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Key Cap Trends for 2023

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Caps continue to be one of the best marketing tools out there. There are so many fun and innovative ways to customize styles to differentiate your cap game, that we created a Cap Trend Guide to help you cut through the noise and discover the trends worth developing. Download the complete guide here

Style 1 - Outdoor Enthusiasts

There are 2 types of customers that we see dominating the market, outdoor enthusiasts and urban explorers. The outdoor category requires functionality and performance above all else, requiring a different cap for every occasion - hiking, trail running, cycling, and snowboarding etc. Often inspired by the colors, shapes and visuals from nature including landscapes and favorite outdoor spot prints.

Klättermusen, Draupa Cap

Sport Centric Styles

This year we will continue to see brands building technical caps for specific sports as the outdoor apparel market continues to explode. This Klättermusen cap (above) is designed for alpine adventures and constantly changing weather conditions. The style is designed to cover ears and has two adjustable toggles to ensure a snug fit despite the elements. Blurring with street style, we're sure city dwellers will also adopt statement pieces like these.

Alpinecho caps

Scenic Truckers

Print any landscape, beauty spot, or aspirational destination directly onto products with sublimation and direct-to-garment printing. For inspiration check out our customer Alpine Echo's line of caps. Alpine Echo use printed and contrast bills and cap buttons to feel designs looking fresh and unique.


Style 2 - Urban Explorer

Little hotdog Watson Bucket Hat

Buckets of joy

Whether you produce kids-wear or not, you can't deny that matching parents & baby bucket hats are the cutest. By using clever paneling and label placement, they can be made reversible. Check out Little Hotdog Watson's gorgeous colorways.

We love bucket hats so much we included 3 different types in the trend guide. Baby, adult and technical. All 3 offer something unique!

Flat brims

Whether a 5-panel, 6-panel, snap-back style, or a wider flat-brimmed cap, flat brims aren't going anywhere. Much loved in sport, street, and skatewear we think they look fantastic plain or with a print and rate Prana's choice of colors and label placement on the Foothills Caps

Material Trends

Think herringbone, heather, mearl, gingham. By printing your fabric texture you can avoid high fabric MOQs and tons of waste. (No one's going to know!)

Purnaa's designs (below) are made from plain recycled polyester, they are sublimation printed with a heather print to achieve this look.

Unsure of where to start?

We recommend considering these 3 questions when considering fabrics.

  • What are the functional needs of the cap? Will it be worn for exercise, in the rain, as a fashion statement?

  • How do I want my cap to look over time? Vibrant and stiff or lovingly worn?

  • What is your approach to sustainability? Are you focused on extending the life of a product as much as possible, the impact of the fabric, or the amount of water used?

We created a quick guide (below) to help you decide which material suits your needs.

Hat sustainability

Want more trends and sustainability tips? Download the complete guide!

This was just a taster. Want to find out more? We've written a comprehensive 14-page guide to help you design, create and sell the most innovative caps on the market, which includes:

  • 13 style and material trends

  • 4 customization trends to give your caps the edge

  • The ultimate cap care guide

  • 5 original tips to improve your brand's sustainability

Purnaa hat trend guide
hat trends


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