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The origins of the Irish cap
The origins of the Irish cap date back to the 14th century: at the time, it was referred to as a "bonnet", and it was worn by Irish farmers and workers to cope with difficult climatic conditions, hence its name. In 1571, Queen Elizabeth I even introduced a law that required men over the age of six (apart from nobles) to wear a cap made of wool on Sundays, in order to stimulate the Irish trade and that of English wool. Although the law was repealed 26 years later, the Irish continued to wear the cap, this time more out of tradition and pride than obligation.
The cap then evolved over the years to become the Irish cap that we know today with its short visor, its round and thick shape, and its 8 panels. In the 1800s, following the massive emigration of Irish people to the United States, the Irish cap became popular across the Atlantic. First worn by little newspaper sellers in the streets, the "newsboys", it was also the headgear of the workers. If the Irish cap was initially associated to the working-class, it was quickly adopted by the wealthier classes during their leisure activities such as golf or hunting. Back in its native lands, the cap also became an inseparable accessory from the wardrobe of the wealthy classes of Ireland and England.
In France, the Irish cap became popular at the end of the 19th century, but it is better known there under the name of Gavroche cap, in reference to the emblematic character of Victor Hugo's novel, "Les Miserables". It was then carried by many children, who were quickly associated with the character of Gavroche, the archetype of the Parisian kid, or "the titi" according to the expression.
The Irish cap in our wardrobes
Today, and for several years, the Irish cap has become a real fashion accessory. It is frequently found with the greatest designers or the biggest stars with more varied styles than each other: Samuel L. Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Brad Pitt, David Beckham or even Harry Styles or Prince William. It has notably been brought up-to-date thanks to the series Peaky Blinders which has popularized it internationally.
The Irish cap is recognizable by several characteristics: with a rounded and slightly domed shape with a low profile and a small rigid brim, it is generally made of tweed (but can also be made of different materials). Sewn from the top of the hat, it forms eight pans which often converge from a button. Headwear enthusiasts, find all our hats and caps in the dedicated category.
For a typically Irish style, this cap can be combined with any other item from our Irish spirit collection, and why not with a tweed handbag for a total look! Also discover our Aran sweaters, the traditional Irish sweater, another timeless wardrobe item to be had at all costs!
Finally, face winter serenely thanks to your London Tradition duffle coat, a must-have that will accompany you for many years...