Men’s Hat Trends: Autumn/Winter 2017

August 22, 2016 - By Emily Potter

Welcome to Men’s Hat Trends, the second article in the Autumn/Winter 2017 style series.

As with every season, there are 4 overarching trends.

The first trend is full of soft pastels and greys with hipster inspiration. The trend has a handcrafted feel at a mass produced level.

The second style consists of deep earth tones, predominately reds, browns, and greens. Earth elements like wood grains, fire, and recyclable materials are used throughout.

The third trend revolves around an active lifestyle and performance fabrics. Reflective and metallic elements on grey-scale garments are common.

The final style also uses a lot of pastels. Retro looks are met with modern technology and bright pops of color and texture.

Check out our blog from last week where we covered women’s styles. In the coming weeks, we will go over youth trends and active wear styles, so stay tuned.

Style and Personality

The following sections break the men’s hat trends into five lifestyle areas. Often times, these will overlap, and guys will be interested in pieces from each collection.

Cold Weather

Cuffed beanies with patches are very popular for this season. We’re also seeing poms transition over to men’s headwear, which is unique. Nature images like fish and buffalo are knitted into the hat as well as stripes and Navajo patterns. Aviators both with and without faux fur are seen as well as other unique shapes.


We’re seeing a lot of branded camo caps, beanies, aviators, and facemasks. Bright accents and sublimated images are used. Trout are a common motif as well as saltwater fishing. Sun-protection shapes like buckets and boonies are also prevalent.

Surf and Skate

Floral patterns and soft pastel colors are transitioning over to men’s wear as well. We’re also seeing a lot of generic camo and vintage looks in this collection. Performance fabrics are very popular. The artwork is mostly single-line hand-drawn graphics that cover large surface areas. Animal and landscape illustrations are common.

Men's Hat Trends

Old School

There are a lot of retro branding and classic logos being used on hats that also have a vintage look. Earth tones are mixed with old-fashioned color palettes. Thick, textured fabrics provide a rugged, highly functional outdoor experience. Landmarks and state parks inspire weathered patches. Quilting, Old English typography, and antique hand-drawn illustrations are used to celebrate one’s heritage.


This season, the Americana trend is in its purest form. The brightest of blues and reds are used in the stars and stripes. There are distressed and gradient versions as well. Bald eagle illustrations are common as well as patriotic taglines. We’re not seeing a ton of grey-scale versions of the flag as we have in past seasons; it’s all very vibrant for A/W ’17.

Decoration Elements

There is a wide array of decoration elements expected for men’s hat trends in the A/W ’17 season.

These include reflective, heathered, distressed and performance fabrics, debossed leather, military and workwear-inspired pieces, hardware, and sublimation.

Men's Hat Trends


Many of the graphics are based on a tagline and its typography, with images being the secondary force. Images are single-line, detailed illustrations with a hand-drawn look. Common motifs include eagles, bears, fish, and mountainous scenery.

Prints and Patterns

Both large and small printed plaids are prevalent as the weather cools off. Stripes, geometric patterns, and generic camo remain popular. We’re starting to see the tribal prints that have been popular with women really break into the male market. Mixing prints and colors is still common; inspiration is taken from nature.

Trim and Details

Perforation and venting give pieces a breathable, performance look. We’re seeing artwork and detailing placed in unique positions on the cap such as vertical branding and side panel decorations. Ropes are becoming popular once again as well as quilted looks and custom back straps.

Fabrics and Shapes

As the weather cools down, we’re seeing warmer looking, more durable fabrics being used. This includes wool, corduroy, denim, suede, waxed canvas, and leather, as well as heathered looks. Captain’s shapes and camper hats are becoming more popular. We’re also seeing sun protection shapes like boonies and buckets, and brim shapes like fedoras. As far as ball caps, unstructured 5 panels and structured 6 panels with full mesh crowns continue to be seen.

Keep checking back every Monday! Next week we’ll cover youth hat trends followed by active and performance wear. Let us know what you think about the men’s hat trends in the comments below; you can also follow us on Instagram using the hashtag #hatswork.

Emily Potter

Emily is the Content Marketer for Outdoor Cap Co. She holds an M.A. in AD & PR from the University of Alabama and a B.B.A in Marketing. Emily is an avid Crimson Tide football fan. She has a golden retriever named Opie Winston, and a cat named Tide.


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