Several custom-printed cap styles at Totally Promotional made the hat trends list for 2024. Yeah!

But that didn’t happen by accident. Our apparel and print experts keep up on the most popular hat styles. Our team also listens to our customers so we can offer the baseball hats and brimless beanies they want at competitive prices.

So, what makes a hat or cap a favorite? Comfort and protection are two main qualities people look for in headwear. But there’s much more to know when shopping for great hats.

Let’s uncover the history and mystery about hats and discover which styles will dominate in 2024!

The history of hat trends

history of hats timeline

Headwear has been around since the Ancient Egypt period. Here is a brief timeline for the history of hats:

  • 3200 BC: Elite Egyptian men traditionally shaved their heads, so basic head-hugging caps were needed to protect them from the weather.
  • 625 BC-476 AD: In Ancient Rome, a brimless felt cap called a pileus was worn by men. Former Greek and Roman slaves wore a Phrygian cap, which fit close to the head and included a pointed crown at the top that curled forward.
  • 476-1450 AD: Several different styles of hats were worn during the Middle Ages to indicate social status of specific groups and cultures.
  • 1700s: Although Italians began making various types of hats during the Ancient Rome and Middle Ages eras, milliners (hatmakers for women) rose to prosperity in the 18th century. Note: the term “milliners” is derived from Milan, Italy, where the most expensive hats were produced.
  • 1800s: Women’s hats and bonnets became larger and more decorative.
  • Today: Men and women wear a wide variety of hats and caps for warmth, protection, tradition and style.

The top hat trends for 2024

See if your favorite style made the list of hat trends for 2024:

Promotional baseball caps

woman wearing a customizable baseball cap

The first official baseball caps were actually straw hats! They were used to keep the sun out of players’ eyes, much like today’s baseball caps. Sometime in the late 1800s, teams began sporting a “lid” that was similar to the baseball hats we know today.

Baseball team logos didn’t appear on caps until the Boston Baseball Club (now the Atlanta Braves) had monograms imprinted on theirs in 1894. It didn’t take long before fans wanted their own custom-printed ball caps to show support for their teams.

The trend quickly spread when athletes in other sports began wearing their own versions of the baseball cap. Celebrities, from actors to musicians, helped boost interest in baseball caps by wearing them in public.

Today, printed baseball caps are sold with team logos, mascots and designs promoting everything and everyone, including Taylor Swift! One of our most popular styles is the Economy Cotton Twill Cap. It includes free delivery!

What’s the difference between a baseball cap and a trucker hat? The bill of a trucker hat generally has a broader surface than a baseball cap. Trucker hats also have a plastic mesh across the back for ventilation; baseball caps do not.

Become an expert by reading “What are the parts of a hat called?”

Promo trucker hats

farmer wearing a customizable trucker hat

Local Dairy Farmer

Trucker hats are considered an iconic symbol of American culture. The first trucker hats debuted in the 60s as, you guessed it, a promotional item for a trucking company. The company’s logo was placed front and center on each cap.

Besides its wide bill, trucker hats also are known for a mesh back for ventilation. They also have a signature snapback closure.

Farmers were one of their earliest groups to wear trucker hats to keep the sun out of their eyes while driving tractors in the fields. Construction workers, utility crews and others who work outdoors noticed the benefits of the hats and jumped on board.

The market for trucker hats steadily grew. The hats became popular with celebrities and even appeared in hit movies. Soon they became a Hollywood fashion statement.

Today, you can find styles such as our Mesh-Back Trucker Hat on the heads of superstars as well as your local dairy farmer. Like its cousin the baseball cap, trucker hats are protective, stylish and affordable for everyone.

Bulk bucket hats and boonies

customizable bucket hats

The words “buckets” and “boonies” might not produce images of headwear. But they certainly are and these hat styles are showing up everywhere!

What’s the difference between a bucket hat and a boonie? Bucket hats have higher crowns than boonies. Boonies have wider brims and sometimes include neck capes and chin straps.

Bucket hats and boonies have been around for at least a century but their history is a little fuzzy. Military personnel wore hats similar to both in the 1930s. Their purpose, like most other hats, was to protect the eyes and face from the sun. Various styles of boonies, referred to as operator caps by soldiers, became official military gear in the late 60s and remains standard headgear today.

Bucket hats are styled for functional outdoor wear, as well as running errands. Their tall crown allows them to be worn on top of the head or pulled down closer to the face for additional protection or a mysterious look. Our Bucket Hat with embroidered design is a favorite with our customers.

The wide brim of the boonie (also spelled booney) gives it a floppy look that provides maximum sun protection. That’s a big plus for anglers, trail hikers and anyone who spends a good portion of the day outside. The chin strap that is common with boonies helps keep it from flying away when navigating rapids or windy days at the lake.

Bucket hats and boonies are often worn by beach lovers, concertgoers and professional landscapers. They are considered essential apparel to pack for sunny vacations in the U.S. and abroad!

Personalized beanies

customizable beanies

More than a hundred years ago, beanies were worn by factory workers to keep dirt and grime out of their hair on the production line. Their form-fitting style didn’t interfere with equipment or create safety concerns.

Because beanies are often knitted or made with other warm fabrics, they’re ideal for keeping heads and ears warm when working outside. Offshore fishermen and transportation workers appreciate the warmth a well-made beanie can bring.

Custom beanies in the past few decades have become a fashion accessory. They are often worn casually with T-shirts and jeans. These head warmers are even worn in summer months!

Dive into more history and information by reading “What is a beanie?” Then circle back to order our customer favorite Two-Tone Acrylic Pom Beanie With Cuff and embroidered logo.

Top off your marketing plan with today’s hat trends

woman outside wearing a customizable beanie

Personalized hats have become a popular go-to accessory for men, women and children. And why not? They’re inexpensive, provide protection from the cold and sun, and are the perfect coverup on bad hair days.

Bulk hats can also promote a business, team or saying. Golf hats, visors and embroidered hats are like billboards for your organization. People naturally look first at someone’s face and head. That direct glance gives your logo amazing exposure and helps establish brand recognition for your company.

Hats with logos are top branding tools when handed out to potential clients. A recent study showed that 73 percent of consumers are more likely to consider purchasing from a business that gave them a promotional product such as a hat.

Place your order today for hats that will make headlines in 2024!

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Shelley Grieshop is a former newspaper journalist who earned more than a dozen Associated Press awards for her in-depth research and writing skills. In May 2016, she joined Totally Promotional as a creative writer. She currently writes company blogs about branding, marketing, logos, wedding planning and much more. One of her life goals is to teach people when to use hyphens and apostrophes.

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