How to Break in a Newsboy Hat

by Sarah Vrba

Newsboy hats, also known as flat caps, are a flattering style for men and women of all age groups. They have been in constant use for the past 100 years and have been particularly popular with young men. Associated with the newsboy culture, these hats have eventually come to encompass a wide range of people and professions. Breaking in these hats requires a bit of patience and care so that they fit perfectly to your unique head shape.

Items you will need

  • Spray bottle
  • Blow-dryer
Step 1

Roll the bill of the newsboy hat into an “O” shape gently to loosen up the fibers in the bill. Repeat the process a few times to encourage the bill to soften.

Step 2

Spritz the hat with water from a spray bottle. Apply a blow-dryer to the body of the hat set to warm. This process will warm up the fibers in the hat. Be careful not to heat up the hat too much if the fabric is cotton or wool as heat can shrink fibers. If the hat is slightly too large, a small amount of shrinkage might be useful.

Step 3

Wear the hat around for at least an hour a day, especially after you have applied heat to the fibers. This process will be the most effective way to break in the hat and encourage the cap to fit to your natural head shape.

Step 4

Store the cap on a flat surface and avoid hanging it on a coat rack or other pointed object to keep the rounded shape intact.


  • Buy a cap that fits snugly to your head without causing too much pressure. A loose newsboy hat will only slump to the side of your head.

    Avoid applying heat to velvet- or silk-lined newsboy caps as the water and heat can damage the fibers.

    Read any and all manufacturer instructions on the care tag inside of the hat, if available.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.