’47 brand is a seventy-five-year-old American clothing brand founded in 1947 and privately held by twin Italian immigrants Arthur and Henry D’Angelo. The ’47 brand is known for its apparel, accessories, and headwear it creates for several sports leagues. These include the Major League Basketball, National Basketball Association, National Rugby League, National Football League, and National Hockey League. Apart from making high-quality apparel for sports leagues, ’47 supplies the same to over nine hundred colleges in the U.S.

On the other hand, New Era is a 102-year-old American headwear company based in Buffalo, New York. The New Era brand was founded in 1920 with over five hundred licenses in its portfolio. It is a top cap company that became the exclusive baseball cap supplier for MLB (Major League Baseball). Both New Era and ’47 brands are iconic apparel brands with products that stand out in the crowd.

If you’re a fan of baseball or an enthusiastic player, these are two of the best brands. However, since you can’t use both, you have to choose between the two; but which one will take the cake? If you’re finding it hard to decide between the two, maybe the information in this article will help a bit. We’ll show you the major differences between the two and how to spot counterfeits to ensure you get what you pay for.

A Brief History of the New Era

New Era began operation in 1920 when Erhardt Koch borrowed $1,000 each from his sister, Rose, and co-worker, Joe. He started his cap company under the name E. Koch Cap Company, and production started in 1830 in Genesee, Buffalo, New York. The cap company started with Koch’s sister, Rose, Harold, Rose’s son, Wally Domas, and eleven other employees. Although the cap company had just started in 1920, it produced 60,000 caps in that year alone.

Fourteen years later, in 1934, New Era got their first Major League Baseball contract when they started manufacturing caps for the Cleveland Indians. In 1954, New Era’s fitted pro cap was redesigned, modernized, and named 59Fifty by Harold Koch, who was head then. The New Era expanded and became a big deal in America within eleven years, supplying caps to about half of the 20 MLB teams. Then, in 1993, the brand got its first exclusive license with MLB to manufacture on-field baseball caps for all 28 teams (now thirty).

Chris Koch became CEO in 2001; under his leadership, the company focused more on football and other sports leagues. It acquired fully acquired sideline rights for the NFL in 2012 and signed with Big Bash League in 2013. In 2015, it signed an additional deal with Manchester United and signed exclusive rights for NBA on-court items in 2017. The deal in 2017 made the brand the first cap company to sign exclusive rights for MLB, the NFL, and the NBA.

In 2018, New Era became the official outfitter for the CFL (Canadian Football League) that started in the 2019 season. In addition, the brand became a Merchandise Partner of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup on the 22nd of April, 2021. New Era is known for its 9FIFTY hats with logos from all major sports teams, special editions, and custom-made.

A Brief History of ‘47

In 1947, two Italian immigrant brothers who lived in the shadow of Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox stadium, founded the ’47 brand. Both brothers saw the passion of sports fans where they were and transitioned from selling newspapers to selling pennants. Eventually, they made enough to buy the building opposite the stadium, where they began making hats. These hats would later become the symbol of the unwavering loyalty of sports fans in America and worldwide.

In the early 2000s, the brand widened its horizons beyond sports and started producing licensed apparel sixty years later. The brand made different apparel categories, ranging from dugout jackets and crewnecks to beanies and caps. ’47 brand is the officially licensed partner of Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and the National Football League. It still owns the building where it first started production, locally referred to as “the souvenir store across the street from Fenway.”

In 2014, the ’47 brand was named an official licensed on-field partner for four of the Cape Cod Baseball League teams. A year later, it expanded its portfolio with a Major League Soccer and USSF partnership deal. In 2015, ’47 signed the rights to produce caps for MLB on-field post-season celebrations; it kept producing until 2019. Later in 2019, it secured a license to create merchandise for the Major Baseball League.

’47 vs. New Era: Hats Production

Out of the millions of hats in production, those made by ’47 and New Era brands stand out everywhere. New Era produced 60,000 baseball caps in 1920, the year it was founded; the brand now produces about 75 million caps yearly. In addition, the brand’s CEO, Christopher Koch, has implemented several groundbreaking ideas that significantly improved the brand’s initial hat designs. As a result, the baseball hats are structured and can be fitted, adjusted, snapped back, or custom-made to true-size fit.

New Era makes iconic hats with brims that may be flat or curved, giving the wearer a more traditional look. The hats come in a variety of designs; the 59fift designs are the most popular and range in prices from affordable to high-end. The hats are well-structured such that they fit on the head perfectly and don’t fall off. Plus, each hat is made with licensed material used in NBA, MLB, and NFL leagues. 

Meanwhile, ’47 baseball hats have unique features, including a vintage look that gives the wearer a casual look. The hats are loose-fitting and have short brims, typically curved and designed to fit someone with massive hair or a large head. The caps give off a casual vibe that makes them versatile – that is, you can wear them with any outfit and on any occasion. Unlike New Era caps, ’47 caps are very foldable; you can fit them easily into small spaces and backpacks without damaging them.

