Types of Fedoras
, by Alex Torres, 7 min reading time
, by Alex Torres, 7 min reading time
What are the different types of fedoras? There are many different kinds of fedora hats out there. We'll try to cover them all. But first, it is important to understand how to define a type of fedora hat. They are usually classified by their material, crown shape, brim width, and when or how you wear them.
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Most fedoras are referred to by the material they are made from. Felt fedoras are among the most popular. These fedoras are made with wool, or animal fur felts. Commonly, fedora felt is made from wool but may also be made from beaver fur or softer, more expensive furs like chinchilla.
What are the different types of fedoras? There are many different kinds of fedora hats out there. We'll try to cover them all. But first, it is important to understand how to define a type of fedora hat. They are usually classified or defined by their material, crown shape, brim width, and overall design and style. Also, fedoras are separated by use (when to wear them).
The most common fedoras are made of wool felt. Cost, the ability to retain shape and appearance once it is crushed down into a felt, and its ability to be shaped easily really makes wool felt a desirable material to make a fedora. Since it is easier to cultivate it is cheaper and more cost effective than other materials used in felt like animal furs. Most fedoras today are manufactured from 100% Australian wool felt. Due to its softness, this type of felt has a nice sheen and shape retention.
The most common fedoras are made of wool felt. Cost, the ability to retain shape and appearance once it is crushed down into a felt, and its ability to be shaped easily really makes wool felt a desirable material to make a fedora. Since it is easier to cultivate it is cheaper and more cost effective than other materials used in felt like animal furs. Many felt fedoras today are manufactured from 100% Australian wool felt. Due to its softness, and availability, this type of felt is a popular choice for manufacturers. It has a nice sheen and shape retention.
Animal furs are also used as a material to make felt for fedoras. Animal fur is finer and softer so it has a slightly different feel than wool. The sheen and exterior look is also finer. So, these felts are used in more formal, dressy and upscale fedoras usually worn with formal attire or suits. Beaver is one of the more common furs used. Rabbit, chinchilla and other exotic furs can also be used.
A straw fedora is yet another type of fedora hat. Worn in the summer or to sporting events, these fedoras are usually more casual. They can be very formal however and worn for upscale events like horse races or outdoor weddings. It all depends on the type of straw the fedora is made from. Certain types of straws are considered very fine and dressy due to the sheen and brittle nature of the material.
There are many types of straw fedoras available designed for different activities and events. Each one has different benefits and draw backs. The most common include milan, toyo straw, paper braid straw, shantung and the Panama hat, which is toquilla straw from the toquilla palm tree, a very fine straw that is extremely soft and supple.
Many straws are manufactured from lightweight papers and can be lighter than a feather. These hats are prized for their look and lightweight feel as dressy straw fedoras. However, they can be brittle and ruined by water. The Panama straw fedora is prized for its softness, breath-ability and its ability to be crushed and rolled without breaking. It is also waterproof. Many other paper straws will crush, break or crease easily and can not be worn in the rain.
Fedoras come in two general categories in regards to brim: wide brim and regular. A wide brim fedora is one whose brim is wider than 4 inches with widths up to 10 inches or more. These styles are rare and sometimes referred to as floppy brim hats.
Dress fedora hats usually have a style that is unmistakably upscale. The surface sheen and overall appearance is very refined and detailed. The formal fedora is usually made of a supple fur felt like beaver but can also be made of wool felt. These formal hats have grosgrain ribbons and usually have a center dent, round crown or pinched front with shallow side dents.
A casual fedora is one worn to just about any event or daily as a go-to hat. It can be made of felt (normally wool), leather, straw or even cloth. Styles include wide and short brim, with both pinched and round crown shapes.
There are many hats that can be considered types of fedoras because their shape and appearance is very similar. These hats are distinctive enough to be commonly referred to by their own name but are sometimes generalized as fedoras.
The trilby hat is a type of fedora. It is a hat with a similar crown shape as the fedora but a shorter width brim that is curled along the edges. The crown is also more pointed or sharper in style. Often the rear of the brim is turned up and the front points down forming a more slanted profile.
The pork pie hat also has a similar looking profile as the fedora but the crown is much rounder with straighter sides that slant slightly much like the shape of a pork pie. The brim is also shorter. This gives the hat a traditional appearance.
The Homburg is very similar to the fedora but it has a taller, sharper crown with a center dent. The brim is curled up on the edges and sometimes the entire brim slopes upward on either side.
A safari hat is really a fedora with a wider brim and a flatter crown (normally shallow or no center dent). The wide brim is a functional design feature to shield from sun, rain and wind. Safari hats are usually made of straw or leather and designed more for their function than fashion.
The Panama hat is a fedora because it is shaped like one. However, what separates it from other fedoras is the material the Panama hat is woven from. Panama hats are made from toquilla straw, a very fine straw that is extremely malleable, soft and supple, allowing it to be woven watertight, resist crushing, and still be breathable and lightweight. This is why hat lovers will pay so much more for a Panama hat.
Gambler hats are much like fedoras but with a wider brim and round crown. They may have slight pinches on the side. They also typically have a round top with no center dent.
Outback hats have wide brims, are typically made of leather, have a pinched front and sides that are tied up on either side. These hats come from the Australian Outback where they prove to be effective in sun, wind and rain protection.