Athleisure Hat Trends: Autumn/Winter 2018

December 18, 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.

The first trend for the A/W ’18 season is full of color blocking and classic, distressed collegiate-inspired looks.

The second style consists of earthy tones and aged effects like quilting, beadwork, leather pieces, and metal embellishments.

The third trend revolves around high-tech, artificial intelligence-inspired designs. Textures like metallic leather, velvet, and glow in the dark effects make a bold statement.

The final style focuses on combing cultures and generations through street art and shared nostalgia. Neon colors accent ethnic patterns.

Over the past month, we have covered hat trends for women, men, and youth. We will continue to keep you up to date with future trends biannually. So keep an eye out early next year for the Spring/Summer 2019 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 performance fabrics with reflective elements for high visibility and ventilation or perforation for maximum breathability.


Patterns and Graphics

Between the Unicorn Frappuccino and Mermaid Toast, we’ve seen a lot of bright pastels lately, both in food and clothing. And that trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Along with the whimsical color scheme, you can expect a lot of florals, geometric patterns, tie-dye, gradients and generic camos. There’s also large bold text, logos, and taglines.


Reflective and performance fabrics are imperative for safety and comfort. Bright colors and patterns remain popular in running styles. Motivational taglines are used in conjunction with geometric patterns. You can also expect sublimation and small hits of branding.

Athleisure and Training

Black, white, and grey are the dominant colors, but they’re highlighted with bright accents. Lightweight, reflective fabrics are essential for performance and visibility. Geometric patterns are often mixed with motivational sayings.

Outdoor Active

This market consists of some unique shapes including military styles and brimmed hats. There are more earth tones used here than any other collection, but you can also expect some bright colors as well. The berry color is especially popular. Performance fabrics are used to keep up with vigorous outdoor activities.

Cold Weather

Headbands and ear warmers are popular in addition to both traditional and enhanced beanie shapes. You’ll see some beanies with cutouts for ponytails. Bright colors are still popular. Reflective and heathered materials are very common with small hits of branding.Athleisure Hat Trends


Patterns and Graphics

Things are much more calm in the men’s athleisure hat trends than the women’s. There is a lot of black, white, and grey. If a pop of color exists, it is typically a single color, perhaps with shade and tone variations.

Graphics consist of simple, clean art with motivational taglines. Geometric patterns, stripes, gradients, oversized logos, and generic camos are all very common among men.


Reflective fabrics are important for the safety of night and early morning runners. Runners demand lightweight fabrics with venting for breathability. You’ll see a lot of motivational sayings here as well along with distressed, geometric, and Oreo patterns.


Generic camo is very common in this market. Bright colors lend accents to earth tones, blacks, and greys. Other popular elements include distressed prints, gradients, and heathered fabrics.


Vintage looks are becoming more popular among golfers. We’re also seeing a lot of bright colors, stripes, perforation, gradients, heathered fabrics, and generic camos.

Outdoor Active

This market is also full of earth tones, blacks, and greys. You’ll see a lot of foldable visors and brim shapes like buckets and boonies. Performance fabrics are important to keep up with the elements.

Cold Weather

The colors for cold weather caps are mostly black and grey with a few primary colors mixed in. Lightweight performance fabrics are key here. Reflective and heathered elements are used with small branding hits.


The team market has a vintage feel to it. You can expect large, oversized logos, color blocking leather visors, denim, and heathered fabrics. Both flat and pre-curved visors are popular for team caps.

This is the final article in the A/W ‘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.


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