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Are Fedora Hats in Style?

Are you in search of a timeless, stylish hat design that can suit different occasions? If so, consider trying out the fedora hat. This felt hat comes in a wide range of colors and sizes, but most people prefer those with medium widths and neutral tones.

A woman wearing a black sweater and black fedora.

Over the years, fashion trends have seen a massive transformation. However, the fedora remains among the few fashionable hats that have been in existence over the centuries. This hat’s popularity dates back to 1891 when women began to wear it following its popularization by actress Sarah Bernhardt.

In the early 1920s, Prince Edward of Wales began to wear it and later became a trademark in gangster movies. This in-depth guide will explore What a Fedora hat is, the hat’s history, and effective ways for men and women to style a fedora hat.

What is A Fedora Hat?

A close look at a red fedora with black band.

A Fedora is a soft felt hat with a wider brim (two to three inches wide), an indented crown (four to six inches in height), and two slight front (or side) pinch creases. The original fedora hat was constructed from fur felt like the beaver felt, but today most designs are made from wool felt. Other common materials for making fedoras include leather, synthetic blends, cotton twill, and straw.

This hat can also be sized, creased, or shaped differently, depending on your preference. Here are a few Fedora hat style variations you should know.

The Crown

This is the top of the hat, which comes in different shapes, such as the diamond crease. The classic fedora hats are identifiable by their teardrop crown.

The Brim

A Fedora features different finishes to suit your style. Some hat designs come with a raw brim edge (cut and left unfinished), while others have a ribbon. Regardless, try to wear your hat at different angles (down in the front or up in the back). Interestingly, the hat’s constant adjustment to suit a wearer’s taste has earned the nickname “snap brim.”

How to Choose the Right Brim Size

The fedora hat’s brim can help you stand out, but you need to know how to choose the right brimmed hat.

  • Wide Brim: The wide-brim fedora hats are a perfect choice for anyone looking for a classic look or a fedora hat design to protect them against the sun rays. In addition, it can help balance out the elongated features of individuals with a thin or egg-shaped face.
  • Short Brim: Short brim fedoras are less than two inches and are confused with a trilby hat whose brim is an inch and a half or less. If you want to stand out in this hat, try to pair it up with jeans and a cashmere sweater.


Most fedora hats are made from Felt, a material constructed from matted, compressed fibers. The material comes from various sources like wool, cashmere, and rabbit. Warm Fedora hats are constructed from straw and look almost similar to the Panama hats.


Fedora hats mostly feature ribbon or fabric bands that sit above the brim. Some have a feather-like decoration above the hat’s ribbon bow. This fedora style even has common hat designs, like the straw Panama hat.

Differentiating the Fedora Hats From Trilbies

A man holding a trilby fedora hat.

Most people tend to confuse fedora hats with trilbies because of their unique resemblance. However, these two hats have distinct style differences.

Construction Design: The trilby hats feature a narrow brim with curled edges with a compact but taller crown (teardrop-shaped). Fedoras have a short crown and a wide curled brim that’s either straight or flat.

Wearing the Hat: The right way to wear the hat is in a position that points up at the back of your head. To wear your hat correctly, place it flat across the back of the head but perpendicular to your neck

Fedora Hat Transition Over the Years

Danny Trejo attended the 2018 Imagen Awards wearing a fedora.

The popularity of the fedora hat is believed to have begun with a woman. In a publication on the History Of Hats, the style was popularized by stage actress Sarah Bernhardt when she wore it while playing the role of Férdora Romanoff. In the late 1890s to the early 1900s, the hat had become a fashion accessory for women, especially human rights activists.

The fedora hat gained popularity among men in the early 1920s when Prince Edward of Wales wore it as an alternative to the homburg hat.

The hat maintained its popularity in the 1940s to late 60s following its popularization in gangster movies. Fedoras got a rugged aesthetic in the 1970s and 80s after its popularization by actors like Indiana Jones. Most recently, musicians like Brittany Spears Ne-yo and Justin Timberlake wear the hat in live appearances and music videos, keeping the fedora in fashion.

Styling the Men’s Fedora – How To Wear It the Right Way

Ne-Yo attended the 2018 Spotify Event wearing a fedora.

If you’ve recently bought a men’s hat and aren’t sure how to wear it, you should know that styling it can sometimes be challenging, but it requires experimenting. Here are a few guidelines that can help you wear your hat and look stylish.

