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The Cloth Cap

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The Cloth Cap

Is this an icon?


The Cloth Cap

The cloth cap, or flat cap, makes many different fashion statements. It can say no-nonsense Northerner, honest, hard-working and practical. This look was pioneered in nineteenth-century industrial England. It can say “fancy a spot of shooting, old chap?” when sported by jaunty English aristocracy, relaxing casually on their country estates. Worn backwards it speaks volumes for your street cred, in a look pioneered by New York hip-hop artists in the 1980s that has remained popular ever since. In America, the cloth cap had its heyday in the 1920s when favoured by newspaper boys and the idle rich – just think of Gatsby! The soft cap with a small brim and stiff peak at the back was traditionally made out of wool or tweed but can now be found in a wide variety of materials. English ambassadors for the cloth cap have included cartoon strip anti-hero Andy Capp, cricket umpire legend Dickie Bird and hapless comedian Norman Wisdom.

Image: Topfoto.co.uk


Your comments

The cloth cap, usually with a greasy thumb-and-finger mark on the brim where it was pulled down to make a point in verbal debate and now and again to keep the head warmer, was a distinguishing mark of the British working classes. It's still worn by those given to huntin' and fishin' when they're out in the field.

miles roddis

The quintessential head wear for all true Yorkshire folk! Plus, it's popular with those "trendy" lot down South too.
John O'Hara

The flat cap, best known in Yorkshire, is my icon and I wear one all the time to demonstrate my roots. In summer I have a white one!
Simon Crozier

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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye