Good evening/day/whenever you're reading this, and welcome back to the Friar's Hat Stash! It's been a while since I've been able to sit down and make one of these, so I apologize in advance for the wait. Maybe this post will help turn our fortunes around, as we're starting July with a slump stemming from the oft-joked about Marlins.
To be honest, I actually spent most of the last 2 weeks in beautiful San Diego, away from most of my collection and busy with job training. The work-vacation was much needed, as temperatures in my home town currently sit at 115 degrees, and I haven't had a proper vacation since I've started working. Of course, being in San Diego gave me an excuse to pad my collection, and I'll display a few new additions in this extra-sized edition.
This episode is extra-sized for good reason: it's been a long time since I've posted (again, sorry), and I actually own a lot of Padres caps that fit into today's theme.
When it comes to fashion caps, you'll find caps with your favorite team (the Padres, of course!) logo on them, but in an assortment and array of colorways. One of the more popular colorways is having a team logo, but in a different team's colorway. For a collector, this is a fun way to display your fanhood for your team in a different region of the USA, and still conform somewhat to the normal menagerie of baseball caps people normally see. I've received some varied reactions to these caps when I've worn them, from general disbelief to smug smiles and "nice hat, wrong team" comments. Some of these caps will go great with last week's discussion in the comments; that is, you can blend in to normal crowds while still repping your Padres.
We'll jump right in, since there are lots of pictures to come. Back in the day, I would have posted a 56k warning for those with phone modems. See if you can figure out why these caps are ordered the way they are.
Here is a navy blue Padres cap, complete with white SD logo and white MLB logo in the back. The gray underbrim makes its first appearance in this blog, and the color is actually a very popular underbrim color for fashion caps. While it does little in the ways of absorbing or otherwise blocking out sunlight that gets under the cap, it does provide great visual contrast, and opens up your options when color matching your outfit to your cap. The modern black sweatband also makes an appearance on this 100% wool cap. The modern authentic sticker is also shown.
If it wasn't obvious enough, this is a Padres cap in the Yankees/Tigers colorway. Since the Yankees possess probably the most popular on-field cap and the Tigers have been a trendy pick as of late, the navy Padres variant is a great compromise as far as color goes. Navy caps wear well with anything, and aren't visually distracting. Of course, some won't guess that this is a Yankees/Tigers colorway in the first place, either.
This Padres cap is in the infamous Dodger blue, with white SD logo, white MLB logo, and matching blue underbrim. This cap is also 100% wool, and like most of the caps you'll see today, the sweatband is black. This cap does have the newer authentic sticker.
An eagle-eyed fan will give this cap a look and point out the obvious: Why isn't the button on the top of the cap white? The answer: this cap isn't a true Dodgers colorway cap. There was a more accurate version floating around about 5 years ago, when New Era produced a collection with caps in different team colors. I had yet to truly emerge as a collector, and thus I did not acquire the cap. Still, the cap pictured here works well for my purposes, and I still get double takes while wearing the cap.
The next cap is part of that collection previously mentioned, and it is indeed in the proper Giants colorway. An orange SD and button pop on this otherwise black 100% wool cap. The MLB logo in the back is also orange, and the underbill is black. The age of this cap is made apparent by the appearance of the older authentic sticker. This particular cap is fun to wear due in part to its scarcity, and the fact that it is in the Giants colorway. I wore this cap prominently during their World Series run last year, much to the chagrin of other Giants fans. Because of its primary color, however, it is an easier cap to wear without drawing too much attention (other than from adamant Giants fans).
This bright red (too red for my camera, apparently) Padres cap can pass for either the Cardinals, Reds, or Nationals colorways even though it does not exactly fit either of the three (lack of navy or black detail under the logo). I wouldn't call this a cap in the Angels colorway, only because the Angels' A logo is red as well. This 100% wool cap is all red, with white SD logo and MLB logo in the back. Black makes its only appearance in the sweatband. The authentic sticker is also shown with the red stitching.
Red caps are always visually striking, and this cap is no exception (especially in a region where only one team wears a red cap and more people are fans of the team across the city). I tend to pair this cap with white more often than not, only because I wear red on a regular basis for work.
Many of the solid color caps in this episode are part of the C-Dub series, which is one of the most widely available series of fashion caps. The series is known for having team caps in a variety of colors, many of which just happen to fit into other team's colorways. Since caps in other team's actual colorways are rare, the C-Dub series is a great intro into collecting and finding caps that can work as other team's caps.
One of the grails of my collection, this particular Padres cap is styled in the Braves colorway. This cap is navy, with a red brim and button. The SD logo is the appropriate white. The MLB logo in the back is red and white, and the underbrim matches the red on top and in the logo. The sweatband is the usual black, and the authentic sticker is the older version. This cap, like many other fashion caps, is 100% wool.
The reason why I call this particular cap one of the grails in my collection is simple: It is an incredibly sought after colorway. The Braves cap is a popular cap in general because of its universal appeal in color as well as team (especially to those who watched baseball in the 90s). This Padres cap came out in the same series as the Giants colorway shown earlier, and sold quickly after its release. Because of its popular colorway and otherwise universal use of navy and white, this cap is easy to wear with almost any color outfit.
