Blog by Gifts of Ireland

Newsboy Cap or Flat Cap: Which Cap is for you?

jonathan richard hats

Jonathan Richard was started by two friends called Jonathan and Richard back in the 1920's. It was the perfect business duo because Jonathan brought the tailoring skills whilst Richard was the marketing guru. It’s no wonder that we see these Irish hats on heads across the world.

Now based in Ballyfermot in Dublin, the workshop first began in Merchants quay in the city centre of Dublin. The first two styles of caps that they designed and crafted were the traditional flat caps and the Newsboy caps. Later, many new additions were introduced as part of their product range. Donegal Irish tweed makes up many of the hats and Donegal is itself known for its tweed heritage.


Merchants Quay, Dublin 

        Merchants Quay, Dublin

Here is an interesting fact for you about ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’ movie. This movie was made in Cork, Ireland and tells the story of the dark days of the Irish civil war where a group of Irish rebels fight against the British forces for Irish independence. You will see that the costume designer had great taste as they were all dressed with Jonathan Richard caps! They wanted to pick only authentic Irish clothing and part of this was the Irish caps range by Jonathan Richard. 


the wind that shakes the barley

        The Wind that Shakes the Barley


Lets take a look at the difference between the newsboy cap and the flat cap.

The Newsboy Cap

The newsboy cap is one of the first caps by Jonathan Richards and is a classic with so many Irish cap lovers. The name ‘Newsboy cap’ comes unsurprisingly from the newspaper sellers found on the street corners selling their newspapers who were known to be wearing these styles of tweed caps.

jonathan richard newsboy cap

   The Newsboy Cap

The newsboy cap is in many ways like the flat cap because of its stiff brim but there are many differences between the newsboy cap and the flat cap. The newsboy caps are much more rounder and are puffed making them look baggy in some ways. The difference is more noticeable when worn. There are multiple panels of tweed connected to each other, typically eight panels and this is what distinguishes it from the flat cap. It is from this that the newsboy cap is sometimes called the Gatsby cap. At the centre of the top, there is a button holding together all the panels are really makes a nice finish to the newsboy caps unique style.


The Flat Cap

The origin of the flat cap goes way back about 500 years hailing from England all the way up to the 1920’s worn by many of the working class but now it has become an accessory for any class. The Irish flat cap has many features that differ from the Newsboy cap. The one common feature between them however is the stiff brim at the front but apart from that, the flat cap has its own individual classic identity.


tweed cap

Traditional flat cap


Tweed flat caps come in a variety of colours and tweeds including Harris tweed and Donegal tweed but in terms of the shape, the rounded look is similar across both types of caps. You may have seen the TV series ‘Peaky Blinders’ where the cast are known for wearing caps. Many people mistake the type of cap they are wearing as being a flat cap. The actual style is none other than the newsboy cap. 

Flat caps are great when worn casually and they are a warmer style of cap than the newsboy cap. Visually, you will see that some people like to wear these caps with the peak to the side or at the back but mainly with the peak at the front. But especially if you are famous you can get away with being a little more creative!

Are either of these caps for you?

The question that curious first time wearers of tweed caps ask is, are these caps a fashionable item for the middle class or upper class? Or are they for the working class? Well it’s an interesting question but the answer lies in the history of where the caps first came to be. It is commonly assumed that the caps historically represent the working class but this is untrue because these days, it's a classless fashion item because the upper class, including celebrities like Brad Pitt himself all like to wear one. So have a look at our range of hats and caps and find the perfect style and fit for you!

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