Dads. First, we worship them, then we mock them, then we steal their style. As dad-age adults ourselves, we’ve already snagged their dad shoes and made them our own. Then, we appropriated dad jeans. Then, we went after their cardigans, and Crocs, and now we’re after their headgear. That’s right, dad hats are the newest evolution of the dad fashion trend.
We went looking for the best dad hats that we could find and offered up our selection for your enjoyment and delight.
What Counts as a Dad Hat?
You’ve seen Obama, Nick Jonas, Rihanna, Travis Scott (who has a line of hats), the Dalai Lama, Seth Rogen, and Kim Kardashian wearing dad hats. Everybody, including your dad is wearing this egalitarian hat style. But what makes a dad hat, and what are the best dad hats anyway?
In our experience, the best dad hats are, surprise, surprise, baseball caps. Dad hats can include team hats (one of Obama’s favorite dad hats is his Chicago White Sox hat) or plain old baseball caps. Somewhere in the mid-90s, celebrities started wearing these hats, possibly to stop the paparazzi from hounding them, and the style became popular. One of the biggest celebs from that time, Spike Lee, was known for his signature red dad hat. Dad hats have gone from an instrument to hide’s one face to a status symbol, to trendy must-have, and now a wardrobe staple.
How can you tell what’s a dad hat? Welp, dad hats AKA baseball caps have five to six panels, a rounded crown, curved brim, and can be a touch too big for your head. Well, they’re oversized unless you’re a dad, then they fit you perfectly.
Dad hats can be plain. They can also sport crazy embroidered characters, your favorite team, fictional places, nicknames, well basically anything you can think of. The best dad hats are easy to wear and look cool with everything from a parka to a tank top. The best dad hats hide a bad haircut or bad day. The best dad hats can highlight your sunglasses and frame your face.
1. Billy Reid ‘Make Cornbread Not War’ Baseball Cap
Billy Reid is a menswear designer based in the southern United States, and we’re big fans of his clothing. His eponymous brand recently released this classic baseball cap, stitched with the wise words “Make Cornbread Not War. This particular dad hat is adjustable and made from cotton twill, and those wise words are the “unofficial motto of the Southern Foodways Alliance, a nonprofit organization devoted to preserving the rich history and cultural significance of Southern food. For every hat purchased, 10% of net proceeds will be donated to the SFA.”
Billy Reid Cornbread Cap
2. Columbia Bora Bora Sun Hat
When searching for the best dad hats, we decided to stick to baseball caps. However, we had to make an exception for this Columbia sun hat, which is quintessential dad fashion. This dorky looking hat may look goofy, but it’s super practical. This hat will protect you from the sun, and the adjustable drawstring ensures it won’t fly away.
Columbia Bora Bora Sun Hat
3. DsgnbyDNA Daddy Baseball Cap
That’s right, it’s the ultimate dad hat — the daddy baseball cap. Worn by the famous and infamous alike, this is the topper of toppers, the best dad hat ever made. Here’s a cheeky way to let the world know that you’re in charge.
DsgnbyDNA Daddy Baseball Cap
4. Life Is Good Dat Hats
Life is good. At least, it can be. And that’s why we like this simple and classic dad hat. Best of all, this hat is on sale, and you can save a whopping $1.66. Those might not be huge savings, but we’re sure your old man would appreciate the discount all the same.
Life Is Good Baseball Hat
5. Polo Ralph Lauren Classic Sport Cap
TIED FOR BEST OLD SKOOL
If you didn’t go for the CK black baseball dad hat, your other option was Ralph Lauren’s polo player-adorned cotton dad hat. Looking for a subtle dad hat that you could wear to work, this dad hat fits the bill. Made of breathable cotton twill, it has an adjustable back strap.
Polo Ralph Lauren Classic Sport Cap
6. Culturefly Schitt’s Creek — Rosebud Motel Cap
BEST FOR SCHITT’S CREEK FANS
Love for Schitt’s Creek will not die; the series continues to stay on the top of “must see TV” lists. Endearing, slightly goofy and always smile-inducing, the characters stay with you after the episode ends. This officially licensed hat showcases the embroidered Rosebud Motel logo on the front, and has a Velcro adjustable band in the back. On a personal note: I ended up buying this one while, ahem, researching this article.
(Editor’s note: Even though PJ selected this hat independently, my actual dad does in fact own this exact Rosebud Motel baseball hat.)
Culturefly Schitt’s Creek —Rosebud Motel Cap
7. Travis Scott Astroworld Unisex Cotton Baseball Cap
BEST CELEBRITY BRAND
Some people claim that Travis Scott and Drake brought the dad hat back to fashion’s forefront. This black cotton dad hat’s from Scott’s fashion line. It has six panels and is adjustable.
Travis Scott Astroworld Unisex Cotton Baseball Cap
8. Calvin Klein Organic Cotton Monogram Logo Baseball Cap
BEST OLD SKOOL
Back in the late 90s to early aughts you had to have a black CK baseball cap. It was de rigeuer; you hit your late teens or early 20s, and as if by magic, you acquired one of those babies. These days, the classic dad hat’s made with organic cotton and comes in three other colors.
Calvin Klein Logo Baseball Cap
9. A.P.C. Indigo Denim Eden Cap
Since the late 80s, French brand A.P.C has been designing understated modern clothing with an eye for what they call “casual elegance.” Their dad hat is the epitome of their aesthetic; clean lines, tonal embroidery stitched on a stretch denim dad hat. It’s also adjustable.
A.P.C. Indigo Denim Eden Cap
10. Canada Goose Tech Cap
What is that phrase you’re mumbling… techwear is a trend that combines performance fabrics, exploring gear and, um, assassin style. Canada Goose’s dad hat is made with premium wind and water-resistant tech woven fabric. It won’t stop a bullet but will protect your head against snow, sleet, rain and pigeons.
Canada Goose Tech Cap
11. Balenciaga Distressed Logo Embroidered Cotton-Twill Baseball Cap
Want to know what fashion’s future trends will look like? Check out anything Demna Gvasalia has designed for Balenciaga. He’s freakily prescient, and cannot only pinpoint the world’s zeitgeist, he also creates enduring trends like the dad sneaker and sock boots. This distressed baseball cap reflects the world’s weariness in dealing with a pandemic that just won’t go away. Its details include distressed fabric and metal trim.
Balenciaga Logo Embroidered Baseball Cap
12. Loewe X Joe Brainard Floral Print Cotton-Twill Baseball Cap
No need to worry whether your dad hat will match with the rest of your outfit when you pop on Loewe’s colorful dad hat. This dad hat is part of Loewe’s capsule collection that utilizes the late artist Joe Brainard’s work. Brainard frequently used pansies in his paintings, and their open, sunny faces adorn this leather-trimmed adjustable cotton dad hat.
Loewe X Joe Brainard Floral Baseball Cap
13. SHEIN X SpongeBob Men Cartoon Baseball Cap
FOR MILLENNIAL DADS
When someone told me that SpongeBob was just for kids, I reckoned they didn’t have a sense of humor. The SHEIN X SpongeBob collab has got something for everybody. Their embroidered SpongeBob dad hat comes in four colors, and is adjustable.