While trucker hats and baseball caps can look similar at a quick glance, the difference between them shows in the panels. Trucker hats have a single, seamless front panel that’s pinched at the crown, and plastic mesh side and rear panels. Baseball caps are most commonly made with four, equal-width fabric panels. Most people will associate trucker hats with the iconic front foam panel, but as the style has evolved, fabric front panels have become even more popular, making them more difficult to distinguish from baseball caps. But as long as the hat has that large front panel and mesh back, you can be sure it’s a trucker hat.
What Is a Trucker Hat?
Trucker hats are a style of cap featuring a single, wide front panel with a high crown, mesh side and back panels, and baseball cap brim. They often feature screen-printed, embroidered, or sewn-on patch graphics on the front panel.
The Best Trucker Hats
Trucker hats come in a variety of designs, including the foam trucker. But the best trucker hats are high-quality fabric truckers with a mid-height crown and an embroidered patch that reflects your style. Fabric trucker hats simply hold up longer and improve with age. A well-worn, sun- and sweat-bleached trucker hat is a trophy that’s earned, not bought.
Are Trucker Hats in Style?
While the popularity of trucker hats peaks every few years, they’re never out of style. Ever since the trucker hat became a staple of the outdoor enthusiast’s wardrobe, it’s always been an in-style look for “outdoors culture” and any fashion inspired by outdoor trendsetters.
What Is a Baseball Cap?
Baseball caps are an all-fabric, four-panel cap with a fitted, stretch, or snapback closure, a center button at the top, and a mid-length brim that is either flat or curved.
Trucker Hats vs. Dad Hats
Dad hats, or unstructured hats, have a large front panel similar to trucker hats, but unlike truckers, the crown on a dad hat is unsupported, and the side and back panels are made of fabric, not mesh. Also known as “khaki caps,” because they’re commonly available in a khaki color, dad hats have regained popularity in the last decade as a relaxed look that can still fit in perfectly on the golf course. Thanks to sun-washed red and other popular pastel colors that mimic coastal-style chino shorts, unstructured dad hats are a great choice for a more finished style than a trucker hat.
Five-panel hats throw a curveball into the panel definition because they also have a wide front panel. But while the front may be wide, it’s broken into two horizontal panels, differentiating it from the classic trucker style. Some styles of five-panel hats can look very much like a dad hat, but the split panel on the front remains the defining characteristic.
Trucker Hats vs. Snapback Hats
Snapback hats are a style of baseball cap that includes many of the same qualities that differentiate them from trucker hats — mainly the four-panel design. Snapbacks are a sub-genre of baseball caps that, as the name implies, feature a snap closure in the back. For a long time, snapbacks were just called baseball caps. But following the popularity of fitted and stretch baseball caps in the 90s, snapbacks had their own moment, gaining them their own style definition.
What To Wear With a Trucker Hat
Trucker hats are begging to be worn with any outdoor-inspired outfit, like performance button-down fishing shirts and five-pocket pants at the bar, or business casual polo shirts and chino shorts at a BBQ. Any casual look can pair well with a trucker hat, but there are times you may want to opt for an unstructured hat instead, most notably on the golf course.
Which Is Luckier: A Trucker Hat or a Baseball Cap?
That’s for you to discover! Let us know which one lands more fish or cuts your handicap.