwards, but why do they do this?

The idea may have first come from baseball catchers who turned their caps around because their face shield got in the way of the visor.

Wearing caps backwards was popularised by rappers and followers of the urban ‘Gangsta’ culture, and is seen as a symbol of rebellion. It is usually more practical to wear the cap forwards on hot summer days as the visor shades the face from the fierce sun, but many young people choose to go against the norm.

Other more complex reasons were given by Julian Baggini in his book ‘The Pig That Wants to be Eaten and Ninety Nine Other Thought Experiments’. He wrote:

“Now, consider the baseball cap. Worn in the traditional style it offers protection against the sun and also the gaze of aggressive competitors. By turning the cap around, the male is signalling that he doesn’t need this protection: he is tough enough to face elements and the gaze of any who might threaten him.”

He added that another reason is that the backwards baseball cap makes a statement that means that the wearer is above the rules that say that it is essential to wear the cap the right way round. Going against the rules can be seen a signal of superior strength.

For many, their reasons for wearing Flexfit caps backwards are not so deep. They are not making a statement, they simply like the look of wearing hats like the Yupoong Delta back-to-front.

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