Stealing the colors from our coastal rivals to the north, the Padres cap shown here is clad in the Mariners colorway. This cap is navy, with a teal brim and button. The SD logo is silver with a teal border. The MLB logo in the back is white with a matching teal accent. The underbrim is gray and visually pops in comparison with the rest of the cap. While gray hasn't made much of an appearance so far in this blog, you'll see more and more fashion caps with gray (and other) colors in future episodes. This cap is 80% wool, 20% polyester.
While this cap is relatively newer (as indicated by the authentic sticker), I haven't personally seen it around as much. I actually really like the colorway of this cap. Teal isn't a common color in caps outside of Seattle, and the SD logo really pops nicely with the silver. Because of the natural rivalry between the Padres and Mariners, this cap is especially fun to wear in the Northwest. Outside of Washington, this cap really stands out.
The last hat that we'll look at today is a Padres hat adorned in the Athletics colorway. Forest green makes up the crown of the cap, with yellow as the accents on the brim and button. The SD logo is the correct white, while the MLB logo features a yellow accent along with the usual white. The underbrim is gray, and contrasts nicely with the forest green and yellow. Like the cap before it, this cap is also mixed fabric (80% wool, 20% polyester).
Since I don't personally know many Athletics fans nor do I frequent Oakland, this cap doesn't get a lot of reaction as far as a "same color, different team" cap. I do get a lot of use out of this particular cap since it happens to be in the colors of my high school. The colors do allow this cap to stand out on its own, and having a more visually interesting cap requires more discretion in outfit choices.
As promised, I'll delve a little into cap maintenance. Naturally, as a collector, I do my best to keep my caps in as clean and as presentable a condition as possible. However, caps get worn, caps absorb sweat, block water and sun from hitting your head, and sometimes caps end up somewhere off your head. I personally take more care than most when it comes to hat maintenance, but here's a few tips to get you started.
- Before washing, remove and safely place any stickers you'd like to keep and put back on the cap later (this is usually only the authentic sticker under the bill).
- These tips only apply to modern caps. Caps made in the 80s and earlier may have cardboard within the bills, which does dissolve when washed.
- Hand washing your cap is probably the easiest way you can clean a cap that is well worn or dirty. For your wool caps, a little cool water running in the sink and a mild detergent work best. You can use a thick brush to help work out tough stains; ensure you brush with the grain of the cap to avoid loose threading popping out. Poly-blend caps wash just the same. Air dry both after you're done. Don't wring out your cap, or you'll mess its shape up.
- Believe it or not, you can actually wash your cap while in the shower. After you're done washing yourself up, turn the temperature down a bit and wash your cap with a mild shampoo (wool is animal fiber). After you're done, wear your cap to air dry. Because wool caps are generally more elastic than polyester, you can shape a cap perfectly to your head using this method. Polyester can also be done in the same fashion, but you won't get the benefit of shaping the cap after you wash it (polyester is a little more stubborn than wool). Don't blow-dry your wool cap; it'll shrink.
- You can purchase a plastic hat cage at most retailers if you choose to wash your cap in the washing machine. The cage ensures your cap will keep its shape in the relatively turbulent waters. The same rules apply for a washing machine: cool water, mild detergent, air dry.
- For basic spot checks, you can use a mild detergent mixed with water in a spray bottle. Just spray and wipe as needed. Many hat retailers sell specialty sprays with the added benefit of being formulated for caps and added deodorizing agents. For around $5, it won't hit your wallet hard if you choose this option.
- For prevention, you can choose to spray down your caps with a waterproofing/stainproofing solvent. Many hat retailers sell this particular product, but you can also find it in the shoe department at your general retailer. Two rounds of spraying down your cap will help deflect water and other unwanted liquids from staining your cap. While it's not completely 100% effective, it does help keep your hat from getting unnecessarily wet.
I'll wrap up with where I primarily go for my cap choices. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not promoting these companies in any way. The sites listed are merely for your perusal. Below you'll find two of the websites I frequent for my hat collecting. I'll also include a quick review of each.
- LIDS - Probably one of the biggest retailers of caps, Lids carries caps for hundreds of teams in several different sports. Lids does carry a good selection of Padres caps, though not nearly as many exclusives as for teams in bigger markets. Still, you can find many different fashion and on-field caps here. They offer a membership that offers 20% off cap purchases for 1 year, with 25% if you accumulate $300 spent. Their shipping times in comparison to other retailers are longer, since they ship from Indianapolis. I get my orders generally within a week of ordering. There are numerous retail outlets around the US, should you choose to find one for yourself.
- HAT CLUB - Another large retailer, Hat Club also carries caps for hundreds of teams in different sports. Hat Club also sells purely fashion caps, from Crooks & Castles to floral designs. What Hat Club offers is more fashion cap options. You can find a good selection of Padres caps here in some unique colorways, but less as far as really standard colors. Hat Club is also larger-market team friendly, so there are more Yankees/Mets/Dodgers caps than there are Padres selections. Hat Club also offers a membership for 20% off purchases for life. Shipping is faster, with my orders coming in within 3-5 days. There are much fewer Hat Club locations around the US, so you may have to do some hunting to find one.
I hope you've enjoyed this extra-large edition of the Friar's Hat Stash as I did making it. As always, I look forward to reading your comments and questions below. Next time, you can expect to read...
- Some of my really wild caps!
- Hat too small or big? By popular demand, my tips!
Thanks for reading! Go Pads!
Tim (The SD Hat Guy)