A Fitting Hat Will Help You Stand Out

When you wear your hat, keep in mind that it should not drop over your forehead. You may want to consider placing a tape about 1/8 above your left ear and wrapping it around your head’s circumference to get your head size. Most hat stores have ways to help you determine the right hat sizing if you find this cumbersome.

You’ll know that your hat is a perfect fit if it rests comfortably above your ears and in the middle of your forehead. You can try to tilt your hat slightly to the side for a classy look, but most people prefer to have it straight and centered.

Match Your Hat to Your Outfit

A woman wearing an animal print blouse with a fedora.

If you have to wear your hat, it should never be fancier than your outfits. For instance, when wearing a sharp, tailored suit, pair it up with a wool fedora. You may want to save your fur felt fedoras for your upscale suit or tuxedo.

You’ll also stand out if you pair your hat with a nice official shoe, jeans, and a tighter-fitting sweater. This is an excellent combination if you’re going for a school dance or out to dinner. When accessorizing your hat with a sweater, avoid a straw hat because it looks odd with your outfit.

Know the Colors That Fit Your Hat

The hat’s color can help you stand out if paired correctly with your suit. For instance, a black fedora hat is an excellent match for a lighter suit, especially red or green. If you have a grey hat, it can blend in well with black, blue, or other dark-colored suits. The dark straw fedoras are a perfect match for anyone with a dark or light shirt.

Go Casual with Fitting Jeans

If you want to pair your fedora hat with jeans, wear a fitting jacket or blazer. You should also add a brightly colored buttoned shirt to create visual interest. If the colors of your outfit are neutral, stick to a bright-colored fedora hat. These are excellent combinations when going for vacations or hanging out over the weekend.

Dress for the Weather

A straw fedora is a perfect choice if you plan to travel to a warmer destination or the summer because it doesn’t overheat and leaves your head cooler. The wool fedora makes a great accessory if you frequently visit chillier states.

Stand Out With A Fedora Hat – Best styling Tips for Women

A woman wearing a floral blouse with fedora.

Just like men, women can look great in women’s fedora if they learn ways to pair this accessory properly. Here are styling tips to help you stand out.

Settle on the Right Hat Size

When purchasing your hat, ensure that you try it out to determine whether it’s a perfect fit. The right hat size should fall to the tip of your ears. You’ll look great in a fedora when your hair is down, but it’s still okay if you pull your hair into a bun or low ponytail.

Know the Right Colors and Texture to Choose

The most popular fedora hats for women come in neutral colors like camel and black, but you can still stand out with bright-colored hats like green or purple or textures like leather or denim. To look classy in a brightly colored fedora hat, ensure it’s your focal point. This means that you have to wear something subdued, like a neutral or black color at the bottom, to distract your hat. In the cold season, pair your hat with a dark trench coat.

Embellishments Are an Important Addition

A woman wearing a brown fedora embellished with feathers.

You may spot a fedora hat you love, but it isn’t as appealing as you’d like. One way to make it pop is by adding an embellishment. You can achieve this by gluing a feather inside your hatband. Don’t forget to add a few embellishments if you have a brightly colored fedora.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Prints

You can stand out by wearing your hat with a loud print dress. You can always experiment with polka dots and mixed print dresses, and a striped or plain colored leather jacket.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Wear Fedora Hats At Night?

You should not wear fedora hats at night. The only time most people included the hat as a night outfit was at the height of its association with the gangster lifestyle (the 1920s to 1950s). From the early 1960s, most people began to include it in informal and formal clothing styles. 

What Does Fedora Symbolize?

During the early years of its adoption, the fedora hat became a fashion accessory for the women’s rights movement. At the time, it was a representation of the struggle for gender equality. When the Prince of Wales began to wear it in 1924 and gained popularity among men, it acted as a sign of protection from the wind.

How Do You Wear A Fedora And A Suit Without Looking Like An Idiot?

When you decide to accessorize your suit with a fedora hat, make sure that they match. The other alternative is to mix a dark-colored suit with a light hat, and vice versa. For instance, you can pair a black suit with a grey hat or a green suit with a black hat.

How Do You Measure Your Hat Size?

It’s advisable to use a tape measure to determine the correct size of your hat. Start measuring your head’s circumference, starting with the widest point of your head at the top of your ear. If your head measurements are between two sizes, choose a hat that’s a size up.