In 1882 an actress wore a Fedora hat during a French play but it wasn’t until 1924 that it became a Men’s hat after Prince Edward of Britain started wearing one. It was soon considered a compulsory accessory for men to wear out in public, work and most formal events. Fedoras are usually soft, made of felt (or nowadays straw), creased lengthwise down the crown and pinched on both sides. The Fedora was consistently loved due to its style and practicality because it didn’t distract drivers from their view, it was smaller than a top hat making it easy to wear in public transport and much easier to fold and store without loosing its shape!
The Porkpie hat is named for its resemblance to the infamous British pastry and is considered a similar design to the Fedora but instead features a flat round top instead of a pinched crown. Buster Keaton, a comedian, was the most famous wearer of the porkpie hat in the 1920’s. Jazz musicians like Lester Young, went on to sport the hat making it almost a strict ‘Jazz Mans’ uniform and was well worn through the Blues era and Ska culture.
What is typically now a women’s summer straw hat, The Boater was originally worn by men in the late 19th century during sailing or boating events, hence the name. It was known to be a symbolic day when the men would switch from their winter felt hats for the summer straw Boater because this marked the first day of summer. Designed with a stiff flat crown and brim with a solid or striped ribbon around the crown, this hat has consistently made a come back throughout the years, you can’t really go wrong with a Boater!
Many people often wonder what the difference is between the Fedora and the Trilby and we agree, they are incredibly similar but certainly have their differences! The Trilby features a shorter brim that angles down at the front and slightly turned up at the back whereas the Fedora hat features a wider, more level brim. The Trilby’s crown is slightly shorter than your typical Fedora design and was traditionally made from rabbit hair felt, worn by wealthy men who favoured the Trilby hat.
The Western hat has been known to take on various shapes and sizes as original concepts were altered to suit new eras and trends. Typically, you’d imagine these worn by a rider on horseback but the Western hat dates all the way back to the 13th Century worn by Mongolian Horsemen. The original basic features of a Western hat include a broad brim for shade and a tall crown for insulation due to hot sunny climates of Western Culture.