The hat is typically creased lengthwise down the crown and "pinched" near the front on both sides. Fedoras can also be creased with teardrop crowns, diamond crowns, center dents, and others, and the positioning of pinches can vary. The typical crown height is 4.5 inches (11 cm).
The brim is usually approximately 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) wide, but may be wider, can be left "raw edged" (left as cut), finished with a sewn overwelt or underwelt, or bound with a trim-ribbon.
The term fedora was in use as early as 1891. Its popularity soared, and eventually it eclipsed the similar-looking homburg. Fedoras can be found in nearly any color, but black, grey, tan ("fawn"), and dark brown are the most popular.
Some fedoras have no crease and are also referred to as bucket style hats.
The word fedora comes from the title of an 1882 play by dramatist Victorien Sardou, Fédora, written for Sarah Bernhardt. The play was first performed in the United States in 1889. Bernhardt played Princess Fédora, the heroine of the play. During the play, Bernhardt wore a center-creased, soft brimmed hat. The hat was fashionable for women and the women's rights movement adopted it as a symbol. After Prince Edward of Britain started wearing them in 1924, it became popular among men for its stylishness and its ability to protect the wearer's head from the wind and weather. Since the early part of the 20th century, many Haredi and other Orthodox Jews have made black fedoras normative to their daily wear.
In popular culture
Fedoras have become widely associated with gangsters and Prohibition, which coincided with the height of the hat's popularity in the 1920s to early 1950s. In the second half of the 1950s, it fell out of favor due to a shift towards more informal clothing styles.
American college football coach Bear Bryant could be seen on national television wearing his trademark plaid and hounds-tooth fedoras. He also appeared on the cover of Time magazine wearing a fedora under the banner "Supercoach". Coach Tom Landry also wore the hat while he was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. It would later become his trademark image. A cenotaph dedicated to Landry with a depiction of his fedora was placed in the official Texas State Cemetery in Austin at the family's request. In addition the Cowboys wore a patch on their uniforms during the 2000 season depicting Landry's fedora.
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- B.J. Phillips (29 September 1980). "Football's Supercoach". TIME magazine.
- "Thomas Wade Landry". Texas State Cemetery. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
- "ESPN DALLAS Hall of Fame - Tom Landry no longer top of mind". ESPN. 2010-01-02. Retrieved 2012-09-23.
- Campbell, Lisa D. (1994). Michael Jackson: The King of Pop's Darkest Hour. Branden Books. p. 34. ISBN 0-8283-2003-9., And Leonard Cohen. Extract of page 34
- Andersen, Christopher P. (1995). Michael Jackson: unauthorized. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-89240-1.
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