Since before the Second World War it has been popular, especially amongst elite regiments and senior NCOs, to have peaked caps recut to give them a particularly steep cut to the front peak. Tonight we are looking at an example of one of these modified parade caps, here for the Devon and Dorset Regiment:
It can be seen that the peak is almost vertical and comes down so that the eyes are virtually covered and the peak rests on the top of the nose. These caps are not manufactured as such and a close examination of the interior reveals that the cap has been carefully cut, dismantled and resewn to give the peak its distinctive ‘slashed look’:
The leather has been cut, the seam unstitched and the peak sewn in at the new angle, whilst the ends of the cut section are securely stitched to hold it all together:
This modification is often completed by the NCO himself, as outlined here:
If you own you own dress cap you can slash it yourself.
Cut peak stitching from chin strap button to one third in across the peak (use razor blade or scapel be careful not to damage the peak) from both sides (do not cut it all the way!)
Gently push the peak up inside the cloth rim (start from button location and push upwards)
As a guide I always pushed them up until the edge of the peak that was at the button was up as far as the entire width of the hat band – normally made for an almost vertical peak). Some I know actually scored the peak and then cut the surplus off so you don’t see it through the cloth – brave men indeed!
Then restitch the area along the peaks original line to close the gap using a dark thread (this will be covered by your chinstrap anyway)
Hint make sure your RSM is OK with slashed peaks else you will be putting it back and lastly only do it if its your own cap in case you cock it up (if you are successful you just have to unslash and reverse the process before giving it back – unless you have cut bits off naturally)
You can go to a tailors but they will charge a small fortune
The rest of this cap retains the usual regimental features, so we have the staybrite badge of the Devon and Dorset Regiment on the front of the crown:
The Castle motif is repeated on the chin strap buttons:
That this started out as a standard cap is revealed by the standard stores label, stuck to the inside of the crown:
These caps are beloved of drill instructors and senior NCOs and few pull it off quite like those of the ceremonial units in London…