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Just What Is a Fedora?

Submitted by on October 2, 2010 – 3:59 pm 2 Comments

Tyrolean fedoras were the first hats to be called a fedora. Men's hats have evolved over the years, but clearly the basic features of the Tyrolean hat can be seen in most modern fedoras.

Many people come into the shop with a preconceived notion that a true fedora must look a certain way because that is what their favorite actor or musician wears.

However, fedoras come in many shapes and sizes. It is almost easier to define them by what they are not. A fedora is virtually any straw or fur felt hat with a crown and brim that is not a top hat, bowler/derby, Homburg or cowboy hat.

Perhaps the most common fedoras come in two different crown shapes. There is the center dent, which has a pinched front and crease down the center. There is also the C-crown, which has a pinched front and a teardrop shape in the crown. From James CagneyÔÇÖs ÔÇ£Public EnemyÔÇØ to Johnny DeppÔÇÖs ÔÇ£Public Enemies,ÔÇØ most of the hats you see will resemble these two styles. Brim sizes can range from Cab CallowayÔÇÖs extra-wide zoot suit toppers to stingy 1- to 2-inch brims preferred by most men today who are between the ages of 16 and 30.

Considered the most sophisticated fedora crown design is the center crease fedora. The primary difference is that this hat has no front pinch. It is a more conservative design, often made of the highest quality materials.

Then thereÔÇÖs the pork pie hat. This fedora features a crown with a flat top, usually pinched in all around it like a pie crust. There are no side pinches at the top of the crown. It is a dressy hat with a playful side, especially when the snap brim is up. It is a design made especially popular by jazz musicians, particularly saxophonist Lester Young.

A subset of that design is the diamond crown fedora. Exactly like the pork pie in most all ways except that the crown is formed in a diamond shape. This, too, is a snazzy  hat, though perhaps not as common as its brethren.

To see all of these great styles of fedoras, come explore

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