The oh so popular men’s beanies of today have actually have around for centuries. They have always been loved for their softness and warmth, although you can now find summer beanies that are more lightweight for warm days.

A Hat with Many Names

Depending on where you live and your age, you may call the fashionable beanie by other names, such as a toboggan, a skullcap or a watch cap. All of these names refer to the same knit cap or hat that is shapeless when you aren’t wearing it and when you put it on your head, it conforms to your skull to keep it warm and cozy on cold days.

The Monmouth Cap

In Medieval England, the beanie was referred to as a Monmouth cap. It was every day work wear for workers and it arrived in the New World with sailors and was then adapted to their work gear for farmers, lumberjacks and anyone who worked outdoors. The snug fitting hat had no brim to block the sunlight and mar the workers view and it also keeps their hair in check to keep it from interfering with their work. “Jeep Caps” were issued by the U.S. Navy in an olive color and when they were any other color than green, the were called “watch caps.” The sledders named a beanie the toboggan and skateboarders in the 1990s started calling the hats “beanies” and this name has stuck.

The Freshman Cap

This beanie is round and includes a brim. It is sewn together from pie-shaped pieces of school colors. It was required to be worn for freshmen or others going through college hazing in the 20th century. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, a cartoon emerged called “Beanie and Cecil” with the addition of a propellor on the top of the cap for a sci-fi geeky appearance.

Famous Beanies

Beanies have been worn by actors, comic characters and cartoon characters over many years. The “Archie” comic series on television featured “Jughead Jones” who wore a beanie that looked like a crown. “Spanky” on “Our Gang” wore a form of a beanie and “Goober Pyle” on the “Andy Griffith” show did also.

Today men’s beanies are being worn as a type of fashion statement all year round thanks to the lighter weight and looser weave of the knit caps for summer wear. The most famous icon that you will see very often in a beanie is Ice-T. He rarely leaves home without one. Whether you want to be a star or just want to stay warm in the winter, this man’s beanie is your solution.