Many times you will see descriptions of hats and the term unstructured or structured are used to describe the hat. Many customers ask, what does this mean? Well let me tell you. The crown of a baseball hat can have a buckram or stiff fabric behind the front two panels of the crown giving it structure and therefore it is call a structured hat. An unstructured cap has no additional support behind those front two panels and it is the same all the way around the crown. Another way to look at it is if you take a hat off your head and set it down on your desk a structured hat will continue to look the same and keep it's structure whereas an unstructured cap will collapse slightly without your head in the hat supporting it.
The hat profile, or height of the crown can also determine if the cap will most likely be structured or not. High profile hats are always structured because the taller crown needs the support. Most moisture wicking caps are structured because it looks better for the performance fabrics to have structure. Most unstructured caps are low profile and made out of cotton and can have a solid or mesh back. Both 6 panel hats and 5 panel hats can be structured or unstructured however most 5 panel hat are structured.
What is the purpose of this structure and is this a benefit? A structured cap tends to be more polished or crisp looking so it's good for teams or uniforms. An unstructured cap tends to have a more casual look. Also if you are going to be sewing a heavy patch with your team name or logo on to the front of your hat a structured cap will hold the weight of it a little better. Both unstructured and structured caps can be embroidered, however make sure to ask your embroiderer if they have a preference and the right machinery to do the work.
Here is what the inside of a structured cap generally looks like. You can see the white material which is the buckram which gives the crown support.
Here is what a typical unstructured cap generally looks like. You can see how the crown collapses a bit when it's not on your head.