In the ever-changing world of fashion there are sometimes difficult discussions that have to be confronted. In recent months, the steady decline of the snapback has become one of those debates. From stadium essential to celebrity street-cred endorsement, the classic ball cap design now seems to be falling out of favour - at least for the time being.
This isn’t necessarily a bad omen, however; when one style fades out it leaves fresh space for others to emerge, and there’s been an interesting shift of late towards other classic headwear styles. A special mention has to go out to the bucket hat and its rich '90s connotations, but another revival has been that of the low-top ball cap with its bent peak and scrunched back-strap.
The reign of the snapback and its box-fresh flat-peak are increasingly numbered, giving way once more to the low-top’s natural, casual style. Recent movements by brands like Palace, Nasir Mazhar and even Supreme have shed a whole new light on the raw simplicity of the adjustable ball cap, with many designers now elevating its status once more to the echelons of high fashion and the cutting edge.
Probably familiar to most as a mainstay piece of Polo Ralph Lauren or gym wear, the low-top cap is an oft-forgotten piece of casual clothing that will probably conjure fond memories with British streetwear heads as a street-level staple—albeit one that was relegated long ago.
Unlike the snapback’s more rigid anatomy of flat peak and high-top crown with the signature click strap, the low-top’s closer proximity to “sportswear proper” has offered a wider space for informal adaptation and innovation—such as technical fabrics, the use of buckle-straps, elastic pull-cords and toggle-adjustments at the rear, experimental paneling to create a more comfortable fit and unique decoration that veers away from the locked-in streetwear styles.
As for the return of the bent peak, aside from achieving a slightly more comfortable fit by adjusting the shape of the crown, it really comes down to personal taste, but its firm roots in British sportswear have given it a wealth of significance in many UK street subcultures over the years from football casuals to UK Garage.
Let’s be honest; for the near future it looks like the snapback is singing its Swan song, so it’s time to have a look at some of the offerings out there for those of us ready to walk a different path.