Men’s Hat Trends: Spring/Summer 2018

March 27, 2017 - By Emily Potter

Welcome to Men’s Hat Trends, the second article in the Spring/Summer 2018 style series.

As with every season, there are 4 overarching trends.

The first trend is full of desert-inspired colors and textures. Colors become secondary to earth tones and features.

The second style consists of patterns and designs pulled from cultures all over the globe. It mixes traditional materials with intricate, personalized, and rebellious pieces.

The third trend revolves around the marriage of modern nightlife and hyper-tropical influences. Pieces are known to have iridescent, translucent, neon, or metallic properties.

The final style focuses on key summer aesthetics by combining luminous pastels with bright primary colors. Transformational textures and patterns create shifting effects.

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

It’s not too late to review and prepare for Autumn/Winter 2017 as well.

Style and Personality

For this season, the men’s hat trends will include earthy tones and finishes indicative of nature. Amidst the neutrality, there will be pops of bright colors and patterns. Futuristic elements like reflective fabrics will combine with surprisingly well with vintage pieces.

The 6-panel Dad Hat will stay strong, but the vintage 5-panel foam style will gain significant market share. You’ll see some full mesh styles and camper shapes as well.

Heathered fabrics will remain a staple in headwear, but you’ll see a rise in more durable fabrics like denim, corduroy, and canvas.

Sun Protection

The men’s hat trends includes a sun protection line that will be all about boonies and buckets, preferably with chin straps. Straws will also remain popular. You’ll see caps with either built-in or removable neck flaps and/or facemasks.

Of course, UPF certified fabrics to block the sun’s rays are a must in this category.

Men's Hat Trends


As the weather heats up, so do fishing styles: both fresh water and salt water. You’ll see detailed illustrations, especially trout. All over fish patterns will also be popular as well as non-traditional camouflage like digital camo and generic camo. There will still be a significant number of hunting styles despite the season.

There will be a lot of muted tones and colors found in nature.

Surf and Skate

Flat bill caps will still dominate this market, but Dad Hats are making significant headway. You’ll also see a few buckets scattered in.

Generic camo will be common for men’s hat trends as well as detailed, hand-drawn illustrations and single line art, all with a vintage feel. Dad Hats will continue their trend of utilizing small icons or hits of branding. Vibrant colors will mesh well with neutral earth tones.

Old School

Browns and olives will work as the base tones for a substantial portion of products. This style focuses on quality craftsmanship and durable, weathered caps.

You’ll see textured fabrics and patches that reflect the outdoor lifestyle. National parks and nature graphics are popular with script typefaces and bright, retro accent colors.


The Americana trend is very prominent in the market. The summer months are home to Memorial Day and Independence Day and people want to show their pride in the U.S.A. This season, you can expect red, white, and blue plaids, gradients, and tie-dyes.

Men's Hat Trends

Decoration Elements


The graphics are built around a tagline and its typography. You’ll see a lot of nature scenes, both detailed and single line illustrations. Bears and national parks are common motifs.

Prints and Patterns

Men are embracing floral & tropical prints this season. Geometric patterns and generic camo remain popular. You’ll also see tie-dyes, tribal patterns, and ombre effects.

Trim and Details

Venting and custom eyelets keep caps breathable while adding an extra style element. We’re expecting a lot of leather, both debossed and embossed; this will be utilized on custom back straps. You’ll also see ropes, quilting, and cut-and-sew details.

Keep checking back every Monday! Next week we’ll cover youth hat trends followed by athleisure 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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