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How To Wear A Fedora – The Ultimate Style Guide

How To Wear A Fedora – The Ultimate Style Guide

How To Wear A Fedora – The Ultimate Style Guide

A good hat can take an outfit from drab to dapper in an instance, it also adds a touch of charisma to your look in a way that no other accessory can.

But as you know, there are lots of hats and many many styles. Some will work for you, while others end up in some dusty corner of your wardrobe never to see the light of day again.

While no hat is a sure thing style wise, there are some hats that seem to suit most people. In this category, you’ll find the fedora.

This structured and sleek hat has stood the test of time – never really falling out of favor.  Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it also has the uncanny ability to look both classic and contemporary – depending on what its paired with

However, before you go trying on fedora’s willy-nilly, there’s a few style rules you should consider. After all, in a choice between looking classy, or just plain confused, no ones going to choose the latter.  In our guide on how to wear a fedora, we reveal ways to make this sharp headgear work for you.



What is a fedora hat

So what does a fedora hat look like? While you probably have a rough idea, it doesn’t hurt to know things like; what traits to look for in a classic fedora, or what a stingy brim is. Take a look at the list below to find out more.


Parts of a fedora

anatomy of a fedora

The Brim

Ever noticed there are two types of fedora wearers? There’s the mysterious ones who wear their hats low, obscuring most of their gaze. Then there’s the other ones who have their fedora’s pushed up, so it sits further back, revealing more of their face.

One of the reasons these two looks exist, is due to the fedora’s flexible brim. The brim is designed to either be snapped up or down, which is why the fedora is also called a  “snap brim”.


There are generally 3 widths when it comes to Fedora brims. These are:

  • The short and narrow brim also known as the “stingy brim”. This type of brim is usually between 1-1.5 inches in width.
  • For classic style fedora’s, these will have a brim roughly around 2- 2.5 inches wide.
  • A wide brim, or a “generous brim” fedora is usually around 3 – 3.5 inches wide. While this style of brim is not as popular as the “stingy brim” it is definitely becoming much more sought after.


The crown

Needless to say, the crown is that area just above the brim.  A fedora crown can either be shaped as a center dent, diamond or teardrop. However, you will find that most classic fedoras will come with a tear drop crown

Even though this is not a set rule, the crown height on most fedoras will be around 4- 4.5 inches tall.

The material. When it comes to fedora’s, good quality material is a must. Fedoras can either be made of cashmere, wool, straw, hemp or even chinchilla, but the most popular type of Fedora material is felt.

Top tip: If you live in warmer climates avoid wool fedoras, otherwise it will be like wearing a portable hothouse on your head. Instead, go for cooler materials like in straw or felt.


Fedora hat accessories:

Fedora’s are usually adorned with a ribbon or some type of fabric around the hat. While ribbons are standard, feathers in fedoras are also an option. However, this is where individuality comes into it, you can add enamel pins or even monograms, the choice is yours.

Top tip: While accessories add some personality to a fedora, if you want to keep your look sharp and sophisticated less is definitely more. Avoid going all out with garish ribbons, large feathers and anything else that makes your headgear look like a cry for help.



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Fedora hat history – some little known facts

history of fedora hat

Before we dive into the style rules around fedoras, let’s take a brief look at how this iconic hat came to be.

So where does the name fedora come from? It was actually a term coined from a play written in 1882 by dramatist Victorien Sardou called “Fédora“. In it, the actress Sarah Bernhardt, plays a heroine princess who wears a creased felt hat. And so the fedora was born.

For years afterwards, fedoras were worn almost exclusively by women. But when Prince Edward started sporting them in 1924, men also began ditching their flat caps, top hats and bowler hats for this fancy new head gear.

It was around this time that Orthodox Jews also began using black fedoras as part of their daily wear – which is still done today.

In American the contemporary man about town favored the “stingy” brimmed fedora, while the wider brim ones were found on the heads of many prohibition gangsters.

Fedora fever continued through the 1920’s and right into the second world war. It was at this time more colors were introduced for the military. Instead of basic blacks, grays and browns, you could now get your fedora in khakis, blues and greens. To this day, fedoras remain one of the few hats that stand up well to more adventurous color choices.

Now with all that being said, let’s take a look at some of the ways fedora hats can be worn



Want some more style tips? Check out: How To Lace Converse High Tops



How to wear a fedora

Below are just a few style rules that will keep you looking your best in your fedora hat.


When to wear a Fedora?

While Fedora’s are fine for year round wear, they tend to look their best in spring, fall and winter. This durable hat, typically made of felt, is great against colder, windier weather. Just push the flexible brim down lower on your forehead, and you’re good to go.


How to style a fedora hat?

How to wear a fedora, how to wear fedora, how to wear a fedora hat

Fedora’s are statement pieces, so they tend to draw attention, which can be good or bad, depending on what you pair it with.

Here’s the thing, Fedora’s have been worn with smart clothing for decades. Why? Because it works. If you want to make the most out of your fedora, pair it with a suit or good jacket. Even something like an overcoat or blazer – will set your look off in the right way.

Top tip: Unless looking like a cartoon gangster is your thing, avoid combining your fedora with pin stripe suits.


Can I wear a fedora hat with casual clothes?

fedora hat casual wear, fedora black hat

While we now know fedoras look great with smart wear, but can fedora’s be worn casually? Some fashion experts would give this question a firm no – and who can blame them? After all, a classic fedora paired with a t-shirt, worn out sneakers and joggers doesn’t sit well with most people.

But here’s the thing, the trick to successfully breaking fashion rules is being smart about how you do it.

Want to go casual with your fedora? Then focus on the color – and one color in particular. That black fedora doesn’t have to be coupled with a mishmash of colors. Instead, why not try going black on black? When you wear a black fedora with black clothing, suddenly your look becomes crisp and iconic. This could be done with some black jeans, jean jacket (or leather jacket) and black shirt.


Can you wear a fedora with jeans?

 how to wear a fedora casually

fedora hat with jeans – a look that can work if done well

Yes you can wear fedora’s with jeans, but it has to be done right. A great look is some white jeans with a brown fedora, team this with a trench coat and dark Chelsea boots and you’re set.

Another outfit to try with jeans is matching it with a charcoal pea coat, This can be worn with skinny jeans and a simple white crew neck sweater.  Go for this look when you want something that’s more smart/casual than just casual.

Top tip: Thin ribbons on fedoras are best suited to more casual wear, such as jeans, while wide ribbon fedoras are best with suits



How to match a fedora to your style

Your fedora choice has to fit your needs and lifestyle. Here are some of the basic rules to start with:

  • For those living in warmer regions, give wool and cashmere fedora’s a wide birth. To ensure you don’t overheat, opt for straw or felt fedoras.
  • If you have a smaller head then choose a fedora with a “stingy” brim, narrower brims will ensure that your face doesn’t get “overwhelmed” by your hat. Bigger headed people, on the other hand, can afford to go for wide brim fedoras.
  • Traditionalist will probably feel quite comfortable with a classic style fedora (usually made of felt or wool) in black, brown or gray. This way the fedora can be paired with a variety of suits and dress jackets
  • Non traditionalist, consider fedora’s in other colors than blacks, such as reds, greens and blues. You can also experiment with colored feathers, and other hat accessories, but just ensure that everything flows well.



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