Why Do Flat Caps Have Snap Buttons on the Brim? [Explained]

If you are shopping for a flat cap, you may notice that some of them have a snap button on the top of the brim that allows the brim to attach to the top of the cap. What is the purpose of this? Why do flat cap have snap buttons?

Flat caps have snap buttons so that the fit of the cap can be adjusted when needed. Although most people prefer to keep the button snapped as much as possible, when situations call for more protection (for example, harsh weather), the button can be unsnapped, allowing the cap to fit deeper on the head and provide more coverage.

For example, if you look at my flat cap below, you can see how much deeper the hat is once I unsnap the button:


Although the cap can look a bit awkward when it is unbuttoned, this function isn’t as much for style as it is purpose. Being able to pull the flat cap down deeper onto the head in the middle of a rain shower can offer extra protection against the elements, and allows the cap to fit almost like a baseball cap.

In this article let’s take a deeper look at why this button exist. And if you don’t like flat caps with snap buttons, let’s discuss what your alternative options are.

Why Do Flat Caps Have Buttons?

As we discussed above, a flat cap has a snap button so that the fit can be adjusted when necessary. Flat caps are worn for their unique flat shape, but it is also important to remember that hats of this nature weren’t always worn just for style.

Although flat caps don’t provide a great amount of weather protection, some styles can be water-resistant. And then, for example, wool flat caps help insulate the head in cold weather.

In both rain and cold, there are situations where it would be beneficial to pull the cap down deeper onto the head for additional warmth and protection. The snap button (also called a ‘peak stud fastener’ by some companies) gives you the ability to do this.

Although the snap button isn’t there to affect style, it is worth mentioning that flat caps with snap buttons do have a slightly different appearance than flat caps that have a sewn brim. When a flat cap has a snap button, the material near the sides of the brim sits a bit higher, and affects (slightly) the appearance of the cap.

Alternative to Buttons

If you don’t like flat caps that use snap buttons, then you will want to opt for a flat cap that has a brim that is sewn to the upper part of the cap. In fact, it is a bit more common to see the sewn-down style than it is to see a snap-button flat cap.

The obvious drawback to a sewn-down brim is you can’t adjust the way the cap fits if needed.

It is also worth mentioning that some flat caps will come with tuck-away ear flaps that can be folded down for extra protection in cold weather. This is another way that flat caps offer versatility.

Types of Flat Caps

Flats caps have many names. For example, Ivy caps, Cabbie caps, Irish caps, Scally caps, Gatsby caps, and Newsboy Caps are all names that can be used for flat caps. Although there can be differences, most of these names are interchangeable and refer to the same type of flat cap.

Newsboy caps are the one exception, and a true newsboy cap tends to have a rounder, taller shape than a flat cap. Although it is more common to see a snap button on a flat cap, you will also occasionally see a snap button on the brim of newsboy cap. The purpose, though, is the same.

If you want to explore options, visit our articles linked below:

Although the snap button on the brim of a flat cap may look awkward, it does provide versatility for extra protection against weather. And, when snapped, it is hardly noticeable.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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