All about newsboy caps

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Eight-panelled caps in various colours

Newsboys in St. Louis, 1910

The newsboy cap or newsy cap is a casual-wear cap similar in style to the flat cap. Sometimes also referred to as the: Baker Boy, Bandit Cap, Apple Cap, Eight Piece Cap, Eight Panel, Cabbie, Jay Gatsby (from The Great Gatsby), Fisherman's Cap, Pageboy, Applejack Hat, Lundberg Stetson, Dr.Chiz Hat, and the Poor Boy Cap.

It has the same overall shape and stiff peak in front as a flat cap, but the body of the cap is rounder, fuller, and panelled with a button on top, and often with a button attaching the front to the brim (as the flat cap sometimes has).


The style was popular in Europe and North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among both boys and adult men. As the name suggests, it is now associated with newspaper boys. This gives rise to a misunderstanding. It is true that many newspaper boys and other working boys wore flat caps along with other styles. This style was not, however, worn only by boys.

Flat caps were very common for North American and European men and boys of all classes during the early 20th century and were almost universal during the 1910s-20s, particularly among the working 'lower' classes. A great many photographs of the period show these caps worn not only by newsboys, but by dockworkers, high steel workers, shipwrights, costermongers, farmers, beggars, (such as Oliver Twist), bandits, artisans, and tradesmen of many types. This is also well attested in novels and films of this period and just after.

While they were worn by boys and men of all social classes, they were worn by the 'upper' classes primarily for leisure activities, and the style became associated with well-to-do country sportsmen, drivers and wealthy golfers.

AC/DC-singer Brian Johnson

Woman wearing a newsboy cap


Although traditionally a men's cap, it has recently seen a resurgence as it has become popular with affluent women and fashion houses in the 2000s. It has also become popular among the nerd subculture, although trilbys are more common. Baker boy hats are now seen in many high street retailers. For summer, many girls and women are choosing soft cotton options as the brim offers sun protection. In winter, wool blend baker boy hats are a popular option for those who want to wear a natural material. In 2011, floral cottons are the current trend following a renewed interest in home sewing.

Roots Canada outfitted the Canadian Olympic team at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. The outfit's most popular item was the red “poorboy” cap (or poor boy cap) worn backwards. These caps became fashionable and were seen on celebrities such as Prince William and P. Diddy.

The hat has become an iconic symbol of guest host Dr. Chiz on the popular internet podcast Painkiller Already. Dr. Chiz wears the hat consistently in every episode in which he makes an appearance. The hat has been known to spark conflict between him and recent host MurkaDurkah. in a recent episode it is speculated that Chiz's father gave it to him as a 'joke' gift only for poor Chiz to mistake it for a gesture of love.

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