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Snapback hats are cool again: Why everyone is wearing this ’90s men’s fashion trend

These 90s staples are back in 2024

Man in hat and jacket
KC Stone / The Manual

Snapback hats are some of the most versatile and fashionable accessories in a man’s wardrobe. Unlike learning how to wear a fedora, the snapback is about as simple as it gets for a man. While they began as functional additions to a baseball uniform in the 1950s to keep the sun out of a player’s eyes, they soon became a beacon in urban style.

The hi-hop boom of the 1990s and the adoption of some of the biggest names in rap and R&B gave men’s snapback hats life in the fashion world. Now, in the wake of a renaissance for some of millennials’ favorite fashion statements, the snapback is making its comeback all over again. Austin LaBoda, Director of Marketing at Hat Club, answered a few questions as to what sparked the return of the classic.

“The rise in snapbacks represents the next trend in headwear; the snapback today has evolved past the look of a traditional fitted aesthetic with a snap closure and is now providing hat enthusiasts with an alternative canvas to express their personality and unique fashion style. The upswing witnessed at Hat Club could be attributed to the rise in fitted hats, prompting a return to snapbacks as a distinctive style statement and a way for people to stand out.”

Man in hat and shacket
KC Stone / The Manual

Old is new again

Of course, fashion trends are cyclical. When a style dies out, it is almost inevitable that we will see it return. Those of you who were happy to see the bellbottoms go late in the 1970s were probably horrified to see them return briefly at the turn of the century. Right around the same time, we saw the low-rise jeans make stars out of pop music starlets until the mom jeans of the 1980s stormed back. Now, the rise continues to drop steadily. If you have been paying attention in the last few years, the denim jacket jumped right off of Bon Jovi’s back in the days of the hair bands, only to land on a whole new generation of admirers.

Old is new for this year’s fashion trends as you start to see the return of a more relaxed cut of suits in lieu of the ultra slimmed-down suits of the last decade. And you will begin to see the rise of pleated pants, albeit likely on more slimmed down pants than were the fashion the last time they were popular. The snapback hat is the next evolution of that trend. When Ken Griffey Jr. made fitted caps cool, the snapback got pushed back to the back of the line, but they are now back with a vengeance.

“The rise of vintage and thrifting has certainly led to a unique demand in hat culture. The use of retro logos in today’s headwear space has become more and more prevalent, so even if that young vintage shopper is unfamiliar with sports, they might be more familiar with the throwback logos they are seeing on a lot of hats produced today.”

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Mark McKee
Mark is a full-time freelance writer and men's coach. He spent time as a style consultant and bespoke suit salesman before…
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