With their large front panel, mesh crown and usually curved peak, the trucker hat is a distinctive style that’s undergone a number of image changes over the years. Once a practical item given to vehicle drivers by their employees, these widely recognised caps are now regularly sported by fashionable celebrities and everyday people in our towns and city centres.
A Flexfit trucker hat, usually fitted with a Snapback closure option, makes for a great looking, comfortable accessory to leave the house in, but how far back do these hats go, and how has their place changed over time?
The trucking ‘30s
As far back as the 1930s, many haulage and transport companies (especially in the United States) handed out headwear known as ‘mechanic’s hats’ to their drivers. They weren’t quite the same as what we recognise a trucker hat to be today, but they were primarily designed to associate the drivers with their employer, and often carried the name or logo of the company on the front.
Coming of age
The hats doled out to big vehicle drivers developed over the years, and it was probably in the 1980s that they developed into the style we now know.
The large front panel, of course, remains ideal for a displaying a name or logo, but the caps also began to become more suited to the demands of the job. With bright sunlight often a challenge for people spending a lot of time on the road, the caps developed a curved peak to keep the sun out of truckers’ eyes without impairing their peripheral vision. Companies also acknowledged that in hot weather, drivers cooped up inside their vehicles during long journeys can become sweaty and uncomfortable, so the bulk of the cap was formed from mesh to increase breathability – a concept we’ve taken to a new level with our X-Mesh technology.
As they were usually fitted with a Snapback closure option, they stayed securely in place, ensuring they didn’t fall into the driver’s line of vision, or fly off their head when speeding down roads with the windows open!
Trucking into the new millennium
Truckers hats have long symbolised free spirit and maverick behaviour, so it’s not surprising that as the digital era has developed, they’ve become associated with certain styles of music.
Hip-hop and rap artists like Eminem began wearing them, as did pop-punk bands like Blink-182. In many ways, it’s another example of the anti-trend movement that has seen dad hats become popular among young women, in that these artists have taken something traditionally worn by older, working class men and given it a youthful and rebellious edge.
Gradually, trucker hats have become adopted by the mainstream, with actor Ashton Kutcher and singer Pharrell Williams among those credited with spearheading their popularity.
Today, the trucker hat delivers a modern style accentuated by its decades of history. It remains to be seen what the future will bring, but the message from us is clear – keep on trucking!