Scally Cap: The Hat of Many Names



To the average person, the scally cap (or flat cap) goes by many names. You've got the duckbill hat, the ivy cap, the paddy cap, the pub cap, tweed cap, the cabbie or driver, and of course the scally cap. While, for the most part, these terms do refer to the classic flat cap, some actually differ slightly in design and appearance. Boston Scally Co. decided it'd be a good idea to set the record straight on these hats, because there can only be one true scally cap. Spoiler alert: it's the one we sell right here—constructed with quality and Boston culture in mind.

Before we get started, you might want to take a lesson on the origins of scally and where the hat came from. Because while it may look like your average newsboy cap, a scally cap is actually a bit different. Either way, we'll show you the difference so you can choose the right cap, or in other words: a scally cap.

The Scally Cap

Though some of the terms mentioned above actually differ from the actual scally cap, other terms do refer to the right one. The most common and appropriate term is flat cap, as it explains just what the cap is: flat. Other appropriate terms include any of the following:

  • Ivy Cap
  • Duckbill Hat
  • Paddy Cap
  • Pub Cap
  • Tweed Cap
  • Driver/Cabbie

When you get into the details of the hat, you can really see where they vary. Like we said, a flat cap is flat. Sometimes they can have 5 or 6 stitched panels, but for the most part, they've got two stitched panels along either side of your head with a nice, flat top.

Some may be flatter on the sides of your head, while others will keep a round shape throughout. But once you see those puffy edges, 6 panels, and a button on top you've a newsboy cap.

The Newsboy Cap is No Scally

Despite what you might find browsing the web, a newsboy cap is far from the scally. Now don't get us wrong; the newsboy cap is still a great hat. But when you're talking Boston, its culture, and the things that define it, you're talking scally caps—flat caps if your prefer. As mentioned, the newsboy often features a puffed crown with 6 or 8 panels, complete with a button on top. Though it does differ quite a bit in shape, the newsboy and scally are similar in materials, most often made of tweed with a herringbone pattern. The bill is even quite similar, yet the structure of the hat clearly shows the difference. If the newboy cap is you're thing, then by all means sport one. But if you want to rock a true piece of Boston culture—and a damn-good looking hat in general—you've got to get yourself the scally cap.

Boston Scally Co.: Home of the Scally Cap

When you're talking scally caps, we don't care what you call 'em. Flat caps, ivy caps, cabbie's—they're all essentially the same. When you do decide to sport a true scally, get one made with quality and craftsmanship. Get a Boston Scally cap.

You can check out our entire selection here and, if ever needed, you can contact us right here.