The Scally Guide: Hat Styles

When you ask me about style, there’s nothing like a scally cap to capture that Boston attitude. The attitude that says, “What story am I going to tell today?” Finding your style is a story in itself. You’ve got all these ideas in your head, but it won’t come together unless you wear it on your sleeve. Or in this case, on your head.

We started Boston Scally Co. to share our story with other Bostonians just like us. Regardless of the people we know, the places we’ve been, we see the scally cap as an ingrained part of the culture. Get schooled on the different types of Flat Caps around and learn a bit of the history behind scally & how to wear your Flat Cap

Flat Cap

The most basic name for the Scally Cap is the Flat Cap. A flat cap is a rounded cap with a small stiff brim in the front. It’s got a wide variety of names including: cabbie cap, gatsby cap, and cloth cap. Depending on the region, there are slight differences to the styles of flat caps. Of course we’ll cover a number of them, but not without a bit of history on the origins.

The first time the style was seen was back in the 14th century in Northern England. Back then, the hat was called a bonnet. Fortunately, that changed in the 1700s. Except for Scotland where the hat was still called a “bunnet.” As time went on, the hat became more popular and was worn in many different situations by many different classes. Eventually, there were a number of different styles of flat caps to wear.

The flat cap, or what we like to refer to as the scally cap, is a rounded cap with a small stiff brim at the front. These caps are incredibly recognizable and there are a wide variety of styles and patterns associated with the cap. They also give off that playful trouble-making style us Bostonians are accustomed to.

We find these caps truly capture the blue collar hard working people of Boston. We’ve got a scrappy attitude from that same background many of us tend to share. We value our sense of humors and abilities to tell stories to anybody in front of us. Luckily, there are many hats to share our stories.

Different Styles of Flat Caps

If you go around and ask what kind of hat that is, chances are you’ll get a lot of different answers. These hats were incredibly popular and have been around since the 14th century. Meaning, these hats became associated with a wide variety of people, sports, and professions. The hats went beyond class and provided a stylish look to men of all ages. Here are some of the different names for flat caps and how they differ:

  • Scally Cap: Our personal choice of name is the scally cap. We make flat caps that are designed to take a beating and get better with time. These show off your Boston style and attitude.
  • Ivy Cap: This style is a tighter fit with a leaner body. It also skips the button at the top. You can find ivy caps at many different types of sporting events. Their sporty look make them a good purchase for athletes and ball fans.
  • Irish Flat Cap: As mentioned, flat caps have been around for hundreds of years and have made the rounds through Europe and America. They were so popular in Ireland, many recognize flat caps as an Irish staple.

Ivy Cap

As a part of the flat cap family, Ivy caps have a similar look to paperboy caps. However, these caps have a leaner body than the paperboy and they omit the button at the top. Typically, these hats are made from wool, cotton, leather and other high quality fabric blends.

While the style dates back hundreds of years, these hats remain a popular choice among boys and men. Today, you can see these hats make appearances on the golf course or even in Olympic uniforms. Regardless, they’re an excellent flat cap to sport during athletic events.

Irish Flat Cap

The Irish flat cap more closely resembles the Ivy cap’s look. Most photos from Ireland, Britain, or even America in the 19th and 20th centuries feature a flat cap of some sort. Regardless of the style, it was a popular option for many. Ireland was no exception. The hat was so popular, “Irish” was included in the name of this flat cap.

Other Common Names for Flat Caps

As one could expect, there are a lot of different names for flat caps. One name that doesn’t fit is the Newsboy Cap. The newsboy actually provides a different look than a flat cap, but it’s no scally cap. If you are in the market for a genuine scally cap look for caps with these names:

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

Everybody has a story, the question is, can you tell it? One thing about stories is that they aren’t always verbal. A story can be told through your clothes and what you wear. One way to add to your story is through a hat. The right hat will give off the attitude you want to bring to the table.

Boston Scally Co is a made up of Boston locals. We understand the background so many of us share and see the Scally Cap as a key part of our culture. It gives off the scrappy blue collar attitude we all know and love. Get schooled on the different styles of flat caps that are available and learn more about what makes ours the best.

Get Your Scally Cap Today

Though there are variations on the style of flat caps available, here at Boston Scally Co, we call them Scally Caps. Our caps are designed to be comfortable and made to take a beating. The durability you get out of our caps only makes it get better over time. Check out our online store to find your Scally Cap today!

Also, read The Scally Guide: Peaky Blinders Hat to style your scally & that tells your story!

Related: Flat Cap Origins: A Brief History