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1920s Gangster Fedora

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by skippy upwood, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. skippy upwood

    skippy upwood Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    My firm is doing a party with a 1920s dress code and I'm going as gangster. Does anyone know where I can find an authentic hat of reasonable quality in London for less than £30?
  2. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

    Jan 19, 2010
    E-bay, but the ones you'll find will be from the 60s ish and won't even be close to the styles worn in the 20s, though for a party they'll pass. If you want something closer to the style, you might find a cheap and crappy wool felt somewhere near that price (real fedoras are made of a fur felt- rabbit on the cheaper end, beaver at the high end). Wool is less comfortable, and shrinks. If you want something that looks like it could have been worn in the 20s and of decent quality, you're not gonna find it any where near 30 pounds.

    Basically, it's a variation on the old, "good, fast, cheap. Pick two" adage: authentic, quality, reasonably priced. Pick two.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  3. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

    Dec 6, 2009
    NE PA

    Well put Cpt.
  4. PhiloVance

    PhiloVance Senior member

    May 28, 2005
    Really, there is no such thing. Racketeers dressed well, period. Some guys like Capone wore fedoras. Dutch Schultz and the Bronx boys liked Homburgs. Albert Anastasia owned so many different types of hats that he was known as the Mad Hatter.

    Its not so much the type of hat, though, as how you wear it and, more importantly, the color. Many dandies (ie gangsters) of the era wore the fedora in the "Hollywood" brim style, a la Capone in this mugshot:


    The key, though, is the color: a pearl-grey fedora was the preferred color of the racketeer and gangsters of the era, regardless of the style of the hat:

    Schultz and his counsel, Dixie Davis:


    Mad Dog Coll and gang in pearl grey:


    Unfortunately, the problem with pearl grey is that its tough to find. JJ Hatters here in NYC only do it special order via Borsalino.
  5. texas_jack

    texas_jack Senior member

    Aug 4, 2006
    Hobart, IN
    I have a vintage pearl grey Stetson homburg, thing is so awesome.

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