Can the Cycling Cap Pedal Its Way Into Fashion?
During a recent visit to Copenhagen, Denmark, to witness the Grand Départ of the 2022 Tour de France, a question overcame me that I didn’t have the answer to: why hasn’t the cycling cap had a fashion moment?
Well-designed, comfortable, and functional: it’s hard to see why an accessory so well-loved and steeped in history is yet to have the limelight outside of cycling, and in the realm of ready to wear fashion.
Derived from any high-tech, fancy materials, or over-exaggerated designs, the cycling cap – known to the sport’s purists as “la casquette” – is the epitome of less is more, minimalism at its best, if you will.
Traditionally worn beneath a cyclist’s helmet for extra protection on more treacherous rides, the cap is simply crafted with a handful of cotton panels and a peak – an uncomplicated build that remains a major factor in its unique beauty.
Like many garments, there have been moments when the cycling cap has flirted with infiltrating the mainstream – take Moschino’s Spring/Summer 2016 runway for example, which saw golden crowns mixed with cycling caps, or even the thousands that swarm the TdF or Giro d’Italia clad in cycling paraphernalia every year – yet nothing has really come to fruition.
Cycling labels like Pas Normal Studios and Rapha have helped to blur the lines between performance wear and off-bike apparel in recent years, with the former’s Off-Race capsules, and the latter’s ongoing work with streetwear imprint Palace (amongst others), yet the humble cap is still lagging behind.
In a sport where nearly everything else worn on the bike has transitioned to be worn off it too – take cycling shorts, jerseys, and even bib shorts, to an extent – it’s probably time for the cap’s turn. Allez!
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