A trilby hat (or simply trilby) is a type of hat. Although also used as a synonym for a short-brimmed fedora in the United Kingdom, the trilby is distinguished by a very narrow brim that is sharply turned up in the back and a short crown, which is pinched in the front and indented into a teardrop shape in the center. The hat's name derives from the stage adaptation of George du Maurier's 1894 novel Trilby; a hat of this style was worn in the first London production of the play, and promptly came to be called "a Trilby hat".
Traditionally it was made from rabbit hair felt, but is now sometimes made from other materials, including tweed, straw and wool. The hat reached its zenith of popularity in the 1960s, when it supplanted the wider brimmed fedora; the steadily lowering roofs of previously taller American automobiles made it impractical to wear a hat with a larger brim and tall crown while driving. It faded from popularity in the 1970s when any type of men's headwear became obsolete, and men's fashion instead began focusing on highly maintained hairstyles.
The hat resurged in popularity in the early 2000s, when it was marketed to both men and women in an attempt to capitalize on a retro fashion trend. The hat has remained popular with both sexes into the 2010s, with various manufacturers experimenting with different patterns and emblazoning logos and other designs into the sides of the hat.
The hat has been associated with jazz, ska and soul musicians, as well as members of the indie, rude boy, mod and 2 Tone subcultures.
A notable wearer of the trilby is Frank Sinatra. Sean Connery wore one in the first five James Bond movies, until changing trends necessitated that the suave character stop wearing a hat, lest he be seen as anachronistic or outdated by young filmgoers. The hat was used by Connery's stuntman as a way of disguising his true identity on screen. When not wearing a military cap, Nationalist Chinese leader Chang Kai-shek frequently wore a trilby --according to Jonathan Fenby's biography, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek and the China He Lost.
In the film The Blues Brothers, the lead members of the band, Jake and Elwood, are almost never seen without their black trilby hats and sunglasses. The same applies for Elwood and Mack McTeer in the film's sequel, Blues Brothers 2000.
In the series Dexter, the supporting character Angel Batista, portrayed by David Zayas is usually seen on camera wearing either a trilby or short-brimmed fedora hat.