Six Hats With Different Styles That Will Help You Start Your Own Fashion (3)

Fedora

What is a Fedora hat? This is far from a simple question. The modern-day use of the term “fedora” is far different than its historical use. Colloquially, many people use the term fedora to describe any men’s felt hat, and that reflects on both the decline of hat wearing among men in general and the consolidation of hat styles that are still worn today.

A fedora actually isn’t one specific kind of hat; it’s a basic set of characteristics that can then be turned in hundreds, if not thousands, of variations on the style. Over the years, history has shown us the appeal and versatility of the fedora, ranging from the wide-brim gangster hats of the 1920’s to the narrower, more modern fedora favored by crooner Frank Sinatra in the 1950s and 60s. Even though hats are no longer a wardrobe staple that every man owns, a classic yet unstuffy fedora still has a distinct place in the closet of the dapper gentleman who wants to stand out from the crowd.

A fedora, which is also known as a snap brim, is any soft felt hat with an indented crown approximately 4-6″ in height and a soft brim 2-4″ wide. Though the crown is typically “pinched” into a point at the intersection of the top and the sides of the crown on the front of the hat, one of the hallmarks of the fedora is that it can be shaped, creased, sized or bent in an infinite number of combinations based on the wearer’s preference. The main variations on the fedora style are:

  • Crown. The crown, or the very top surface of the hat, can be shaped in many ways, including a diamond and center crease; the most classic look for a fedora is the teardrop crown
  • Brim. The brim of a fedora can be finished with multiple different widths, finishes, and positions. The edge of the brim can be raw (simply cut and left unfinished), sewn, trimmed with ribbon, or finished with the “Cavanagh edge”, which is a special hand-felted edge that adds strength to the final brim without stitching it. The Cavanagh edge is no longer produced and hence it is only available on vintage fedoras. A fedora’s brim can be worn angled down, up, or most commonly up in the back and down in the front; adjusting the brim to the wearer’s taste earned it the nickname of “snap brim”
  • Pinch. The location and the sharpness or softness of the pinch can vary
  • Material. Felt, a material constructed of compressed, matted fibers, is the material of choice. It can be derived from a number of sources, such as rabbit, cashmere, or wool.
  • Decoration. Fedoras typically come with a fabric or ribbon band that sits just above the brim. Some fedoras may also feature a feather as decoration, usually positioned over the bow of the ribbon.

This basic definition has held through most of the 20th century. The fedora shape has also been applied to different hats, such as a woven straw Panama hat because it is such a classic and desirable style.

 

Six Hats With Different Styles That Will Help You Start Your Own Fashion (2)

BEANIE

Beanies are basically the only vaguely acceptable option, and let’s face it, they’re hardly held in high regard by followers of fashion. You can’t really blame them either. After all, any time these woollen warmers have strayed into the public fashion consciousness for longer than five minutes there have been terrible, terrible consequences.

For example, David Beckham and his legions of style disciples spent the best part of the noughties proudly rocking a look that said, “I’ve got a turd in my hat”; and during the first coming of Craig David, the R’n’B/Garage crossover crooner exemplified perfectly why condoms should always be rubber and worn on your penis, as opposed to woollen and worn on your head.

However, as is the case with so many things in the world of style,  it’s not just a matter of what you wear, it’s also about how you wear it. And with that reasoning very much in mind, we’d like to take to the stand in defence of one of winter’s most misunderstood accessories.

”A beanie is a great staple of your winter wardrobe,” says Sarah Gilfillan, stylist and founder of SartoriaLab, a London-based men’s personal styling service. “But before you head out to buy one remember that small details can make the difference as to whether or not the style suits you.

If you’re round or square of face, avoid designs that will make you look like Harry from Home Alone. “Choose a beanie without a turn back cuff, with ribbing and a looser style that can add a bit of height to your face,” suggests Gilfillan. “Also, wear it slightly back off your face rather than pulling it down over your ears.”

A bobble hat is another good option for this, but steer clear of anything too… out there. You don’t want to look like Kevin, either.

