I’m just now seeing this. Lots of guys, in their early 20s, wearing brand-new Yankees baseball caps with a huge gold logo on the brim, which is as flat as a board.
When I was a little kid, I had a brand new baseball cap. My grandpa (who was a great ballplayer as a young man) grabbed it from me and started flexing the bill of it. I was like, “stop! What are you doing! I just got that hat!” He said, “you WANT it to be bent like that!” I was like, “no, I don’t, leave it alone,” but later on, I started bending it myself. From that point forwards, I always bent the bills of all my baseball caps, so that they would be curved downwards. The vast majority of other guys seemed to do this, also.
When did this new style become popular? Brand new, not bent in the slightest bit, and with the label still on it?
Quite some time ago. I remember seeing guys where their caps like this my senior year in high school, which was 2002-2003. I never understood it myself, and even though it is still popular(even to the point of professional baseball players wearing their caps like this, sans label) I have never seen the appeal. shrugs No understanding us… er, I mean those, kids these days.
The thinking is that a flat brim and label show that the hat is new and appears to be previously unworn, as if the wearer has so much money that they can afford to buy a new hat for each wearing. Washing the hat would damage the label and tags, and regular wear will dirty the hat and bend the brim. (Similar to the thinking that yields shiny athletic shoes with flat, clean, untied laces, basketball jerseys with the tags still on, etc.)
Of course, the flat brim/label look took on a life of its own to become simply a style of its own, instead of being a tacit claim of wealth-- caps are now manufactured to have completely flat brims, guys iron their brims to maintian the look (reminds me of the 80s thing for ironing your shoelaces once in the shoe to make them look fat and crisp), manufacturers purposefully make gaudier holographic labels which can’t be easily removed. Sounds pitiful until I realize that the extremely-curved brim with frayed edges look which was popular earlier was just as much an affectation.
2002-2003 sounds about right for mainstream acceptance, IMO; I can recall seeing isolated instances of this kind of thing around 1999, but by 2003 it was widespread. Rappers like Fat Joe, wearing the style, were common on MTV and in clubs, and I even recall an interview with him in a magazine where he discusses the “fact” that curved brims look goofy and hats should always look brand-new with label and flat brim.
Well, in that case, in my opinion, the brim being flat or curved is a valid aesthetic choice, but leaving the label on seems like the kind of display of “wealth” usually reserved for people who haven’t paid off their car. Flashing brand names and labels of minor accessories that cost less than a few hundred dollars is a surefire way to advertise being average middle-class at best.
True, and IMO most guys wearing caps with the sticker still on are just like the guys who get plastic Rimz™ for their cars, or who carried fake cell phones and beepers on their belts back in the 90s . It’s an ersatz display of wealth. (That said, the ultimate goal of new hats, shoes, and jerseys for each outfit would be too steep for most middle-class folks. That’s over 1000 new accessories a year that, ideally, would each be worn once. People who can truly pull off that look-- like, say, a certain subset of artist on MTV Cribs that show off rooms filled with worn-once and unworn stuff-- are genuinely advertising their financial status, if not their financial intelligence.)
I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole new-looking-accessories phenomenon can be traced back to guys emulating Michael Jordan, who was notorious for wearing a brand new pair of shoes for each basketball game. First shoes, then other accessories. Jordan, though, had reasoning behind his choice (whatever advantage the tech in a shoe provides would be lost as the shoe is stressed and worn) and IIRC donated his shoes to charity after wearing, instead of fetishizing them as an ostentatious display of wealth.
When I was a kid - 12, 13 years old - I had my parents buy me all the trendy Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica and Abercrombie and Fitch clothes, and then I’d constantly give my dad a hard time about his clothes. “Why don’t you ever wear cool clothes like this?!” I’d ask my dad, not understanding why he wouldn’t want to be hip and flash the trendy new labels just like me. This might sound like a strange conversation but my dad was always the “cool” dad so I figured he would want to be cool and wear Tommy Hilfiger like me. It didn’t really occur to me that HIS clothes cost about 10 times what mine did. But the only brand name on them was on the tag on the inside.
That’s what sets apart “taste” from “flash.” Flashing logos for designer companies is for kids. (My dad did get one Tommy Hilfiger shirt, to placate me, though - with the huge Tommy Hilfiger flag design right on the front.)
Not a new trend in the slightest. We were doing this in the late 80s - you bought a Starter hat and kept the tag on. Likewise with new Jordans. (Southeast Austin, Texas, sort of barrio/hood area.)
Why? I have no idea. It was the trend, and as someone who followed it, I can tell you I didn’t devote a lot of time to figuring out why. Soon after creasing the brim was in. Then hipster kids started wearing random hats that were beaten up and so on. I was way past wearing hats for fashion back then.
My theory: When a pro sports team wins a championship, they are immediately handed brand new caps with their team logo and “World Champions 2008” or whatever. They put these brand new hats on, with the labels still attached, and get to the champagne. The origins of the style emulated that.
I was hanging out with my buddy in the tobacco store he owns, chatting while he took care of customers. Quite possibly the dirtiest man I have ever seen in my life rolled in. Ever seen a dog go straight for a pile of dirt right after getting washed? It was like that, only twenty times worse. I could see stink lines emanating from his body. He was the king midas of dirt.
Baseball hats on young poseurs just makes my Saskatchewan born and raised ass laugh; the only people who used to wear hats like that were the old farmers - brims flat and cocked to one side. Hey, uber-cool teenaged boy - you look like you just came off the farm! Good for you!
The flatbiller thing seems newer but I started seeing people leave the tags on their clothing and especially their hats during my freshman year of high school, 1995. For some reason I wanna say Penny Hardaway started it.
There are plenty of guys wearing baseball caps here but Ive never ever seen anyone keep the label on - if they did I think others would laugh their asses off before telling them that they forgot to remove the label.