I owned a newsboy cap once. The year was 2004. The brand was Bebe. I was shopping with my mom, who has spent my entire life convinced that I look amazing in hats, in much the same way that some mothers become irrationally convinced that their children are photogenic enough to model or smart enough to skip the 4th grade. In reality, I only look kind of okay in hats, but this has not stopped my mom from bullying me into trying on every single hat we’ve ever encountered together. This hat was black and cream and made from wool, and because I had probably seen, like, J.Lo or someone rocking something similar, when she offered to buy it for me (because remember, it looked amazing on me), I acquiesced. But the Bebe newsboy cap would make it out of my closet just a handful of times. Because even at the tender age of 13, I innately understood something very important, that I’d like to share with you now: newsboy caps are completely absurd looking.
Unfortunately, some people seem have forgotten this fact. Among them are Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber, Vogue, Teen Vogue, ASOS, Kendall Jenner, InStyle, and Marc Jacobs. To be fair, Bella, Kendall, and Kaia are probably too young to remember the first time we collectively learned our lesson about newsboy caps. And some retailers have, confusingly, taken to calling them “fiddler caps” or “baker boy hats.” But make no mistake. It’s the same old newsboy cap, the one worn, up until now, almost exclusively by thirsty early aughts celebs and that weird dude in your freshman year philosophy seminar.
Photo: Splash News
Just to be clear, I do not have a problem with hats at large. Give me a cozy beanie, a floppy felt hat, or a wide-brimmed straw number any day. But newsboy caps are an abomination. Not only do they give off a distinct Charles Dickens vibe (when I think of the eras from which I want to draw fashion inspo, the Great Depression is pretty low on the list), but, like, what even are they in the taxonomy of hats? They sort of look like a beret landed atop a baseball hat and just decided to stay there. (By the way, both berets and baseball hats are a better head-covering option than a newsboy cap.) The puffy on top/brimmed on the bottom aesthetic also has the effect of making your cranium look about three sizes larger than it actually is, and I’m not sure that’s a good look on anyone.
But the worst thing about newsboy caps is, irrefutably, the fact that the only way to get them to look almost-cool is to position them on your head in that artfully askew, just-so manner that necessitates not moving your neck at all for the rest of the day. You can’t just pull on a newsboy cap the way you might a beanie, no, you have to arrange it. A little more up, a little more down, a little more to the side. The whole thing is so overwrought that it defeats the purpose of wearing a hat, which everyone knows is to avoid having to do anything to your hair. Fine, I guess there’s also keeping your head warm. But I’d argue that, due to their perscarious placement on your head, newsboy caps don’t really do that either.
Photo: Marc Jacobs
The only reason you’re even considering wearing a newsboy cap right now is because you saw a picture of Blake Lively or someone wearing one and she looked good. But guess what? Blake Lively looks good in literally everything! That’s why she’s freakin’ Blake Lively. And if you take all your fashion tips from her (or whomever your celebrity fashion icon du jour may be), you’ll just end up spending your life wearing a series of metaphorical bad newsboy caps. This is—not brag or anything—one more lesson I learned at the tender age of 13 when I covered my closet door in cut-out pictures of Kate Moss and tried to copy all her outfits. Sadly, what looks good on a twenty-something British supermodel is much different from what looks good on an angsty, pubescent suburbanite. The lessons we learn!
Anyway, don’t give into the temptation to buy a newsboy cap, no matter how tempting it looks on any celebrity, because there’s no chance you won’t regret it when you look at pictures of yourself five years (or, like, one week) from now. And if you happen to encounter Kendall and/or Kaia, kindly let them in on this truth.