Fedoras. The hat that has been gracing the heads of men and women all over the world during the 19th century, 20th century, and 21st century. And the style is probably not going anywhere anytime soon.
If you’ve decided it’s time to pick up this fashion trend, you are probably trying to figure out the best place to buy your fedora. We’ve got you covered on that, of course, with a list of incredible fedora hat companies. But before you dive into the actual shopping, there are a few things you need to know.
Buying a fedora hat is about much more than just seeing one that you like and paying for it. A lot goes into it because there are so many different options. Because of that, we have put together this guide for choosing the perfect hat and where you should look. Let’s dive in.
Picking the Right Fedora Hat Size
This is extremely important. You want your hat to fit your head correctly. Otherwise, it’s going to lose a lot of its flair.
Here’s the thing to know, though. The hat size can vary among hat makers and brands. Just because you wear a medium in one does not mean you’ll wear a medium in all of them. So, you’ll have to do a little extra work.
Use either a soft tape measure, like the ones you use for sewing, or you can use a string and ruler to measure the circumference of your head. You’ll want to measure at about 1/8 inch above your ears.
Then, you’ll want to take a look at the website you are planning to buy your fedora hat from. There should be a sizing chart on each to help you pick the right hat size for that brand.
Decide on Your Fedora Hat Color
There are a few different things to consider when choosing your hat color. The first is the clothing you’ll be wearing it with.
A black fedora is often the safest bet, as it can be worn with suits of neutral color and even bolder suits, like red ones. However, a dark gray can be pretty versatile, too.
You can also choose a brown, blue, or green. Some hat makers also make fedoras in colors, so you can find a yellow or red hat if that’s your style. You can even find patterned options.
Your skin complexion and hair color can help you choose your fedora color, too. For example, brown or green tends to go well with olive skin and blond hair. Green and gray fedoras go well with gray hair. Darker complexion and hair usually do well with brown, blue, gray, and green.
And the Fedora Shape
Fedoras come in many styles, which we’ll get into below. Before we do that, though, it can help to determine the shape you like. The differences in shape usually come in the following areas:
You can get a heavy crease or a flatter fedora. The crease can go right down the middle of the hat or be more to the side.
Additionally, that crease can make a pinched, teardrop crown, or you can choose an open crown.
One of the biggest differences is in brim size. You can choose from wide, short, or medium brim sizes.
Often, what you choose should rely on your style and your face shape. A face shape guide can help you determine the best look for you.
Don’t Forget the Material and Accessories
Fedoras can be made from anything the hat maker chooses. However, the most common are typically felt from rabbits or beavers, wool, cashmere, leather, straw, cotton, linen, and hemp.
Remember, the heavier the material, the warmer the hat will be. If you are preparing for cold weather, felt, wool, and leather can be great. Hot environments often need a straw, light cotton, or linen.
And if you want to add some additional flair, you can do that, too. Some fedoras come with accessories, like a ribbon or a feather.
Choosing Your Fedora Hat Style
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of choosing a hat let’s look at some different fedora hat styles you can choose from.
The classic fedora is the one you probably recognize the most. It is the soft felt hat that has been worn by celebrities, on royal heads, and among others since the 1800s. Despite its longstanding presence, its popularity continues to grow.
The classic fedora style hat has a crease lengthwise down the crown ending in a pinch at the front. Its brim is usually about 2.5 inches. And they are typically made from wool or felt, though that can vary among fedora hat makers.
The Panama hat is a straw hat. It is shaped like a fedora, but the straw makes it a more breathable and lightweight option. That makes it a great summer hat.
You may be thinking that this would be a bad choice for a rainy environment, but that’s not the case. Straw is malleable and soft, meaning that it can be woven into a very tight hat material.
You know this one. It’s been seen on a ton of movies, including the Indiana Jones movie series.
The Safari hat is a fedora that has a wider brim than the classic fedora. The purpose of this wider brim is to be a shield from the sun, rain, and other weather conditions.
The crown is usually flatter, too, with no center dent, though this is not always the case. You can choose a Safari hat made from either straw or leather.
A Trilby hat has the same crown shape as the classic style, but it is usually much sharper. The brim is short and curled. It’s not uncommon to see the front of the brim pointing down while the rear points upward.
The Homburg comes with a sharper and taller crown than the classic fedora, but it does have the center dent. You’ll usually find these with brims that slope upward on the sides.
Pork Pie Fedora
The pork pie hat closely resembles the classic fedora but with a rounded crown. The brim is shorter, and the sides of the crown only have a slight slant.
Where to Buy
Believe it or not, you can buy a fedora just about anywhere. I remember finding my first one in Walmart. Granted, I didn’t know that much about them then, so I didn’t know what type or quality I was looking at.
I’m not bashing Walmart’s selection. That fedora hat was my companion for years, so I have no complaints. I only had to get rid of it when it was destroyed in a move.
The bottom line is that you really can find them almost anywhere. But you can usually find a greater selection from companies that specialize in selling hats. Additionally, that hat sizing chart mentioned above will probably not be on a general merchandise retailer’s website.
So, where are the best places to find fedoras? Here are a few of the best specialty companies to get you started with your shopping.
- Village Hat Shop
- Hats in the Belfry
- Hats Unlimited
- Fashionable Hats
- American Hat Makers
- Tenth Street Hats
- Del Monico Hatter
- Watson Hat Shop
Each of the companies listed here has a selection of fedoras to choose from. Many of them have their own names for each hat. And some companies have their own variations for each fedora hat style.
Stetson, for instance, makes each of their fedoras similar to the original types. However, they have some custom differences that make them unique to the Stetson company.
When looking for the perfect fedora, you should browse multiple companies. This gives you a look at a wide variety so that you can pick out the perfect hat for you.