Living in an international fashion capital, University of Miami students often find new ways to turn heads. Lately, there has been a craze around hats. Of course, this works perfectly for strolling around campus on hot, sunny days, keeping the sweat contained while you’re camping out at Hard Rock Stadium. Whether you own one basic baseball cap or 60 unique snapbacks, congratulations — you’re officially part of the hat-head culture club.
In ancient culture, hats have represented the ranking of rulers, freedom and decoration before making a splash into the world of fashion.
When baseball emerged in the United States during the early 1800s, rules and uniforms were informal. There was no specific “baseball cap” at first. Players wore straw boater hats or pillbox hats — anything to keep the sun out of their eyes. However, by the 20th century, baseball hats morphed into having the longer bills, vertical fronts and team logo stitching that we know today.
Style On Top
With every scroll on your phone, the next trend is moments from finding its way into your wardrobe. Instagram and TikTok fashion influencers oftentimes dictate the “best looks” that have you shopping on every website you can to capture the same essence in an outfit.
Depending on her activities for the day, junior Melanie Martínez references different fashion influencers for her everyday looks. One of her favorites are gym influencers who style baseball caps for any gender.
“I wear hats for fashion at the gym,” said Martínez. “It keeps the hair out of my eyes when I run. It keeps it out of my face when I’m looking down.”
Martínez frequently exercises while wearing her reliable, blue Adidas hat because she can adjust it in the back. Depending on the intensity of her workouts, she can make the hat tighter, so it fits perfectly on her head and doesn’t fly off.
She likes to shop for her hats in person, not online. She wants to make sure the fit is right and examine the quality when adding to her carefully picked hat collection, which currently stands at five hats.
Martínez is excited to see her friends joining in on the hat trend. They love wearing hats to UM games to show off their school spirit while staying trendy, and of course, keeping cool in the insurmountable Hard Rock Stadium heat.
A popular hat brand is New Era, an innovative fashion business with high-quality designs. Hats can be bought directly from the manufacturer but are also sold at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Lids and Foot Locker — all stores found within three miles of campus. Prices range from $30 to $45.
Some girls favor ALO caps because of their simplicity and athletic look. ALO Yoga is a brand similar to Lululemon, but with more variety in their items, such as sweat sets and tanks in different styles. The online store offers neutral colors, including black, gray and white hats for $58 each.
If baseball hats aren’t your style, there are still a variety of options you could look at.
While not the most comfortable choice for running across campus when you have back-to-back classes, beanie hats can be a fun indoor staple for your wardrobe. Amazon offers reliable brands such as Carhartt and Nike, which sell knit-cuffed beanies for $20 and less.
For our beachgoers, straw sun hats or bucket hats paired with beachwear create a tropical look perfectly suited for South Florida.
One for the Road
When it’s time to say “ciao” to a beautiful home or vacation spot, people usually itch for a keepsake. In this sense, sometimes hats are purchased and worn for memories.
Sophomore Jake Baum packed his bags and flew from the West Coast to study communication at the U and, for a little nostalgia, he slipped a snapback into his suitcase.
“I wear hats that have sentimental meaning to me, like the hat I’m wearing now is from wrestling championships back in California,” Baum said, recalling the high school celebration.
A proud ’Cane, Baum also owns several Miami hats. Nonetheless, growing up in Los Angeles, he loves to rep Dodgers baseball caps.
The More, The Merrier
A true hat fan, Patrick Burnett, a senior at the University of Central Florida, proudly owns nearly 100 hats, many from local ballparks across Florida and several MLB stadiums.
He acquires them from team stores mostly, even though he uses Facebook Marketplace and eBay when he wants some throwbacks, paying roughly $80. He gathers hats wherever he goes; he doesn’t think of his hobby as an expensive one since he mostly relies on thrift stores and vintage fairs.
“I’ve definitely spent a few months of rent on hats,” Burnett said. “But I don’t regret it at all because all of my hats have a meaning to me, whether it was a cool style for one of my teams or it represents a fun time I had.”
He notices more popularity in throwback hats, especially those sporting original logos, not just reproductions of them. It’s part of his “dad hat” style.
Students wear hats because they have something to say. Some may call this a fashion statement, but it’s also known as being free and confident. People use hats to represent their personality, values and culture. When it comes to hats, the stage is yours.
For years, University of Miami graduate student Alexander Waddington lived in Puerto Rico. He’s thankful for the friendships he made while on the island. He wears a hat to remember this time in his life.
“Here in Florida, I wear a giant wide brim hat with the Puerto Rican flag on it,” Waddington said. “It looks like a farmer’s hat. I like that it has the Puerto Rican flag on it. It’s representation mixed with being super convenient.”
Now, we urge you: grab a hat, go out and show off your style. Whether you’re covering up a bad hair day or just looking to add some flair to your hair, hats are more than fashion. Here in Miami, they’re a lifestyle.
Oversized fedora: This wide brim hat is back from the 1920s, promising a dapper edge to elevate any look.
Crochet bucket hat: Wardrobes need a little whimsy, and these granny square hats artistically accomplish this.
Baseball cap: What can we say? Some things never go out of style.
words_sabrina catalán, steven calcutt & communitywire.miami. photo_cecilia intriago. design_laurie vuong.
CommunityWire.Miami is the news service of the graduate journalism program of the School of Communication at the University of Miami.
This article was published in Distraction’s Fall 2023 print issue.
Follow our Social Media: