The snapback first became popular when American baseball players adopted the cap as part of their uniforms in the 1950s. Then the 90s hit, and the snapback officially became a part of pop culture and popular fashion. The style was adopted by urban musicians across the US, from N.W.A on the west coast to Mobb Deep on the east coast.
The look fell out of fashion at the end of the millennium, but it’s back in full force now that artists like Chris Brown, Tyga, Kanye West, and Jay-Z have been seen sporting them again. Ever wondered how to wear a snapback? Well, read on.
#1 Sloped Sideways (Like The Schumanator)
Scott Schuman (the blogger and fashion photographer who created The Sartorialist, for those of you who have been living under rocks since 2005) could wear a bucket on his head and turn it into a trend, but we’re glad he didn’t. Instead he’s chosen to rock a New York Yankees cap with a slight sideways lean which, when you think about it, is probably the natural progression of snapback-wearing strategy. We’ve already done right-side-up and backwards, so it was only a matter of time before sideways style became a hit.
#2 Up On Top (Italian Cyclist Style)
We’re going to go ahead and call this a slightly more advanced look at how to wear a snapback. First, there’s the hat itself: those bright colours obviously require a bigger set of balls than a basic black cap. Then there’s the angle: worn on the top of the head with the brim protruding upwards, the hat could cross the line into cockatoo territory if you don’t have the swag to pull it off. This hip young thing goes all out with the rest of his outfit, complementing his vivid snapback with an equally colourful shirt, a dangling earring, and a trendy haircut.
#3 Ready For Speed
If you’re still wondering how to wear a snapback, wearing it straight backwards is a no-no these days. Frankly, it looks a little foolish. You could pull it off if you’re Jay-Z, but you’re not (and if you are… say hi to Beyoncé for us). For the rest of us, this backwards look – high off the forehead in the front and dipped down low in the back – is a much cooler approach to rocking your cap. It’s also got great aerodynamics, making it a significantly better option for darting through NYC traffic on your skateboard or escaping from the hordes of adoring fans who are obsessed your style.
#4 Smart Casual Cool
If Jane Goodall studied head hats instead of chimpanzees, a look like this would be her opportunity to observe the snapback in its natural habitat. This outfit works because it just feels right, like you’re seeing the snapback as nature intended it to be. Key points: great shades, a casual tee, an on-trend denim jacket, a cool watch, and continuous incorporation of orange as a running theme in almost every aspect of the outfit. Also note the extremely flattened brim of the cap, a hipper, more modern effect than the curved bill look. (Pic via The Urban Gent)
#5 Like A Gangsta, Yo!
No one would dare mess with Kanye, which means the self-proclaimed “god” of rap music can get away with wearing anything he wants. That includes completely blinged out snapbacks, like this dark blue NBA cap. Yeezy is a master of many things, but subtlety most certainly isn’t one of them and his penchant for the conspicuous is on full display here. The white t-shirt is a surprisingly toned-down choice, but he makes up for it with a neck full of attention-getting gold chains, a wrist with several stacked bracelets, and the bedazzled brim of his hat.