History of Fashion – The Origin of the Beanie Hat
The beanie hat, a smaller close fitting hat, that originated in the United States in the early 1900’s. The word “bean”, back in the early 1900’s, was slang for head. In the early 1900’s the hats were worn by mostly college students, and in the 1950’s they were worn by college freshmen as a form of hazing. The beanie hat also became very popular with blue collar workers who wore them not only to keep their head warm, but to keep their hair out of the way, and the hat had no brim to obstruct their work. You can get them either with or without brims. The hats with brims normally have a lot smaller brim than your normal baseball cap. Actually, the baseball cap evolved from the beanie with the brim.
At the time, the beanie hat was not traditionally know to be a fashionable accessory, they were worn more so for necessity. But, with the fashion trends of the 1990’s, the beanie seem to gain more and more popularity. Normally worn by boys, more girls were seen wearing them. Sports figures started wearing them more as well. The college kids were adding their school emblems, colors and, favorite sports teams and logos, making them become part of the norm. In the beginning, the hats were mainly made from wool. Now, you find that they are made not only from wool, but synthetic materials, and fleece. The fleece material keeps away the moisture that the skiers and snowboarders have to deal with, not to mention keeping the head warm.
One style of beanie that was adopted by an artist/fiction writer, Ray Nelson, was the propeller beanie, also known if you wore one as a propeller-head. Shortly after that, the propeller hat was used by a lot of the cartoon characters, and used in comic books. The hat had an actual propeller on the top of it. The propeller beanie fell by the wayside, and in the mid 1970’s the interstellar propeller hat appeared on the scene. This was a multi-colored baseball cap with a propeller on it’s top. Another style that appeared after the propeller hat was the skullcap, which had four to six colored panels sewn together to form the hat. Eventually they started adding short brims and ear flaps to keep the ears warm.
Today it seems that there are numerous styles and colors to choose from. Not only are boys, girls, men and women wearing beanies, but, small children are wearing them as well. You can find just about any color or style you are looking for.