Athleisure Hat Trends: Spring/Summer 2018

April 10, 2017 - By Emily Potter

Welcome to the final article in our four-part trend series. This post will cover athleisure hat trends meant for an active lifestyle.

There are 4 high-level trends for every fashion season.

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.

Over the past month, we have covered hat trends for women, men, and youth. It’s not too late to review and prepare for Autumn/Winter 2017.

We will continue to keep you up to date with future trends biannually. So keep an eye out later this year for the Autumn/Winter 2018 series.

Forecasting for performance hat trends pulls from the athleisure or activewear phenomenon we’ve all experienced in recent years.

For both women and men, athleisure hat trends call for psychedelic colors, velvet, disruptive layers, perforation and ventilation, geometric patterns, ribbed and waterproofed fabrics, embossing, quilted structures, animal prints, and rubberized and reflective materials.

Athleisure Hat Trends


Patterns and Graphics

The patterns and graphics for athleisure hat trends can only be described as bold. You’ll see a lot of bright primary colors with in-your-face patterns. Geometric patterns, stripes, tribal prints, florals, generic camos, and tie-dyes are all popular. There will also be some sketching or doodling prints as well as neon colors.


Bright colors and reflective fabrics are essential for safety reasons. Performance fabrics and ventilation will be popular. Motivational saying will be used with branding marks and sublimation.


Neutrals, specifically black, white, and grey make up a significant portion of this market. They’re accented with bright neons and florals. Ombre patterns and speckled patterns are popular with motivational taglines. Both lightweight and reflective fabrics will be common.


We’re seeing a lot of unique patterned perforations in golf styles. Bright colors and high contrast styles will be common with all over patterns.

Outdoor Active

In this category, you can expect both earth tones and bright pastels. You’ll see some nontraditional shapes like boonies, buckets, and military caps as well as ball cap styles. Foldable visors and performance fabrics will be popular.


You’ll see large, oversized team logos this season. More is more. There are a lot of shiny, metallic embellishments, custom typefaces, and floral patterns. You’ll see both vintage versions of logos and pink versions of logos.

Athleisure Hat Trends


Patterns and Graphics

The men are also into motivational taglines. Stripes, gradients, generic camos, and geometric patterns are all common. You can expect very simple graphics and clean art for the athleisure hat trends.


Again, reflective fabrics are a necessary safety measure for runners. You’ll see a lot of lightweight and heathered fabrics with venting. Visors will gain some market share and geometric patterns will be common.


This category will be full of neutral colors and earth tones with bright accent colors. Distressed print, stripes, generic camo, and color blocking will all be popular.


White and gray dominate this market. There will be some bright colors and gradients to highlight the neutral colors. Heathered fabrics, stripes, and generic camos are common.

Outdoor Active

You can expect earthy colors found in nature with small brand marks. Patches and foldable visors will be popular attributes.


We’re seeing a lot of vintage or heritage looks with heavy washes paying homage to the game of the past. But the performance fabrics are anything but old. You’ll see some reflective elements, stripes, heathered materials, and generic camo as well.

This is the final article in the S/S ‘18 blog series. We will continue to visit the topic of trend guides twice a year for each upcoming season. As we stated before, we work several seasons ahead so that merchandise has time to go to market.

Let us know what you think about the athleisure hat trends in the comments below. And don’t forget to 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.


Hatswork Round-Up: April 13, 2017


Hatswork Round-Up: April 6, 2017