Whether or not you know much around hats, chances are you've heard of a fedora. This gender-neutral accessory has been a standard for much more than a century, yet its current resurgence in popularity has actually some world scratching their heads around its form and function. Do a straightforward search online for “fedora” and you'll easily see that this harmless hat has acquired a many flak indigenous those who see it as a pointless piece of headgear. However the truth is, the lesser-known trilby is most likely to blame.

You are watching: Difference between a fedora and a trilby

To assist clarify the issue, we're breaking it down so you recognize the basics the a fedora and also trilby and also can point out the difference in between these two similar yet distinct hat styles. Then you can decide for yourself whether or no you love or loathe this surprisingly provocative headpieces.

What's In a Name?


Which came first, the fedora or the trilby? By every accounts, the fedora has actually dibs. Words fedora originates from the title of Victorien Sardou's 1882 play referred to as “Fédora,” i m sorry was composed for famous French stage actress sarah Bernhardt. In 1889, the play was performed in the United says with Bernhardt illustrating heroine Princess Fédora Romazov. During the play, the influential entertainer wore a center-creased, soft brimmed hat and voila! A cap star was born.

In a similar fashion, the trilby hat also boasts literary and also theatrical origins. Trilby hats got their name from the phase adaptation that George du Maurier's 1894 highly well-known novel “Trilby” about bohemian Paris. During the London manufacturing of the play, the lead actress wore a short-brimmed hat with a sharp behind brim. That wasn't lengthy after this sartorial statement struggle the stage that the “trilby hat” became an increasingly usual style in Britain.

The Basics the a Fedora Hat


While the numerous material and style variations include to the ongoing confusion when it comes to the trilby vs fedora debate, the latter are marked by a couple of key features: A pliable mid-sized brim; one indented crown, typically with a center crease that is pinched ~ above both sides; and also wool feel material.


The very first traditional fedoras were really around the fabric, which was either a fur-felt or wool-felt hat. However, today's fedoras space made indigenous any number of materials including cotton, straw, tweed, hemp, leather, and also wool-synthetic blends.

Crown Shape

Fedoras no much longer strictly follow the center-crease crown format of yesteryear — there room teardrop crowns, diamond crowns, and also telescope crowns, just to surname a few. Plus, the pinches have the right to be positioned in a variety of means to suit anyone's style. Brush up on all the cap terms you require to know with our complete guide come the anatomy of a hat.

Brim Size

Size matters when it involves brims, and also it's the primary difference between fedoras and trilbies. Many fedora purists will certainly agree the the cap brim have to be 2 customs or contempt bigger through the alternative to rock the brim snapped up or snapped under in the front, back, or all around. Wide-brim fedoras (3 inch or wider) are particularly popular v women and come in a variety of styles, consisting of floppy and raw-edge finishes. Examine out ours full selection of womens fedora hats and also mens fedoras to uncover your perfect fedora look.

Famous Fedoras


Image via Wikipedia

There are many stars that cinema, music, and beyond who have immortalized the fedora, however perhaps none much more than frank Sinatra. (It's no wonder fedoras are still periodically referred to as the “Frank Sinatra hat.”) Ol' Blue eyes epitomized the dashing style and also swagger the the mid-century music scene, when Humphrey Bogart immortalized the fedora look at in the 1942 Hollywood standard “Casablanca.”

Years later, the fedora would resurface as a style front-runner many thanks to Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones, wherein he penetration the hat v a more adventurous twist. Fedoras reached their pinnacle of popularity in the 1960s, but they have actually made a significant comeback in recent years both together a nod to retro fashion as well as a method to express personal style and achieve a put-together look.

Celebrity fedora wearers such together Johnny Depp and also Michael Jackson have likewise done their component to modernize this standard Rat Pack-era accessory and also give it a stylish edge.

The Basics that a Trilby Hat


There's no denying that the structure of the fedora and trilby are comparable in crown shape, but the similarities stop there. The trilby has actually a lot narrower brim, earning it the moniker "stingy brim" hat, which method it actions an inch-and-a-half or less. In this regard, the trilby is actually much more like a pork pie hat than a fedora.


Unlike the fedora, fabric isn't a specifying characteristic of the trilby. Cotton, straw, wool, and also leather are just some the the products used to make this hat.

Crown Shape

At first glance, it's basic to know why a trilby could be mistaken for a fedora. Both have actually crowns through a center indentation and also pinches at either side. However trilby crowns are typically pointier 보다 fedora crowns.

Brim Size

The brief brim size of the trilby is that most defining feature. This stingy brim hat is indeed amongst the stingiest with virtually no protection for the eye or face. Also flat caps and also ivy caps provide some quantity of sun defense for the eyes.

This bring to light a significant gripe world have around the trilby: the really just serves as a kind of fashion with zero function. What's more, trilbies are regularly worn in ~ the back of the head (like a gloriole hat) quite than leveled above the eyebrows. And also because the the smaller sized brim, a trilby virtually always looks method too tiny on the person wearing it.

Famous Trilbies


While fedoras come out ahead in the trilby vs fedora debate, there room still part seminal pop culture moments that have actually been punctuated by the trilby hat. For instance, even though frank Sinatra is associated with the fedora, he additionally wore trilby hats. But he was only 5'8" tall and quite slender in his previously years, so a small-brimmed hat didn't look at odd ~ above his small frame. Plus, the guy was a musical and also style icon — he could pull off any type of look he wanted.

See more: Solved The Acid‐Base Reaction Between Khp + Naoh Net Ionic Equation

The 1980 comedy blockbuster “The Blues Brothers” also kept trilbies on the map. Sure, the looked a little bit silly to have actually such a small-brimmed mens hat on a bulging john Belushi, but it additionally reminded audience of a time as soon as men's format was an ext formal and they finished your look with a peak hat, Panama hat, or some various other stylish topper. In more recent years, Justin Timberlake has lugged trilby ago as have Madonna and also Victoria Beckham.

Do It her Way

Now that you have actually a better grasp of the recurring fedora vs trilby debate, it's time for you to consist of your very own mind. If there's one dominion to remember, it's this: A hat's brim need to be in proportion to your shoulders.

Most people are best suited for a mid-sized brim the 2 1/2 inches or bigger, but if you have actually a bigger build, not to issue — we have plenty of more comprehensive brim hats for men and women. Whether your an individual taste leans towards a fedora or a trilby, the confidence you exude is simply as necessary as put on a stylish hat.