A trilby hat (commonly called a gentleman's fedora) is a narrow-brimmed type of hat. The trilby was once viewed as the rich man's favored hat; it is sometimes called the "brown trilby" in Britain and is frequently seen at the horse races. The London hat company Lock and Co. describes the trilby as having a "shorter [viz., narrower] brim which is angled down [snapped down] at the front and slightly turned up at the back" versus the fedora's "wider brim which is more level [flatter]." The trilby also has a slightly shorter crown than a typical fedora design.
The hat's name derives from the stage adaptation of George du Maurier's 1894 novel Trilby. A hat of this style was worn in the first London production of the play, and promptly came to be called "a Trilby hat".
Traditionally it is made from rabbit hair felt, but is usually made from other materials, such as tweed, straw, wool and wool/nylon blends. The hat reached its zenith of common popularity in the 1960s; the lower head clearance in American automobiles made it impractical to wear a hat with a tall crown while driving. It faded from popularity in the 1970s when any type of men's headwear went out of fashion, and men's fashion instead began focusing on highly maintained hairstyles.
The hat saw a resurgence in popularity in the early 1980s, when it was marketed to both men and women in an attempt to capitalise on a retro fashion trend.
In shape it resembles the Tyrolean hat.
- Roetzel, Bernhard (1999). Gentleman's Guide to Grooming and Style. Barnes & Noble.
- Kilgour, Ruth Edwards (1958). A Pageant of Hats Ancient and Modern. R. M. McBride Company.
- Truth in Fashion: Trilby vs. Fedora Archived July 14, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- Trilby Hat
- Hofler, Robert and Zarco, Cyn. (1985). Wild Style: The Next Wave in Fashion, Hair and Makeup. Simon & Schuster.
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