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The Enduring Fedora

Put on a hat and people will notice.  And if you can wear a hat and make it look like a natural extension of your wardrobe, then you have found your hat groove.

The fedora is a massively appealing style in hats.  This medium-brimmed hat comes either with a C-crown or indentation at the top of the hat for a roomier fit. The brim follows the entire base of the fedora and often a hat band or ribbon is featured just above the brim.  Hat materials include traditional felt, canvas and straw.

What you may not know is that a woman (not the men of the 1920s-60s) prompted the enduring style of the fedora. Victorien Sardou introduced us to the fedora hat in a play written for Sarah Bernhardt.  Bernhardt (Princess Fédora) plays the heroine of the story and this possibly began a general fascination by women which still lingers today.

The fedora is associated with Prohibition, the Great Depression, gangsters and savvy detectives.   Humphrey Bogart is the iconic example of donning a fedora in Casablanca. The hat is also recognized in the productions of The Spirit, Daisuke Jigen, Freddy Krueger, Dick Tracy, Rorschach and Indiana Jones; and, the fedora is particularly closely associated with film noir characters.  More recently, Leonard Cohen may be best known for his allegiance to the hat.

Some spectacular examples of the female and male fedora:

As for the men, I particularly like how most of the men (with the exception of Russell Brand), have mastered a nice tilt at the front brim of the hat, which adds more overall interest.

In this example, while Depp carries off the Fedora look with his hat selection and brilliant tilt, Brand obviously misses the mark.

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. 16aR #

    I think George Carnie is wearing a homburg and not a fedora. (The hat for a tuxedo is a homburg)

    July 21, 2012
    • Point nicely made. Thank you!

      July 21, 2012
  2. David V #

    That’s James Cagney in the homburg.

    July 21, 2012
  3. great post

    July 27, 2012
  4. Love the teal fedora!

    August 15, 2012
  5. Hi – all sorts of fedoras are visible in the new film Lawless. In fact hardly any of the characters are without hats.

    September 1, 2012
    • I definitely want to check this film out, especially after reading your review and recommendation…and the Fedora-fest is a plus. Thank you for the added motivation to see the film. ~S

      September 1, 2012
  6. I just love a nice fedora. Thank god I have a hat face! Lovely post.

    September 1, 2012
  7. Boxedmenswear #

    May I submit Don Draper (Mad Men) as one who wears the fedora with ultimate class?

    September 3, 2012
    • I am a Mad Men fan and can say with certainty that Don “dons” a fedora right.

      September 3, 2012

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