Guide to the Military Cap
The current, fashionable version of the military cap that has become a popular accessory originates from the hat worn by US Army Rangers during the Korean War, 60 years ago, when it was usually referred to as a ‘patrol cap’. Made from wind-resistant olive drab, it had to be tough and durable, due to its use on the battlefield. It had a woolen piece of material at the rear that would shield the ears and head from the elements. This type of military cap could be snuggly worn under a combat helmet.
When the Korean War finished this style made way the ‘ridgeway cap’, which was more rigid in design. These days, the fashionable incarnation of the military cap is close to a baseball cap in its design, with a slightly baggier head area. For aesthetic reasons, they are often adorned with pockets and zips.
As with most styles of headwear, the military cap was born for practical reasons, as opposed to fashion. The very early styles of military hat were very different to the fashionable caps of today that are influenced by the US army. The cavalier hat was an early variety of military headwear that was ornately designed, made with felt, and decorated with ostrich plume. They were popularized during the 17th century when they were worn by followers of King Charles 1st, known as cavaliers, in the English Civil War. They had a reputation for their elaborate dress sense. The cap comforter was a type of military cap that was worn by British commandos about 110 years ago. These helped create a layer of insulation between the commando’s head and his steel helmet.
Different variations of the contemporary, stylish military cap are available, but they all have certain similarities in their design. They should be worn closely fitted to the sides and crown of the head. This style of hat is available in a variety of colors, but they seem to look best in neutral, military-type colors such as green or brown. The cap can sometimes be stiffer in the head area, but most have a relaxed head-area that will crinkle on the top and sides. Some people opt for the ready-worn style military cap that has slightly frayed material, purely for aesthetic reasons.
The military cap usually comes with an adjustable strap, which can be a clasp or Velcro, which means the hat can be worn by most people. Buttons are sometimes used to make the cap adjustable in size. The cap can be decorated with many features, such as zippers, patches, pockets and embroidery, to provide it with a unique appearance.
Subtle differences in the various designs of the military cap mean they can be worn with a multitude of looks and styles. The cap in a woolen style, in a dark color such as grey or black, goes well with a more formal outfit, which could include trousers, shoes and a winter, woolen trench coat. A military cap in green or brown cotton will add a nice finishing touch to a parka, jeans and t-shirt.