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For other uses, see Fedora (disambiguation).
A fedora made by Borsalino with a gutter-dent, side-dented crown, the front of the brim "snapped down" and the back "snapped up"

A fedora /fˈdɔərə/ is a felt hat with a wide brim and indented crown.[1][2] It is typically creased lengthwise down the crown and "pinched" near the front on both sides.[3] 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,[1] can be left "raw edged" (left as cut), finished with a sewn overwelt or underwelt, or bound with a trim-ribbon. "Stitched edge" means that there is one, two or more rows of stitching radiating inward toward the crown. The "Cavanagh Edge" is a welted edge with invisible stitching to hold it in place and is a very expensive treatment that can no longer be performed by modern hat factories.[4]

The term fedora was in use as early as 1891. Its popularity soared, and eventually it eclipsed the similar-looking homburg.[1]

Fedoras can be made of wool, cashmere, rabbit or beaver felt. These felts can also be blended to each other with mink or chinchilla[4][5] and rarely with vicuña, guanaco, cervelt,[6] or mohair. They can also be made of straw, cotton, waxed or oiled cotton, hemp, linen or leather.

Fedoras have a wide brim; smaller-sized-brim hats are called trilbies.[1][2]

A special variation is the rollable, foldaway or crushable Fedora (rollable and crushable is not the same)[7] with a certain or open crown (open crown Fedoras can be bashed and shaped in many variations). Special Fedoras have a ventilated crown with grommets, meshinlets or with penetrations for a better air circulation.

Normally a fedora has also a hatband from ribbon or leather, and may have small feathers as decoration. Fedoras can be lined or unlined and have a leather[8] or cloth[9] sweatband. Fedoras can be equipped with a chinstrap, but this is rare.


Another example of a fedora made by Borsalino, with a pinch-front teardrop-shaped crown

The term fedora was in use as early as 1891. Its popularity soared, and eventually it eclipsed the similar-looking homburg.[1] The word fedora comes from the title of an 1882 play by dramatist Victorien Sardou, Fédora being written for Sarah Bernhardt.[10] The play was first performed in the United States in 1889. Bernhardt played Princess Fédora, the heroine of the play. During the play, Bernhardt – a notorious cross-dresser – wore a center-creased, soft brimmed hat. The hat was fashionable for women, and the women's rights movement adopted it as a symbol.[2][11] 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.[2][11] Since the early part of the 20th century, many Haredi and other Orthodox Jews have made black fedoras normal to their daily wear.[12]

In popular culture[edit]

Frank Sinatra as Tony Rome, sporting a fedora
Young boy with fedora, February 1943

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.[2][11] In the second half of the 1950s, it fell out of favor in a shift towards more informal clothing styles. Greasers wore them with their leather jackets and jeans.[2][11] By the early 21st century, the fedora became a symbol of hipsters.[13] In this same time period, it also became associated (sometimes negatively) with bronies[14][15] and nice guys.[16][17][18][19][20]

Indiana Jones re-popularized the fedora in the Indiana Jones franchise.[21]

Johnny Depp is known to often wear a range of fedoras.[22]

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.[23] In addition the Cowboys wore a patch on their uniforms during the 2000 season depicting Landry's fedora.[24]

Michael Jackson frequently wore a fedora in public appearances, concerts and video clips.[25][26]

The fedora hat of the ninth president of Turkey, Süleyman Demirel, was a famous part of his image.[27]

In the Disney channel series Phineas and Ferb, the animal agents of the OWCA wear fedoras when in character. The most notable example is the title characters' pet, Perry the Platypus.

Perhaps most iconic of all, American crooner Frank Sinatra made a fedora a near staple of his style, particularly in the 1950's and 60's.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kilgour, Ruth Edwards (1958). A Pageant of Hats Ancient and Modern. R. M. McBride Company.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "History of Fedora Hats". History of Hats. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  3. ^ Cotton, Elizabeth (1999). Hats. Stewart, Tabori & Chang.
  4. ^ a b Hat Glossary Retrieved 03.14.2016
  5. ^ Super felt Retrieved 03-16-2016
  6. ^ Cervelt Retrieved 03-14-2016
  7. ^ "Packable Hats". delmonicohatter.com. Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Observations on Fedora Sweatbands, Size Tags, and Fedora Dating Tips". Publius Forum. 
  9. ^ Sweatbands Retrieved 03.15.2016
  10. ^ Encarta Dictionary, Microsoft Encarta Premium Suite 2004.
  11. ^ a b c d Rath, Robert (2014-03-06). "The History And Abuse of The Fedora". The Escapist. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  12. ^ Shields, Jody; Dugdale, John (1991). Hats: A Stylish History and Collector's Guide. Clarkson Potter.
  13. ^ Rutenberg, Jim (2012-08-05). "Montauk's Hipster Fatigue". The New York Times. pp. ST1. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  14. ^ http://jezebel.com/i-was-the-weirdest-person-at-bronycon-2014-1616532065
  15. ^ http://bostinno.streetwise.co/all-series/on-the-fedora-and-why-you-should-never-wear-one-unless-you-can/
  16. ^ http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/fedora-shaming
  17. ^ http://www.dailydot.com/unclick/facebook-exchange-hot-topic-nice-guy-fedora/
  18. ^ http://www.xojane.com/fun/nice-guy-fedoras
  19. ^ http://www.people.com/article/nice-guy-disaster-stories
  20. ^ http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/criticalintel/11083-The-History-And-Abuse-of-The-Fedora.3
  21. ^ Hellqvist, David (2013-09-04). "The Hats: Heads Up". Port Magazine. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  22. ^ Johnny Depp Fedora Retrieved 03-19-2016
  23. ^ "Thomas Wade Landry". Texas State Cemetery. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  24. ^ "ESPN DALLAS Hall of Fame - Tom Landry no longer top of mind". ESPN. 2010-01-02. Retrieved 2012-09-23. 
  25. ^ Campbell, Lisa D. (1994). Michael Jackson: The King of Pop's Darkest Hour. Branden Books. p. 34. ISBN 0-8283-2003-9.  Extract of page 34
  26. ^ Andersen, Christopher P. (1995). Michael Jackson: unauthorized. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-89240-1. 
  27. ^ Anadolu Agency. "Turkey's 9th President Suleyman Demirel dies at 91". Getty Images. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Fedora at Wikimedia Commons