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Today’s video is all about the fedora hat. We discuss what it is, what it is not, the history, what to look for when you buy one and how to wear it so you look your best.
What makes a fedora?
Basically, a fedora hat is a snap brim hat. it’s called that way because you can actually snap the brim down. A fedora is typically pinched in the middle and then again in the front. One of the big hallmarks and probably the reason it’s so popular is that the Fedora is shapeable in many different forms.
Next up is the brim of the fedora. First of all, you can have different sizes. You can have very short brims, medium brims, and wide brims. Again, if you want to stay timeless, something around in the middle length is probably your best bet. Of course, it all comes down to what your face shape is and so larger brims work better for some persons and shorter for others.
The brim of the fedora can be snapped down in the front or snapped down all the way around or snaps up in the front and down in the back.
In terms of material, most fedoras these days are made from wolf felt which is basically hair from sheep that is felted which is not woven but the hair is taken together, rubbed together until they intertwine and they don’t come apart anymore.
The next step up would be a rabbit or hare felt which is finer and softer and it usually makes for a great hat.
The very best qualities are beaver felt hats and they usually use hair from the belly of the beaver.
In terms of hat decoration, most hats will feature a band on the outside and there can be a bow, there can be you can have different kind of ribbons, sometimes you have little things that dangle on them, other times you can have a really wide band or a slim band maybe a leather band and sometimes you can even see people that add feathers to their hat just to highlight the individual character.
So how did the fedora get its name?
In the 1890s, there was a play titled Fedora and at the time, all men wore hats on the street. The everyday man didn’t have much money and could only afford one hat that had to serve multiple purposes. The fedora was great because it could be shaped in any form needed. At that time, no gentleman would have ever worn a fedora hat. The Homburg hat is their go to choice. A gentleman would maybe only wear a fedora hat in the countryside for very casual outings. Just like many other things in menswear, the Prince of Wales wore a fedora in 1924 and it became hugely popular that way because he liked softer things.
So how should you wear a fedora hat in this day and age?
Basically, you want to wear it with a classically inspired outfit which means a jacket or a suit. If you want you could wear it with a chalk stripe or pinstripe suit that’s rather bold. As the fedora is a classic piece of headwear that’s not worn a lot anymore, I suggest you go with like double-breasted suits, peak lapels, maybe single breasted suits with a vest like a three-piece suit or with a contrasting vest. You can also have accessories such as cufflinks or rings maybe a tie bar or a collar bar because it just underlines the entire classic look of the fedora. Wear the fedora the right season. A felt hat is great in the winter and it’s cold outside maybe in the fall and also in spring but not during the summer.
FEDORA HAT ETIQUETTE
The golden rule is whenever you’re inside, take the hat off.
Also, if you wear a fedora hat, try to avoid sunglasses because it simply looks odd and over-the-top.
Where and how should you buy a fedora hat?
The first choice obviously is to go to a local hat store. Another option is to go with vintage hats, you can either find them in vintage stores, thrift stores, maybe at
estate sales, or on eBay.
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