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How to Wear a Fedora

Submitted by on October 24, 2010 – 5:48 pm 3 Comments

Okay, okay. Hat wearing is rather subjective, and there is, technically, no wrong way to wear a fedora or down-turned brim hat. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a generally accepted proper way to wear a fedora.

You will never go wrong following these generally accepted principles of hat wearing. First you will need to make sure your hat fits properly. A men’s dress hat should rest about a finger’s width above your ears and eyebrows.

While checking in the mirror, you’ll want the hat to be centered on your head, with the brim perpendicular to your nose or parallel to your eyebrows. You will also want the brim of the hat to dip no farther down than your eyebrows. This way the hat won’t obscure your vision.

That said, a lot of movie stars and jazzmen make a fedora look awfully dashing by cocking it to one side. Other people like to wear their fedoras higher up and back, exposing their forehead. Some prefer it dipped low over one or both eyes.

And then there is the advice an old Chicago bluesman once gave a friend of mine that went something like this as he observed someone at the blues club wearing their fedora cocked back high on their head: “Only hayseed rubes from the country wear their hats up high like that. Real city cats wear them down a little over their eyes.”

The bluesman proceeded to adjust the guy’s hat for him.

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  • Roger Holt says:

    I have one Fedora, dark brown, wool, and I wear it with all my suits except the black and was wondering because it is wool should it be limited in wear to certain seasons? If so, what would be an appropriate type to wear in the warmer months of the year? Thx!

    • Nathaniel Cerf says:

      Hi Roger,
      Thanks for writing. You can wear a wool fedora all year, but it might get particularly hot in the summer. Summer is a great time for a straw fedora. It is usually a lighter weight and color, which helps provide shade without getting too warm. Plus, most natural color straw hats go with any suit.

  • Al says:

    Nathaniel Cerf, You are spot-on with your How to Wear a Fedora advice.
    I wear one every day, with a personal collection of 50+. I won’t leave home without one.

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