A trucker hat that says "I have issues"

A trucker hat, mesh cap or netback cap is a soft hat with a rounded crown and a stiff flat bill projecting in front. It is also sometimes known as a "gimme [as in 'give me'] cap" or a "feed cap" because this style of hat originated during the 1970s as a promotional give-away from U.S. feed or farming supply companies to farmers, truck drivers, or other rural workers.[1]


Mechanic's cap, used by truckers in Germany and America before 1980
FedEx driver wearing mesh trucker hat

From the 1930s until the 1960s, truckers were provided with a type of peaked cap known as a mechanic's cap. This often bore the logo of the haulage company.[2]

The design of a trucker cap is similar to that of a baseball cap, with a slightly curved bill in front, a cap constructed from six almost triangular gores, and a button on top. Instead of being made of cotton fabric like a typical baseball cap, the front section of a trucker hat above the bill is foam, and the rest is plastic mesh for breathability. The foam front of the hat stands up straight and stiff, which makes the trucker hat taller than most baseball caps. There is an adjustable plastic snap or hook-and-loop closure in the back to ensure that one size fits most. This design was intended to make the cap much cooler in the sun or hot weather for the comfort of the wearer.[3]

21st century trend

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In the early 2000s, the trucker hat became a mainstream fashion trend, predominantly among suburban American youth associated with the hip-hop,[4] pop punk, and skater subcultures.[5] This came about with a sense of irony due to the hat's rural or blue collar association and typically older demographic.[6] It has frequently been donned by celebrities; musician Pharrell Williams and actor Ashton Kutcher in particular helped make the hat fashionable. However, in a 2008 interview with Fashion Rocks magazine, singer Justin Timberlake claimed that, while Kutcher has been cited for popularizing the trucker hat, Timberlake had been wearing them since the age of seventeen.[7] The trucker hat trend was lampooned in the King of the Hill episode "Grand Theft Arlen", in which teenagers confuse Hank Hill by asking where he bought his Strickland Propane cap and questioning its irony.[8]

Comedian Judah Friedlander is known for his signature trucker hats, which bear various humorous phrases. Having worn trucker hats since the 1980s, Friedlander claims a fondness for them and has ignored any rejecting or embracing fashion trends surrounding the hats throughout the decades. In a 2007 interview, he stated:[9]

I was never into anything trendy. If I'm ever doing something that happens to be trendy, it's probably a coincidence and I don't even realize it's trendy. Just a note: I've been making and wearing trucker hats for years—since the '80s actually, when those were pretty much the only kind of hats you could get. I remember about 10 years ago, people used to make fun of me for wearing trucker style hats. And then when they became trendy a couple years ago, those same people came up to me and said shyly, 'Uhm, where do you get your hats? I need to get some.' Years ago, some people used to get angry with me for wearing them and someone even called me racist for wearing a trucker hat 'cause I looked like a redneck. I bet now, some people think I'm a loser for wearing them because now they're out of fashion. But you know what, I never wore 'em to be 'in' or trendy or cool. I just like 'em. And I'll be wearing them long after they're a not a trend.

See also


  1. ^ "Trucker hats". Archived from the original on March 20, 2017. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  2. ^ "Cool American truckers". August 7, 2016. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  3. ^ Lowin, Rebekah (April 6, 2016). "Trucker hats are making a comeback and it's kind of the worst". Today. Archived from the original on January 14, 2023. Retrieved January 11, 2024. No. C'mon. Anything but this.
  4. ^ Moore, Jennifer Grayer (December 14, 2015). Fashion fads. Abc-Clio. ISBN 9781610699020. Archived from the original on October 1, 2023. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  5. ^ Halnon, K. (September 18, 2013). Consumption of inequality. Springer. ISBN 9781137352491. Archived from the original on October 1, 2023. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  6. ^ #50 - Irony Archived 2009-04-30 at the Wayback Machine StuffWhitePeopleLike.com (February 3, 2008). Retrieved on 6-13-09.
  7. ^ Justin Timberlake Claims Trucker-Hat Trend Archived 2009-05-17 at the Wayback Machine Celebuzz.com (July 29, 2008). Retrieved on 6-13-09.
  8. ^ Finley, Adam King of the Hill: Grand Theft Arlen Archived 2008-10-19 at the Wayback Machine TVSquad.com (April 29, 2007). Retrieved on 6-13-09.
  9. ^ Inside With: Judah Friedlander (February 22, 2007). Retrieved on 6-13-09.