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Blog / Style & trends / What Is a Trucker Hat—Definition, Origins, and Product Inspo

Style & trends

What Is a Trucker Hat—Definition, Origins, and Product Inspo

What Is a Trucker Hat—Definition, Origins, and Product Inspo
Karlina Rozkalne

By Karlina Rozkalne

6 min read

Today, we’ll explore the trucker hat trend, a versatile accessory that’s captured the fashion world. 

After reading this article, you’ll know:

  • What is a trucker hat

  • The features that set it apart from baseball caps

  • The most important milestones in trucker hat’s history

  • Why trucker hats are great for custom embroidery

  • Which trucker caps can you personalize with print-on-demand

Let’s dive right into one of the most trending products today—the beautiful trucker hat.

What’s a trucker hat? 

A trucker hat is a type of baseball hat featuring a sturdy front and a breathable mesh back. It’s distinguished by its higher front, slightly curved bill, and its adjustable snap closure at the back. Originally worn by truck drivers and farmers for its practicality and ventilation, the trucker hat has become a fashionable accessory, and its popularity keeps growing.

a graph on a white backgroundSource: Google Trends

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Distinctive features of a trucker hat

Trucker hats are recognizable by several distinctive features:

  • Sturdy front panel—unlike traditional baseball caps, trucker hats have stiff, sometimes foam front panels that stand higher on the head

  • Mesh back—the back half of the hat is made of mesh panels for increased breathability, making it a cooler option for warm weather or physical activity

  • Snapback closure—they typically feature an adjustable strap at the back, allowing for adjustable sizing to fit different head sizes

  • Curved bill—like baseball caps, trucker caps have curved bills that protect the face from the sun

  • Higher dome—the design includes a higher dome or crown than traditional caps, contributing to its distinctive silhouette

Valuable read: Trucker Hat vs. Baseball Cap Showdown

Origins of trucker hats

Let’s start with the name of this cap. Widely known as the trucker hat, it’s also called a feed cap, mesh cap, or gimme cap.

This hat originated in the 1960s in the US. Initially, these hats were promotional items distributed by farming and feed companies to truck drivers and agricultural workers. Valued for their practical design, they offered ventilation during long, hot working hours, making them a staple among rural workers.

This functional accessory began transitioning into mainstream fashion in the early 2000s when celebrities and fashion influencers adopted the trucker hat as a statement piece. The fashion world bridged the gap between utility and trendiness by embracing the trucker hat, showcasing the trucker hat’s versatility and appeal beyond its original context.

By the mid-2000s, trucker hats had cemented their place in popular culture, appearing in music videos, on magazine covers, and in streetwear fashion across the globe. Despite fluctuations in popularity, the trucker hat has remained a versatile accessory, symbolizing a blend of working-class roots and contemporary fashion trends. Currently, the trucker hat competes in popularity with the baseball cap.

a graph of a baseball capSource: Google Trends

Nowadays, trucker hats are widely accepted and incorporated everywhere, including in high fashion.

Suffice to say, these hats are here to stay. Considering their popularity and versatility, perhaps it’s time to add a custom hat to your wardrobe. If you’re interested, you’ve got 7 options with Printful.

Best trucker hats for customization

Thanks to the sturdy front section, trucker caps are one of the best hats for embroidery. So let’s see which trucker hats you can get embroidered with Printful.

Retro Trucker Hat | Yupoong 6606

Price: $16.88 (standard embroidery) or $21.42 (unlimited color embroidery)

Available techniques: Standard and unlimited color embroidery

Fabric: 60% cotton, 40% polyester

This is a mid-profile trucker cap with hard buckram front panels and a Permacurv® visor that matches the undervisor. It’s a structured, six-panel hat with a 3.5″ (8.9 cm) high crown, plastic mesh back, and an adjustable closure. The head circumference is 21⅝″–23⅝″ (54.9 cm–60 cm). With 13 available colors, this is one of our most versatile trucker hats.

5 Panel Trucker Cap | Yupoong 6006

Price: $16.64 (standard embroidery) or $21.18 (unlimited color embroidery)

Available techniques: Standard and unlimited color embroidery

Fabric: 47% cotton, 28% nylon, 25% polyester, or 65% polyester, 35% cotton

This is another high-profile trucker hat, but it’s made up of 5 panels. The cap has a flat bill and snapback closure. It’s suitable for a head circumference of 21⅝″–23⅝″ (53.3 cm–58.4 cm). This is one of our most loved trucker hats, with 94% of customers saying they’d recommend this product. You also get 13 color variations for this cap.

Snapback Trucker Cap | Richardson 112

Price: $22.69 (standard embroidery) or $26.92 (unlimited color embroidery)

Available techniques: Standard and unlimited color embroidery

Fabric: 60% cotton, 40% polyester

The Richardson snapback cap is made from a cotton, polyester blend and has a 100% polyester mesh back. It’s a mid-profile, structured, 6-panel trucker hat with pre-curved contrast stitched visor. The underbill matches the visor color. It’s available in 8 colors and is adjustable within a 21⅝″–23⅝″ (53.3 cm–58.4 cm) range.

Pigment-Dyed Cap | Sportsman SP510

Price: $19.30 (standard embroidery) 

Available techniques: Standard embroidery

Fabric: 55% cotton, 45% polyester

This is a vintage-esque pigment-dyed twill front, mesh back trucker hat. Each cap varies slightly and has natural variations in color. It’s an unstructured, 6-panel, low-profile hat that comes in one size. The fabric is rather soft, so this trucker hat doesn’t have a rigid, structured fit.

Closed-Back Trucker Cap | Flexfit 6511

Price: $21.48 (standard embroidery) 

Available techniques: Standard embroidery

Fabric: 55% polyester, 43% cotton, 2% spandex

This hat has a structured fit, a reinforced front, a curved brim with 8 rows of visible stitching, and a mid-profile crown. The cap has a 6-panel construction and a silver undervisor. Plus, there’s an elastic band, a mesh back, and 2 eyelets for extra comfort.

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Foam Trucker Hat | Otto Cap 39-165

Price: $15.67 (standard embroidery) or $19.90 (unlimited color embroidery)

Available techniques: Standard and unlimited color embroidery

Fabric: 100% polyester

The Otto cap is made from thicker, heavier fabric and is laminated with high-density, non-toxic foam. It has a 5-panel construction and a high crown. The foam front panel is lined, the undervisor matches the slightly curved visor, and the cap has a matching braid and sweatband color. It’s a one-size-fits-most.

Camouflage Trucker Hat | Otto Cap 105-1247

Price: $20.51 (standard embroidery) 

Available techniques: Standard embroidery

Fabric: 100% cotton front, 100% polyester mesh back

Last but not least—a structured, 6-panel, low-profile trucker hat that comes in 3 color variations. It has a matching undervisor and 6 rows of visible stitching on the curved brim. Additionally, there are 2 sewn eyelets and an adjustable plastic snap for your comfort.

Your trucker hat awaits

Trucker hat’s popularity surges every year as the hot weather comes around. But you don’t have to wait for the heat to create a design for this trending headwear—choose the cap that speaks to you most and start designing! 

Pair the hat with jeans and a hoodie for a laid-back look, or follow the haute couture direction—wear the trucker hat with a more formal outfit to dress it up. The versatility of the trucker hat makes it a wonderful accessory for any style, whether you’re aiming for streetwear chic or a more polished yet relaxed vibe. Experiment with different colors, patterns, and constructions to find the cap that reflects your personality and style.

author

By Karlina Rozkalne on Mar 7, 2024

Karlina Rozkalne

SEO Content Writer

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.