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The History of Trucker Hats

While their direct processor (the quintessential baseball cap) has a much longer history, trucker hats didn’t get their start until the 1970s, when the hats were given away by U.S. feed and farming supply companies as promotional items. Most went to farmers, truck drivers, and other rural, blue-collar workers. Due to their popularity amongst truckers, they were termed “trucker hats,” although they were also sometimes called “feed hats” or “gimme hats” in their earlier days. Companies quickly realized that the hats’ wide, upright front panel made them ideal for advertising and began to emblazon company logos on them. The hats were cheap to produce, which appealed to companies looking for affordable promotional opportunities. They were also functional, which bolstered their popularity among wearers. Trucker hats quickly became part of the “uniform” of blue-collar workers all across America. While the hat is still most commonly worn for its practical purposes, it has also done stints as a fashion trend among those who have no need of its practicality. For example, the trucker hat is often associated with a certain sense of Americana, mostly due to its appearance in many Hollywood productions. In the early 2000s, trucker hats were often seen on the heads of celebrities, including many A-list actors, actresses, and rock stars. And while trucker hats aren’t much of a high-fashion trend currently, there is some speculation that the hats may make a style comeback in the midst of the current Y2K nostalgia.

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