An overview of the Irish Flat Cap
It can be a challenge to pick the right flat cap. But there are many to choose from and there is one that will certainly make you look like the discerning gentleman. Here is a background about the origon of the traditional Irish flat caps and some tips on how to wear one.
In the 1500’s the British government enacted a law that made it compulsory for men six years and over to wear flat caps on Sundays to increase the domestic consumption of wool. But it wasn’t a law that applied to nobility. Although for many years it was seen as a cap for the working class, it has changed over time. The law was abolished and thus also has the label of the working class man being the wearer. In the US the caps were worn commonly in the 1800’s and then more recently as a fashion accessory for the middle class in the 1900's. The flat cap has done the rounds and now they never have been as popular as they are today!
Works building a skyscaper in America waving their flat caps
The most common caps are the traditional flat cap and the Newsboy and they made from tweed or wool. The flat caps are easily recognised because of the neat stiff brim at the front of the hat. When Sean Thornton (acted by John Wayne) came to a little town called Cong in the West of Ireland to find his roots in The Quiet Man, he arrived in style wearing a well fitted flat cap.
The flat cap and the Newsboy are now recognised the world over as a stylish accessory for any gentleman. They really can give a vintage look or a more modern look depending on how you wear them. Most are made of tweed or wool and this cloth has really re-emerged as a fashionable choice lately. Makers in Ireland such as Jonathan Richard continue to make beautiful Flat Caps.
So now that you have fallen for the flat cap there is the essential lesson on how to wear it! Here are some tips on how to achieve your look in style:
Look your best with the right cap.
Choose the correct size
We have a great size guide that will help you measure your head so the right sized cap comfortably fits. It should really hug the sides of your head and sit above your ears without being too tight. With a measuring tape, take it around the circumference of your head and make sure that the tape is across the middle of your forehead. It will be difficult to get the exact size for your head but definitely go for a larger size than a smaller size if you feel any doubt. The brim should be sitting low and casting a shadow on your eyes. This will also give you the best look.
Size guide to help you choose the right cap.
Wear the peak at the front
It can be tempting to try wearing it backwards. But we really do suggest wearing the peak at the front unless you’re a celebrity and can get away with it! But if you feel confident you can set a trend at the Brad Pitt level then go for it!
Wearing the flat cap with your outfits
If you'd like to pair your flat cap with your clothing, choose wisely and put some thought into it. If you want the traditional look and feel then by all means pair it up with a tweed jacket but we don’t think that’s all necessary. You might look like you stepped out from a different era but it really depends on the occasion. The great thing about these caps is that you can wear them anywhere, but you need to think it out. You will achieve real class if you are wearing a modern outfit. You will appear authentic and confident.
Choose the Right Flat Cap Style & Material
As we said above, there are two common styles of these caps. The newsboy and the classic style. If you have seen Peaky Blinders, you will recognise the Newsboy from it as it has a rounder top and a button in the centre. Then we have the classic style Irish flat cap and this has the peak at the front, rounded on top but has no button at the centre, It is a different look.
Both styles are appropriate for various occasions, so the choice between the two is a personal one. In general, if you have a rounder face, the newsboy cap will be a better fit as it will visually make your head narrower. On the other hand for those with a narrower face and a strong bone structure, the classic cap is a visually more appealing choice.
We hope this is an informative piece with tips that bring out the gentleman in you.