If you have a longer face, a beanie can work nicely. “Opt for a turn back cuff, which could even be in a contrasting colour or have stripe detailing,” says Gilfillan. “Wear a tighter fitting style that sits snugly on your head to avoid adding any more height.”

COWBOY HAT

When we think of the Wild West, we conjure up images of My Darling ClementineButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Outlaw Josey Wales. And with so many great Westerns to love, it’s no wonder the fashion world has such a sweet spot for the days of dueling showdowns.

Thanks to runway collections like Moschino and Kinder Aggugini, frontier chic is back with a bang, and with it, the cowboy hat. In fresh, bold colors and modern shapes, the updated styles of the cowboy hat might just take you to new frontiers, next season. 

Doesn’t this photo give off the impression that you would not be surprised in the slightest if Kate Middleton started talking in a Southern accent? While I’m sure the Duchess doesn’t normally don a cowboy hat, they certainly suit her. Arguably one of the most recognizable hat forms, cowboy hats may have originally been designed to keep the sun out of American cowboys’ eyes while they worked on farms, but they can easily be accompanied with bohemian, natural styles.

 

 

 

 

 

Six Hats With Different Styles That Will Help You Start Your Own Fashion (1)

Compared to the practicality of shoes and handbags, it’s easy to consider hats an afterthought. Everyone needs footwear to walk in, and bags store all the things you would otherwise have to carry individually. That being said, hats are plenty practical when they’re protecting your head from heat, cold, or rain. 

If the endless jokes about royal headgear and the recurring headlines of Pharrell’s Buffalo hat have taught you anything, it’s that hats have the ability to make a statement. Whether they’re a unique Philip Treacy topper, a vintage baseball cap, or an original Coco Chanel (yes, she began her fashion career as a milliner designing hats!), hats have an effortless nature that can communicate and elevate style, and also reveal a lot about the wearer. While different types of hats have different types of personalities, the same is true when someone puts one on their head. Not quite like the “thinking cap” your second grade teacher used to tell you about, but more like a beret that makes you feel like a French spy or a red, square plaid hunting hat that makes you feel like Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye.

While there are so many different varieties of hats, here are the 6 types that not only inspire but also encourage you to try your own hand at the classics. You never know which one might suit your fancy.

BERET 

A Beret is a contentious fashion item if ever there was one. Although it’s not quite in the realm of the fedora. Berets do have something of a reputation as being pretentious and over-the-top, but tides seem to be turning in their favor. Mass production began in 19th-century France and Spain, countries with which it remains associated. Berets are worn as part of the uniform of many military and police units worldwide, as well as by other organisations.

The beret is part of the long-standing stereotype of the intellectual, film director, artist, “hipster”, poet, bohemian and beatnik. The painter Rembrandt and the composer Richard Wagner, among others, wore berets.

At Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Fall 2017 collection for Dior, every single look that came down the runway came topped off with a chapeau. And not just any hat: the beret, France’s unofficial national accessory. Chiuri punctuated that point that this is about to become a must-have piece for Parisians and beyond, loaning one the hats to Rihanna who perched front row in a head-to-toe black Dior ensemble; a walking, talking “you know want to look like this” advertising campaign. 

BASEBALL CAP

We all know that lots of Americans like baseball and enjoy wearing things with logos on them. This seems to be particularly prevalent among Americans as compared to Asians or Europeans in my experience – in those places, people will get gussied up if going to a game or maybe a bar where the game is playing, but Americans will wear team memorabilia on a daily basis. It’s not unusual to see people wandering around in basketball jerseys, for instance. Here, in Detroit, people wear Red Wings jerseys all the time. When I was growing up, I had a couple I’d wear regularly as well. Americans like sports and readily show their affiliations with attire.

There is no doubt that baseball hat has been lost on the highest levels of the country’s leadership, who can routinely be seen calling upon the baseball cap’s magical qualities. And no one more so than the Baseball-Cap-Wearer-In-Chief, Mr Trump. He harnesses as no other its formidable powers, skillfully positioning its visor just above eyebrow level, thereby boosting his already awesome gaze to destructive heights. This is clearly an instrument that, in the hands of the right man, could leave a cinder even the most enduring of enemies.