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Flat Caps, Newsboy Caps, Ivy Caps: What's in a Name?

Flat Caps, Newsboy Caps, Ivy Caps: What's in a Name?

Creative Irish Gifts |

Flat Caps

Flat caps, also known as newsboy caps or ivy caps, are hats that have been a staple of men's fashion for over a century. These caps are characterized by their round, flat crown and short, stiff brim. They were originally worn by working-class men in the early 20th century, but have since become a popular accessory for everyday wear or to add flair to a suit for men of all backgrounds.

Flat caps come in a variety of materials such as linen, cotton twill, and leather. Along with varied colors and patterns, there are several distinct styles that are worth knowing. Here are some of the most common flat cap styles and how to identify them:

Classic Tweed: This is perhaps the most iconic type of flat cap. Made from thick, wool tweed fabric, this cap features a herringbone or plaid pattern and often comes in earthy tones like brown, gray, or green. The crown is typically slightly rounded, and the brim is short and stiff.

Leather: A leather flat cap is a great way to add some edge to your look. These caps are typically made from soft, supple leather and come in a range of colors. They may have a smoother, flatter crown than the classic tweed style, but the brim is still short and stiff.

Newsboy: The newsboy cap is a slightly more casual version of the classic flat cap. It features a larger, fuller crown that is often made from eight or more panels of fabric. The brim may be slightly longer than a traditional flat cap, but it still retains its distinctive shape.

Gatsby: Also known as the "driving cap," the Gatsby is a more refined version of the flat cap. It typically features a smaller, flatter crown and a longer, more curved brim. Gatsby caps may be made from a range of materials, including tweed, wool, and linen.

Ivy: The Ivy cap is similar to the Gatsby in its shape, but typically has a more streamlined, modern look. The crown is usually flatter and the brim shorter than the Gatsby, and the cap may be made from a range of materials.

To identify the type of a flat cap, look at the shape of the crown and the length of the brim. Classic tweed caps will have a slightly rounded crown and a short, stiff brim, while newsboy caps will have a larger, fuller crown and a slightly longer brim. Gatsby caps will have a flatter crown and a longer, more curved brim, while Ivy caps will have a more streamlined, modern look.

Overall, flat caps are a timeless accessory that can add a touch of sophistication and distinction to any outfit. With so many different styles to choose from, there's sure to be a flat cap that's perfect for your personal taste.

The Irish Cap

Flat caps are quite popular in Ireland and the United Kingdom, where they are often called "Irish caps" or "newsboy caps". The headgear has a long history in Ireland, dating back to the 19th century, when the caps were worn by Irish farmers, fishermen, and other hard working men. Today, flat caps are still a common sight in many parts of Ireland, and they are often worn as part of traditional Irish dress or as a fashionable accessory. In fact, the popularity of flat caps in Ireland has helped to make them a global fashion trend, with people all over the world adopting the style.

There are many famous Irish people who have been known to wear flat caps, both historically and in the present day. Here are a few examples:

  • Michael Collins, a key figure in the Irish War of Independence and later the first leader of the Irish Free State, was often photographed wearing a flat cap.
  • Liam Neeson, the famous actor from Northern Ireland, has been known to wear a flat cap on occasion.
  • Brendan Gleeson, another famous Irish actor, has been spotted wearing a flat cap both on and off screen.
  • Shane MacGowan, the singer and songwriter known for his work with The Pogues, is often seen wearing a flat cap as part of his distinctive look.
  • Sinead O'Connor, the singer and songwriter from Dublin, has been known to wear a flat cap as part of her eclectic fashion sense.
  • Gabriel Byrne, the actor and director from Dublin, has been photographed wearing a flat cap on multiple occasions.

These are just a few examples of the many Irish who have embraced the flat cap as a fashion accessory. The flat cap is a popular style of headwear in Ireland, and is often associated with a certain sense of style and heritage.