Fedora-Hats, once associated with the 1930s and 1940s gangsters are back. Frank Sinatra era film stars wore Fedora-Hats Hats that were essential men's wear are once more a fashion item for men of all ages.
What is a Fedora-Hat?
A fedora is a hat, usually made of felt, that has a wide brim, which is usually pinched at the front on both sides. It has a crease along the length of the top. All Fedora-Hats have a hat band, often of a contrasting color. Fedoras come in many colors, but grey, brown and black are the most common colors worn by men. Women's Fedora-Hats come in every color of the rainbow.
A felt hat such as a fedora is made by moulding felted wool fabric over a block. Originally Fedora-Hats were sold without a crease in the top, users put their own crease in after buying one.
The years since 1965 have been the only years in history that hats have not been compulsory items of dress for men. Even in the 1960s a man would not dream of going out of the house without a hat. Paintings and old photographs show illustrate the universal hat-wearing culture that existed in USA and Europe.
Hats might have been essential to keep peasants' heads warm five hundred years ago, but they were largely a fashion item for the gentry.
Designs of hats for men and women have always differed, with women's hats being larger and often with many embellishments such as flowers and feathers.
The past fifty years may be seen as an aberration in the pattern of hat fashion. Over the past thousand years these years have been the only ones in which men could go out with bare heads.
Hat wearing is now becoming fashionable once more, and though not yet compulsory wear in polite society, they are no longer the cause for comment that they were just a few years ago.
History of Fedora-Hats
The Fedora-Hat is named after Princess Fédora, the heroine of a 19th Century play named Fédora. In the play the princess wore a hat similar to a modern fedora.
These hats were a fashion item for women between about 1890 and 1907.
They were commonly worn by men in USA in the 1930s and 1940s and are often associated with gangsters of the Prohibition era, as well as with film stars like Gene Kelly and Humphrey Bogart.
Fedora-Hats have been increasing in popularity again over the past ten years.Micheal Jackson's trademark black and white fedora gave this style of hat a big boost among young people.
Why Did Fedora-Hats Disappear?
Felt-hats became unfashionable on the West Coast of America in the 1950s, though men on the East Coast continued to wear them until the 1960s. They became unfashionable as the 'jeans look' came in. A fedora ione to wear when dressed smartly, rather than casually. The casual look probably played a large part in the general demise of hat-wearing.
It is also difficult to drive a car in a Fedora-Hat, the brim limits your head movement. In today's cars, with head restraints built into seats. It is impossible to drive while wearing one, because the back of it's brim crushes against the headrest.
Where Can You Buy a Fedora-Hat?
You can buy from a local specialist hat supplier, or you can buy online.
There are two ways of determining hat size. You can try them on until you find one that you like the fit of, or you can measure the circumference of your head in centimetres.
Traditionally hat sizes ranged from 5 3/4 to 9 1/2 and you just had to guess your hat-size unless you already had one that fitted. Modern hat sizes are much simpler, being the circumference of it, and head, in centimetres.
Measuring yourself is tricky, though all the websites tell you how to do this. Returns are possible to Internet suppliers, but customers' postage expenses may be substantial. This is one area where a local supplier is a good option. Hat sizes are supposed to be universal, but a Size from onemaker will be different from another maker's Size 7.
Sizing difficulties are compounded by the range of individual tastes in terms of how tightly a hat should fit and how low on the head it should be worn.
Why Should You Buy a Fedora-Hat?
Hats are a no longer an essential item of dress as they were fifty years ago, they are now a luxury or fashion item. If you choose to wear a Fedora-Hat you are making a fashion statement, stating your individuality through this choice.
Fedora-Hats associated with particular groups of people. Jazz enthusiasts often wear Fedora-Hats as do certain religious groups, such as certin groups of Orthodox Jews.
When you buy a Fedora-Hat you are buying the image that Hollywood has attached to it. Many films have featured 'tough guys' wearing fedoras. The typical Hollywood detective still wears a long coat and a Fedora-Hat. People who follow Indie music often take up this style of hat as a statement of their choice of music.
Problems with Wearing Fedora-Hats
When travelling through airports people wearing any kind of hat are asked to remove them, so if you are wearing a hat to cover up a lack of hair, you could be embarrassed.
The wind catches under the wide brim of a Fedora-Hat and they blow off easily.
Restaurants no longer have hat stands, so the only place to put your hat is on a chair next to you.
Hats show every mark and cleaning any felt hat is expensive and a job for a specialist.
All felt hats need to be stored in their boxes to prevent them becoming dusty or crushed.
Although a Fedora-Hat protects your head from the rain, if it becomes too wet, it will lose its shape and be ruined.