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what is a fedora hat

What is a Fedora Hat?

Fedora Hat

The fedora hat is a hat that has a flexible design that in turn has a short brim, or in some cases, medium brim, which protects the wearer from the rain. This classic and mythical accessory also has three “dimples” on the top. One on the top and two on the sides.

It may or may not be decorated with a ribbon that surrounds the base of the hat. This type of hat is characterized by being of formal use. However, it has been adopted by countless niches in fashion, having even reached the lines of great designers even in the urban scene.

What is a Fedora Hat? - image  on https://blog.delusionmfg.com
Photo by Robert McGowan on Unsplash

History of Fedora Hats

Fedora hats began to be part of men’s looks during the first half of the 20th century. Their popularity grew at that time thanks to their frequent use in the gangster scene, especially with the prohibition movement.

During the mid-century, these hats lost much popularity. But the cultural and artistic movement of the second half of the 20th century revived it. With stars like Frank Sinatra and Humphrey Bogart wearing them on a regular basis. Also as did the cinema of the 1960s. 50’s with Al Capone and in the ’80s ’90s with Harrison Ford, making it one of his character Indiana Jones’s most iconic accessories. Surprisingly at the end of the century, this hat had already reached its fame again and had even surpassed it thanks to massive stars at the moment, such as Michel Jackson using it in their performances.

Currently, this hat can still be seen being used by a large number of people. People from different fashion scenes, especially in urban, indie, and bohemian outfits.

humphrey bogart wearing a fedora
Humphrey Bogart wearing a fedora in the film Casablanca. – By Trailer screenshot – Casablanca trailer, Public Domain, Wikimedia

Why is it Called a Fedora Hat?

Despite being a masculine name, the name “fedora” comes from an 1882 play by Victorien Sardou, where its protagonist, Sarah Bernhardt, played the princess “Fedora”. In the play, the character uses this felt accessory that would become very popular with the mostly male audience of that time.

Another name that is given to this hat is the “Borsalino”. This is thanks to Giuseppe Borsalino, who, during the 20th century, increased the popularity of this hat worldwide by including it in many of its lines and making it one of its models/stars.

brosalino fedora hat
A fedora made by Borsalino – By Baron Delvine – Own work, Public Domain, Wikimedia

How are Fedora Hats Made?

The process begins by making the felt from wool threads, although synthetic threads are sometimes used, using heat and pressure. Felt is the material of choice because, despite not being as resistant as other materials, it’s surprisingly light and moldable, which makes it ideal for making hats.

After the material is made, it begins to shape. For this, a special wooden mold is usually covered with felt, and steam is applied, either directly or through a special chamber. When the fabric has the right shape, all the excesses are trimmed, and the linings and tapes required by the model to be designed to be integrated. And also, the wings are designed and integrated.

In some cases, these hats’ manufacturers light them on fire for a few seconds to eliminate all traces of lint from the felt and make it have a more homogeneous appearance. However, it is not a necessary step, and it only has an aesthetic purpose.

What Materials are Fedora Hats Made Of?

Felt is normally the most used material when making hats. This fabric is malleable, moldable, and is an excellent embroidery base. This material is made from wool or hair fibers pressed together using steam. The thickness that is desired in the manufacture of the material may vary depending on the purpose of its use.

In addition, it is also a simple material to dye. Despite the fact that most fedora hats are designed in felt, it’s possible to see some variation designed in canvas or straw. This depends on the environment in which it’s found.

Are Fedora Hats for Men or Women?

This hat, in its beginnings during the late nineteenth century, was used older and almost exclusively by women. This was a feminine fashion garment used by middle and upper-class women. However, it did not go unnoticed by the male public, and they began to use it in the urban scene.

Currently, this is a garment seen being used by both men and women, both in show scenes, movies or just as an accessory. In turn, many well-known brands in the world of fashion have incorporated it into their male lines.

women wearing a fedora hat
Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

What Environments are Fedora Hats Used In?

The times when this hat is used the most are during the summer and autumn. Thanks to the fact that it helps protect us from the sun and high temperatures. And also, keeps our hair in place in times of high wind.

Thanks to the great versatility of the fedora hat, it has been integrated into a large number of styles. With urban, bohemian, and hippie styles being the ones that use it the most. But we shouldn’t worry because if we know how to combine it with our outfits, it’s possible to use it in a great variety of situations. And with a great variety of styles and still make it look good on us.

How to Use a Fedora Hat?

To use a fedora hat correctly in an event and that it looks consistent with both the event and with our attire, it’s important to know certain stuff that we must take into account before using one of these.

Firstly and most importantly is that we choose the correct hat size. Choosing a size that is not suitable can result in it looking bad and out of place.

The most basic thing is to always have neutral-colored hats that can be used on any occasion. It would not be appropriate to use a colorful print hat in a serious environment, right?

Finally, it would be convenient to choose a hat that is according to our height. Since the fedora is a hat whose wings can be small or medium, in some cases where they are made to measure, they can even be large. It is a hat designed for people of average height and not very bulky build. However, wearing a custom hat can create certain exceptions to these considerations.

When using it in more informal settings, we must take advantage of the great versatility of the fedora hat. And also, not be afraid to experiment a little with its styles, colors, and patterns.