The vintage design is perfect for people with neophobia – the fear of wearing new things. The caps don’t fit too tightly to ensure blood circulation isn’t restricted or disrupted. In addition, this loose-fitting styling keeps you from getting a migraine from wearing the caps for a long time. That means you can wear the caps the whole day without feeling pain.

Both caps have disadvantages; for example, ’47 hats aren’t great for people with small heads. Also, their loose-fitting design makes them fall off, and the embroidery may not display well effortlessly. On the other hand, New Era hats cannot be folded, are less durable than ‘47s, and their structured design makes washing difficult.

What Are the Differences between ’47 and New Era Hats?

The major differences between both brands exist in their design, manufacturing licensing, logo, and washing requirements. The design of New Era hats is structured in a reinforced manner from the front panel to enhance their shape. This structure makes the hats suitable for logo embroidery because the logos don’t display effortlessly. Conversely, ’47 hats are not structured, which can be good or bad, depending on who’s wearing them.

For example, the lack of structure makes the hats a good fit for people with slightly larger heads or lots of hair. In addition, this unstructured design makes it easy to pack the caps in your bag or pocket without ruining them. Meanwhile, this lack of structure means no reinforcement, making it easy for the caps to collapse.

Where washing requirements are concerned, the structure and lack of structure in both designs also impact significantly. The New Era hats, for example, are structured, which means they require a special way of washing. However, you can wash the 47 hats anyhow; there is no need to follow a specific washing guide. Unfortunately, this difference also means it’ll take longer to wash a New Era hat than it would to wash a 47 hat.

Furthermore, New Era hats give their wearers a traditional look, while the 47 hats are designed to give a casual, laid-back look. Lastly, both brands naturally have different logos; “NE” for New Era hats and “47” for 47 hats.

How to Authenticate a New Era or 47 Item

Like every other fashion brand in the industry, it isn’t uncommon to find counterfeits of New Era and 47 items. That would probably not matter if you were only after the name and logo rather than the actual material quality. However, if you want the real thing, you need to know how to tell that the New Era or 47 items in your hand are real. The authentication process for both brands is practically the same, with some bits of difference in letters and numbers.

For instance, if you’re buying a 47 brand cap, check for the distinct “47” label on the buckle and inside the button. Also, you have a better chance of getting the real deal by sticking to trusted and reputable brands to shop from. It is hard to differentiate the real product from the brand, particularly if you’ve never shopped for baseball hats before.

Meanwhile, if you’re buying a New Era hat, check the inner stitching and ensure there’s a logo on it. You should also find a New Era tag with instructions regarding washing and general care stitched. Additionally, check for a New Era sizing sticker on the hat; you can find it on the visor. Another thing to look for is the holographic sticker; all original New Era caps, new or old, have this feature.

If you’re getting an MLB on-field, there should be a rectangular holographic sticker with an “authentic” watermark. MLB caps not worn on-field are limited edition and typically have a circular holographic sticker. Every NFL and MLB on-field hats feature the iconic “NE” logo button backer boldly inscribed inside the hat at the center. In addition, nearly all caps from this brand will feature the league logo embroidered on their backs and the left side.

New Era vs. ’47: Which One Is Good for You?

Both 47 and New Era brands are a favorite among sports fans worldwide. Their items are manufactured with the best quality material and designed to fit different people perfectly and distinctly. These qualities make choosing between the two brands more difficult, but it’s easier if you know what you want. When deciding whether to choose New Era or 47, you’ll need to consider your style and what you need the item for.

Once again, let’s use the caps as an example; consider what purpose you’re buying them. If you’re more interested in expressing your loyalty to your best team by matching their hats, New Era is for you. It is the only brand with hats won on-field by professional baseball players. 

Furthermore, consider your hair quantity and head size; you want ’47 if you have voluminous hair and a larger head. The New Era hats are better suited for someone with a smaller head and less quantity of hair. Additionally, you’d prefer the New Era hat if you have a rounded face; its structured design and wide brim will fit better. 

Furthermore, ’47 is better if you want the hat to give you a more casual look that doesn’t offer too much information. However, think of the New Era if you want everyone to know you’ve been out enjoying a baseball game. The New Era will give you a traditional, sophisticated look while you play baseball on the field.

Conclusion

New Era and ’47 are iconic, top-rated brands world-renowned for their hats. Both brands have unique designs that they create with premium raw materials and brilliant craftsmanship. The high-quality materials used in creating the caps ensure they are durable, although New Era is reportedly more durable than ’47. New Era is excellent if you want a traditional, sophisticated look, while ’47 is better if you want it casual and laid back.

When deciding between New Era and ’47 brands, small details like the shape of your face matter. New Era is better for a rounded face, while ’47 is better for a heart-shaped face. Furthermore, once you’ve decided which of the brands you want, ensure you authenticate the item before you buy.