Whether you’re having a bad hair day or trying to make a fashion statement, a snapback can add a retro punch to any look. With roots in the mid-1900s, this hat style is making a comeback, and it looks like it’s here to stay.
The snapback originated with the baseball cap. Worn by players for the obvious reason of keeping the sun out of their eyes, this style of hat grew popular with fans looking to emulate star players. Its characteristic style is denoted by the snap fastener on the back, which can be adjusted to the size of the wearer’s head. However, over time, the shape of the brim has changed from rounded to flat and its purpose as strictly athletic-wear has evolved into casual dress.
Snapbacks have remained in constant production since their creation, but their popularity in casual dress has since waned. They re-emerged starting in the early ’90s among rappers such as Tupac Shakur and Ice T. These musicians began the process of redefining the snapback, from a functional accessory to a symbol of the hip-hop generation and fashion statement.
Today, rappers like Mac Miller, Big Sean and Jay-Z are known for wearing snapbacks. The hat style has also been featured in many songs, such as Chris Brown and Tyga’s “Snapbacks Back,” Mac Miller’s “Snap Back” or “Wear My Hat,” and Driicky Graham’s “Snapbacks & Tattoos.”
As GLS freshman and Australian native River Anton said, “I’ve been wearing them all my life, even as a kid.”
A simple addition to any outfit, it’s easy to see how snapbacks have remained a part of popular culture for such a long time.
“I usually wear them with anything,” Anton said.
While Anton usually orders his snapbacks online, the hats can be found for good prices in stores such as Zumiez, Lids or even department stores such as Macy’s and Nordstrom. Even though many wear hats to represent their favorite sports team, non-sports affiliated brands are Obey, Diamond Supply Co. and Supreme.
“There’s this whole world of snapback rules,” LSP freshman Elise Traywick said. “It’s got to be tilted to the side or to the back. It can never just be straight on.”
However, both men and women, regardless of their personal sense of style, can incorporate this timeless piece in their outfit. For men, it can be paired with a simple tee and jeans, flannel or hoodie. For women, it can be a way to dress down a girly look, adding a hip-hop and skater edge. Style it with a military jacket and combat boots to add personality to an otherwise plain look.
Anton admits that “[he’s] not necessarily fashion conscious,” but the choice to wear a snapback is an easy way to ensure that he will always look good.
Nicole Puglise is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]