A debate is beginning to develop over what constitutes a fedora. The two have almost become homogeneous due to the changes they have gone through since they were regarded as de rigueur for any self-respecting gentleman. In fact you would be more than forgiven should you not be able to pick out the aesthetic differences between the two.
So next time that impeccably dressed man at the bus stop asks you the differences between a fedora and trilby, simply quote the following. A fedora is conventionally defined by its wider brim, band and bow. Trilbies in contrast possess a narrower brim and ribbon. The confusion between the two has really developed as more American designed trilbies have a wide ribbon similar to that of the classic fedora.
The wide ribbons are not the only feature that has muddled many a man; brim size and crown heights have also become part of the grey area. This trilby-fedora hybrid has laid waste to the pronounced wide brim fedora of yesteryear. Luckily in this case half measures very much do avail with the modern fedora suiting 21st century sartorial dress to a tee – combining very well with the clean cut and slim line approach that so often epitomises the term well dressed.
The Return of the Fedora?
Playing its part in the resurgence of the pocket square and sartorial approach to dress, Mad Men and its protagonist, the ever dapper Don Draper, may well receive part of the accolade should the fedora make a return. Coupled with the release of Matt Damon’s recent blockbuster, The Adjustment Bureau – which has the fedora playing a central role within the film plot – the stage is certainly set for the fedora to make a star-studded comeback.
Structured head wear as a whole has seen a dip in popularity, and deciding to don anything other than a beanie creates a statement – something many of us men avoid like the plague. For the few who swear by a hat as the perfect touch to any outfit, the ‘trilby’ is their go-to piece. The fedora has essentially become a lost art, a legend – anonymous to the younger gentleman.
Pop culture has laid the foundations and the brick work has been readily placed by the designers. It is up to us, the common man to cement the fedora in its rightful place… perched on top of our heads, possibly with a slight tilt.
“For a man to have rank, he must wear at least one hat.” – Hardy Amies