During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, variations of the baker boy hat could be seen worn by young working-class males on both sides of the Atlantic. The popularity of the hat developed for its functional purpose, not fashion, as with many types of headwear. The thick body of the hat would keep the head warm, and the peak would shield the wearer’s eyes from the rain and wind, meaning it was ideal for baker delivery drivers, hence the name.
In France, the hat was known as the Gavroche, taking its name from a character in the Victor Hugo novel “Les Miserable”, and fashion-conscious Parisians favored the hat during the 19th century. Although the baker boy hat emerged as a necessary accessory for the working man, it gained popularity amongst both sexes during the 1960s, when it was seen worn by prominent fashion figures such as John Lennon and Twiggy.
The hat has had its ups and downs throughout the decades, but it has never completely faded away, probably because it has a classic look and style that can accompany most outfits, creating an enduring appeal. In recent times, this style of hat has seen a resurgence in popularity, with many of the world’s most well-known fashion designers adding the hat to their new collections and catwalk shows. Lately, Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham have been seen sporting the classic-style black baker boy hat, whilst David Beckham and Johnny Depp have been photographed favoring the soft-feel, larger-size style.
The cap is great for any season, depending on the fabric and the colors used. Dark color wools or thick cotton are better for the colder months, whilst lighter fabrics and shades are more suitable for the Spring and Summer. The denim baker boy hat can be worn all year round, due to the color and texture of the material.
Certain styles of the baker boy hat make a great finish to a more formal, traditional look, whilst the military style hat seen worn by the Beatles is better suited to a retro, indie-Modish look. The corduroy over-sized baker boy hat goes well with any type of look.