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Structured Caps Vs Unstructured Caps

Structured Vs. Unstructured Caps. Difference? (With Pictures)

We have all worn caps and hats, but we have seen that some caps retain their shape when they are not worn, while others collapse or lose their shape. This is because some caps have a structured crown while others don’t. This is an important point of distinction because you might want to go for a certain look and the cap’s sturdiness determines whether you are able to do so or not. Therefore, a prospective wearer must understand the Structured vs Unstructured Caps comparison.

The difference between structured vs unstructured caps

The main difference is structured caps can retain their shape even when not worn by the wearer. This is because of the existence of stiff fabric on the inside of the cap’s crown. This hard fabric gives the cap a ‘structure. Therefore, the cap is known as a structured cap. As opposed to a structured cap, the unstructured cap has no such stiff inner structure, and therefore, it doesn’t retain its shape when not worn or when kept on the table. The stiff material used is known as ‘Buckram,’ and in most cases, it is applied only to the cap’s front panels.

Which style cap is best for logo embroidery – structured or unstructured?

If you are applying logo embroidery at the cap’s front, your main purpose is that it is properly displayed. If the crown loses its shape every time the wearer takes it off, you are not maximizing the display time. Further, the logo also loses its structure in such a case. Therefore, it is best to have such embroidery on a structured cap instead of an unstructured cap.

What is a structured cap?

Structured Caps

The most common type of cap is a baseball cap. It is one of the best examples to understand a structured cap. Generally, the baseball cap has six panels sewn together. If the front two panels have buckram inside, the cap gains support and doesn’t lose its shape when not worn. These caps are known as structured caps.

However, a baseball cap is not the only kind of structured cap. There are other styles too, such as a Peaked Cap or a Deerstalker Cap. At times, if the caps are made for wearing in winter, they use heavier fabrics such as wool. In such cases, the fabric needs linings for support and wearing comfort. Therefore, even such caps have a structured crown.

Another important reason why caps need to be structured is the cap profile or the crown’s height. The higher the profile, the greater the need for support, and therefore the cap needs structure.

Advantages of structured caps

  • These are best to display logo embroidery or military insignia because the structured crown provides constant visibility.
  • They convey an alert, spic-span, ready to take action look. Therefore, they are most appropriate for armed forces.
  • They fit well on the wearer’s head and don’t fall off easily, so they are best while playing a sport.

Disadvantages of structured caps

  • They are less durable as compared to unstructured caps because, with time, they lose their inner material and, therefore, lose their firmness.
  • They lack foldability, and therefore, can’t be stored in small places
  • They are less travel-friendly, and instead of putting things on top of structured caps, you should revert them and put things inside so they don’t lose their structure while traveling.

What is an unstructured cap?

Unstructured Caps

As the name suggests, unstructured caps have a softer and collapsible crown due to the lack of an inner structure. If taking an example of a six-paneled baseball cap, the front two panels will not have buckram inside.

However, there are some other examples of an unstructured cap, too, one common one being a Fiddler cap, also known as a Mariner’s Cap. As the unstructured caps lack structure, they are made from softer fabrics such as cotton, canvas, denim, and so on.

Advantages of unstructured caps

  • They convey a very laid-back, relaxed, or casual look, so the wearer’s wanting that kind of look should definitely go for them.
  • They are more durable as compared to structured caps; the only issue they can face is they can be torn more easily, but packing them in your travel bag is much easier without denting them.
  • They are easily foldable, and therefore, can be stored in small places
  • They are made from softer material and are therefore more breathable and sweat-absorbent

Disadvantages of unstructured caps

  • These are not a great option to display logo embroidery or military insignia because the unstructured crown loses shape and reduces visibility.
  • They don’t fit as well as structured hats and can fall easily if not supported by elastic closures. Therefore, if an unstructured cap needs to work in a sport, it should have an elastic rear.

Structured vs unstructured caps

Comparison PropertiesStructured capUnstructured cap
MaterialThe outer material could be softer; however, the inner structure is made from a stiff material such as buckram. An inner lining is added to provide wearing comfort.Softer materials such as cotton, canvas, and denim are used. No inner lining is required, as the material in itself is soft.
StabilityThese are more stable because they fit better on the wearer’s head. Further, the rigid structure prevents them from flying away in the wind.They are less stable until there is an elastic closure; however, they are relatively less stable even with the closure. They can easily fly away in the wind.
DurabilityA structured cap is less durable because it can lose the stiff inner structure with time, and it can get dented easily.An unstructured cap is more durable because there isn’t much damage you can cause to it except tearing it.
Ideal ForThese are ideal for sports, armed forces, and other purposes where you can’t compromise visibility or need to look alert.   Further, as they don’t lose shape, they can be used well to incorporate a logo or an insignia.These are more suitable for casual wear as they have a more relaxed and casual look.   However, they are not appropriate for logo or insignia display.
FoldabilityStructured caps are not foldable because of the stiff material and therefore need more space in your travel luggage.Unstructured caps are easily foldable and can be stuffed in small places without damaging the cap.

The best structured cap

The Baseball Cap is a great addition to your wardrobe. It features a structured low profile design with an adjustable alloy closure. The cap has a cotton material that makes it breathable and comfortable for all day wear. Available in multiple colors, the cap is ideal for regular daily use and outdoor activities like bush walking, fishing, running, hitch-hike travel, baseball and cycling!

This is an awesome unisex six-panel structured baseball cap, with the front two panels having the support of the white mesh-like material on the inside. The cap is comfortable to wear and is appropriate for baseball games and other sporting events or for casual wear. It is also available in several colors and, therefore, offers the wearer a great variety.

This is a genuine Italian Peaked Cap with a round, flat, and structured crown that peaks at the front and gradually slants at the back. The cap has a smart leather visor and a hatband at the front. It gives the wearer the alert look of an army official. Further, the front has sufficient space for an army badge or an insignia.

The best unstructured cap

Unstructured Low Profile Baseball Cap is the best choice for you to wear during summer. It is made of high-quality cotton and has a buckle closure design, which makes it easy to adjust. 100% Cotton (washed Denim Fabric) ensures that this baseball cap can be worn all day long without being hot or itchy. Soft Baseball Cap, Six Panel makes you look cool and fashionable in any occasion. Hand Wash is suggested for cleaning this hat so that it will last longer than expected time period.

This is a popular unisex six-panel unstructured baseball cap made from soft cotton fabric. It comes with buckle closure, which can provide you sufficient stability if not equivalent to that of a structured cap. Further, it is available in multiple color variants, offering the wearer a great variety to pick from.

This is a Fiddler cap available in many variants based on material, including leather and wool. There is also a camouflaged variant if you want to go camping or fishing. It gives the wearer a cool and casual look that says a lot about your style statement.

Final thoughts

If you are going for wearing comfort and stability, then you should pick a structured cap. The cap will fit well on your head, and you will convey an alert look. Further, you might even use a structured cap as merchandise for your business, then the structured caps offer a great opportunity for embroidering your logo in it.

If you want to have a relaxed and laidback look, then you must check out some unstructured caps. There are several designs that can bring versatility to your looks. Another great reason to go for an unstructured cap is that they are extremely travel-friendly, foldable, and more durable.

Overall, it is the purpose for which you will be wearing the cap that determines which is more suitable for you.

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