Vintage Sports Caps for Women

Walk into any antique shop in the country and there is sure to be a selection of vintage hats.  Considering that most women stopped wearing them in the late 1960s, it is a wonder that so many of them survive.  Hats take up a lot of storage space, and you would think they would have all been thrown out in an effort to gain closet space.   Perhaps many women kept thinking that hats would make a comeback, and so were reluctant to toss them.  And I’m sure that many were saved due to sentimental reasons.

The shops are full of church hats, cocktail hats, and sun hats, but a bit harder to find is the lowly sports cap.  Like other sportswear, they received hard use.  I’ve found a few that were in seriously sad condition with dirt and sweat stains.  I imagine that most of them that reached that level of use were simply thrown away.

This 1950s cap must have belonged to a woman who preferred the indoors, as it shows few signs of wear.  Maybe it was bought out of necessity on a beach vacation (note shell decorations).

This cap appears to have been homemade.  It provides some serious shade, but style is not forgotten:

I have another homemade one from the 1930s, and two that are from the 1950s and are similar to the one at the top of this post.  These 1950s caps look an awful lot like the baseball cap, but often with a smaller brim.

Here are a few ads from the early 1950s.

“Perfect loafing costume…”

These cute little caps were made from Cannon terry cloth.

I’m not going to lie.  I want that plaid Pendleton cap.  I also want the handbag.


Filed under Collecting, Proper Clothing, Summer Sports

10 responses to “Vintage Sports Caps for Women

  1. Hi…Can’t say that I remember ANY of those caps. They look like they would be easy to forget. Most of us wore the white sailor caps with the brim pulled down and mostly for the Lake Michigan beach.


    • Marge, I was just now looking through some old Abercrombie & Fitch catalogs, and they show both the sports cap I’ve pictured, but the girls on sailboats are wearing the white sailor cap. This is from the late 1940s through 1947.


  2. Fashion Witness

    Is there a date on the Pendelton Bonnie Prince Charles plaid suit / pantsuit? The text calls it ‘the famous 49er,’ and Prince Charles was was born on November 14th in 1948…. I can imagine the trousers & jacket being worn to a football game in 1949-50, but I’m still surprised. I love the vest!


    • The ad is from 1952.

      The 49er jacket was first made in 1949, but it was very popular and continued in production for many years. Pendleton still makes it. The plaid actually refers to the other Prince Charlie, Charles Stuart, the Pretender.

      Maybe I ought to put the vest on my wishlist!


  3. Wow! What wonderful finds! I have never come across any sports caps such as yours, or the ones in the ads, with the exceptions of ones a friend of mine owns.

    And I love the look of that 49’er with a belt! I’ll have to try that out!


  4. I LOVE both your hats and would wear them today! I might just have to try to make one like the sun hat (I’ll add it to my never-ending list of things to make…) – the back detail is so cool!


  5. Oh, how beautiful! The Australian countryside truly is a gem to behold and your dress is gorgeous.


  6. Mega oops with that comment! Pls delete it Lizzie. I had trouble logging in with my WP account to comment and I think I pasted something else!

    What I meant to say was…

    I love these caps! They’re cute and practical.


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