Types of Fedoras

What is a Fedora?

Today, the average individual perceives a fedora as a brimmed hat and often will refer to all such styles with this descriptor.

Although more variation exists than in past decades, a fedora is a combination of specific features: usually, a medium-to-wide brim based on the decade and a structured, teardrop-shaped crown with a gutter or dent going down the center.

While headwear with these characteristics has existed for some time, "fedora" wasn't used until an 1890 play of the same name was released. In it, a female actress sported a wool felt hat typically worn by lower- and middle-class men during that period. At this point in time, for some context, hats weren't an accessory for men and, rather, an expectation. Wealthier individuals may have had multiple pieces of headwear based on occasion; a lower- or middle-class man, however, turned to a wider-brim wool felt style for its multipurpose nature.

Its wider-spread appeal didn't hit until the 1920s. From there, its association with gangsters and eventually Hollywood movies helped it garner an even greater level of popularity. With social norms and subsequent dress codes breaking down in the 1960s, the fedora eventually transitioned into more of an accessory, with pop culture apexes in the 1980s and then into the 2000s. Particularly through the rise of heritage menswear, fedoras have remained in accessory rotation since.

In the more modern sense, a fedora tends to be a softer yet not unstructured hat with a crown extending four to six inches up and a two- to four-inch brim. Rather than the round bowler, a fedora's crown appears pinched, although this aspect varies between a diamond formation and a defined dent down the center.

As well, while wool and felt remain traditional, you'll spot cotton and straw for greater breathability. As the finishing touch, the typical fedora sports a hatband right around the crown, offering a touch of contrast, although this feature isn't required.

Through this perspective, here are some of the types of hats considered fedoras:

Classic Fedoras

There's no better place to start than the original classic fedora. This is the style that immediately comes to mind and delivers the most traditional combination. At Hats in the Belfry, most of our classic fedoras are made from 100% wool, such as the Belfry Gangster, which could easily be found atop any mob boss's head!

Straw Fedoras

Fedoras also come in straw. We love the hand-woven Panama straw in particular and highly recommend it. Straw is a common material because of its bright feel-good sensation that fits comfortably on any head and the degree of breathability it provides. With our styles, a crack-resistant liner makes it not only durable, but also comfortable for adjusting and readjusting many times over.


Safari Fedoras

Initially, a safari hat referred to the rounded pith helmet. Eventually, wide-brim fedora styles started replacing this design, offering a greater amount of comfort and sun protection in the process.

Safari fedoras are very similar to their straw counterparts mentioned above, except using a different style. They're also made from Panama straw or wool felt, but the design automatically makes you think of an adventurer such as Indiana Jones. The brim is oftentimes noticed first, and coupled with a subtle band, these hats are the perfect fashion statement.


Pork Pie

The pork pie (also known as "stingy brim") fedora style is a favorite among many because of its smaller snap brim. It became a fashion statement back in the 1990s and is still found today. This is mostly due to releases of hit music videos, movies and TV shows where characters or celebrities will be spotted in a casual yet classic pork pie hat.

The most recent example is likely Walter White in AMC's Breaking Bad, where he is occasionally found with his pork pie fedora. Speaking of Walter White, our Belfry Be-Bop pork pie hat has a shockingly similar resemblance!


Trilby Fedoras

The trilby fedora gets its own category because of its unique tall and contemporary style and crushability convenient for travel. They come with a classic pre-snap shape for an easy-to-wear feeling. Trilbies also come in various materials, such as straw, wool, and felt.

Fedoras are extremely fashionable and useful for just about any occasion. Wear one as a part of your business attire, when you're trying to be serious, if you want to be mysterious, or if you just want to wear it casually. They are the signature men's hat and won't drop in popularity any time soon. Browse our offerings today to find something that complements your personal style.