Fedora hats are making a comeback and many people look great wearing one but the question is, are fedora hats unisex? There are many options when it comes to the materials fedora hats are made of, including felt, wool, cotton, and even cashmere, as well as their colors and styles. Some are tailor-made for women while others are geared more towards men but many can be interchanged. Check out our article that delves into answering the question of are fedora hats are unisex or not?
My uncle Pete was a Greek immigrant who started his own business in the 1940s in Ohio called Pete’s Shoeshine and Hat Cleaning. I spent a lot of time during my childhood watching him use a wet cloth to gently clean hats the proper way and the most popular hat for men to wear during that era was fedora hats.
When I was a little girl in the 1970s, I loved watching him put each hat on the hat rack to start the cleaning process. He was very careful with them because some of the materials they are made of are very delicate and he did not want the hats to lose their shape during the cleaning process.
The one thing I do not remember seeing is very many women coming into his store to have their fedora hat cleaned by him since, during this period of time, the fashion trend for the fedora hat seemed to be geared more towards males than females.
Back then, many women would rock a straw wide brim fedora hat at the local pool when they were there with their children to keep the sun out of their eyes. The widening brim protects their face and skin from the harsh ultra-violet light from the sunshine and they made a nice fashion accessory with a beachy feel to them.
I do not remember seeing any men in this type of hat, although there may have been. Most of the men seemed to opt for a felt hat with neat stitching and a ribbon around the outside above the rim.
The men I would see at my Uncle Pete’s shop seem to prefer a fedora hat that compliments their jacket, usually in a brown, black, or navy color with a soft cotton fabric sweatband that was part of the hat to keep the sweat away from the face, especially out of their eyes, and to help keep their head cooler overall during the summer months.
The History of Fedora Hats
The word “fedora” became a well-known word around the year 1887 and the name is believed to have been derived from a popular playback in those days. The play, Fedora, was named after the main character, Fedora Romanoff, and the playwright got the word from the Greek word, Theodoros, which means a great gift of God.
In the play, Fedora Romanoff wore a modified version of the hat made of soft felt with a crease in the center. It was this hat that eventually spurred the hats that were worn by well-dressed men or for a special occasion during the 1940s and 1950s that today’s fedora hats are based upon.
The fedora hat was initially boasted as a unisex style until around the 1930s. A hat maker began making smaller versions of the hat that were designed specifically for men with different accents.
Eventually, the fedora hat became more specific for each gender due to the fact that most women chose brighter colors and a long crown with a brim that would snap upward in the front to show off their face. Eventually, though, those women’s hats went away with the next fashion trend.
The men’s version of fedoras was boosted by movie stars who wore them in major movies, including Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, James Cagney, Jimmy Stewart, and the great singer and musician, Frank Sinatra.
The Fedora Hats of Today
In today’s world of fashion, fedora hats are offered for both men and women. While many are gender-specific, just as many are created as unisex versions that are worn by both men and women.
The fedora is a timeless hat that can be worn for a casual day at work to formal events.
In the heyday of the fedora hat, the manufacturing company of Stetson boasted the fedoras as “part of the man,” as if the hat was a part of the man’s body and chemical makeup. The fedora became known as the hat that boasted a crown indentation with a medium brim with a silk or leather ribbon to cover the brim.
While fedoras were once made only from fur felt or wool, they are now made of a variety of materials, including straw or cotton, which makes them cooler to wear during hot weather. A fedora hat can include a trilby, which is a shorter brim hat, while a homburg boasts a center dent crown with a brim that is curled and bound so it is stiffer. A homburg is a play-off of the main hat of them all, the fedora since there are other varieties as well.
While women may opt to choose a pink fedora hat with a white ribbon, a man could still rock it to formal events but most men seem to still choose darker colors of brown, black, or navy as part of their formal apparel. Colors such as wine, olive, and navy are also currently in style for both men and women made of a velour finish with layered velvet bands.
Both women and men can opt to have a custom-made fedora hat that is of high quality and will match specifically to a certain outfit they want to wear to a formal event, there are still plenty of fedora hats on the market that makes a great addition to a resort wear wardrobe. Some fedora hats even boast an adjustable strap to keep them in place on a windy day.
So, the answer to the question, “Are fedora hats unisex,” can be answered simply by concluding that a fedora hat is great for a man and just as great for a woman to wear.
FAQs About Are Fedora Hats Unisex
What is a Panama hat?
A Panama hat is a wide-brimmed hat that is made of straw and was originally made from palm leaves, mostly for men to wear back in the day.
What is a trilby hat?
A trilby hat is made of a soft felt hat and boasts a narrow brim with an indented crown.
What is the difference between a fedora and a trilby hat?
A trilby hat offers a more narrow brim that is, many times, curled up at the edges than a fedora hat does. It is also smaller and more compact but has a taller crown with shallow indents that are higher set to form a teardrop shape in the crown.
How do you measure your hat size at home?
To measure your hat size at home, just use a flexible tape measure, a string, or a ruler by taking it from the back of your hand to the front bringing the ends together at the center of your forehead right above your eyebrows. If you are using a string, you can then lay the string along a ruler or tape measure to let you know the result of your hat size.