Many wardrobe staples were born from working-class roots. And while workwear like blue jeans and moc-toe boots have earned their place as everyday staples, the trucker hat hasn’t quite gotten its due. That’s because the trucker hat is best remembered as the hat du jour of the mid-2000s, an era when celebrities paired Von Dutch caps with t-shirts that had way too much going on. And while Gen Z may be bringing back “vintage” 2000s trends out of a love of irony, the trucker cap deserves to be revived in earnest. In short, the best men’s trucker hats are genuinely, unironically cool.
While it may seem like trucker hats just appeared out of nowhere in the aughts, these caps first emerged in the 60s and 70s as cheap, novelty promotional tools. The fact that the crown was tall enough to be a billboard was no accident; they literally were billboards for your head. Feed shops and trucking companies gave away these hats as an advertising tool in rural communities, which is where the name came from.
Since they were freebies, they had to be cheaply made, which is why many trucker caps were made from thick foam and didn’t fit especially well. But these days, you can find trucker hats that are made from the same materials as your favorite baseball cap, nodding back to this old-school style with a more refined fit. Trucker hats are also just plain practical. The brim and crown provide ample protection from the sun, while the mesh panels on the back offer greater breathability and comfort on a hot day.
So how should you style a trucker cap? Workwear staples like denim jackets and work boots are a good place to start, but you can wear them with most of your casual pieces. Like our favorite dad hats, a trucker hat is meant to be worn without much thought. Grab it, throw it on, and head out the door. Here are the hats to get.
1. Huckberry x Coors Banquet Waxed Canvas Trucker
We recently raved about Huckberry’s stylish wares, and the retailer just linked up with Coors on a low-key collection of trucker caps. Huckberry brought their love of durable fabrics, swapping out cheap foam for water-resistant waxed canvas. The cap comes in brown or navy.
2. The North Face Mudder Trucker Cap
The North Face’s Mudder Trucker cap might have a tacky name, but it’s a surprisingly tasteful take on the trucker cap. It features The North Face’s logo in black with a muted two-tone design. The cap has an adjustable snapback closure and a comfortable fit, with over a dozen colors to choose from.
3. Carhartt Men’s Buffalo Mesh Back Hat
We’re big fans of Carhartt at SPY. The brand’s wares are ruggedly stylish and consistently reliable. The brim is made from cotton, while the back of the hat is made from polyester mesh and plastic snap closure. There are a lot of colors to choose from, but we’re partial to this minty “Succulent” color.
4. Patagonia P-6 Logo Trucker Hat
Sustainability is key to Patagonia’s brand, and that doesn’t stop at accessories. This cap is made from recycled fishing nets, while the headband is made from organic cotton canvas. It’s available in black, gold, or a two-tone design.
5. Camp High Will Rogers Trucker Hat
Camp High is a newer entrant into the streetwear space, and the brand takes camp for both its meanings; the styles are both campy and camping-inspired. It comes in various colors and features the brand’s multi-colored logo.
6. Bass Pro Shops Mesh Trucker Cap
We wrote about the popularity of the Bass Pro Shops hat a few months back, and while the fervor has waned, this is still a great hat to buy. For starters, it’s a mere $6, and it comes in a wide range of colors. And if you like fishing, it’s great for that, too.
7. Topo Designs Global Hat
An alternative to the trucker hat is the camp hat, which has a more technical-looking, outdoorsy design. Stylish outdoor outfitter Topo Design’s Global Hat has a five-panel design and a low brim, and it’s available in a wide range of colors. It’s a strap back, too, adding to the technical look. The cap is made from nylon and spandex.
8. Parks Project Tree Hugger Trucker Patch Hat
Parks Project donates a portion of its proceeds to protecting parklands in the US. And they do that by making stylish clothes, like this green trucker cap featuring a “Protect Our Parks” patch.
9. Howler Arroyo Strapback
Another camping-inspired cap is this pick from Howler Brothers, which features a lightweight nylon construction and a flat brim. The soft construction allows you to adjust the bill and hat to fit your head better.
10. 1970s GMC TRUCKS Trucker Hat
When it comes to trucker hats, you can always go vintage. Since these were freebies, many vintage trucker caps are floating around online. And unlike many vintage pieces, they’re not outrageously expensive. This cap is made from cotton and features “GMC Trucks” on the front.
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