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Fedora vs. Trilby

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Lafont, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Lafont

    Lafont Senior member

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    Exact difference(s) in men's fedora hats and men's trilby hats, please.
     
  2. Mute

    Mute Senior member

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    There's quite a bit of history behind the terms but nowadays most people will see a trilby as a hat with a more stingy brim. Most hats I see that are categorized as a fedora usually has a 2" or larger brim, but like I said, that isn't really what defines the names.
     
  3. Lafont

    Lafont Senior member

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    That's the image I have, too - fedora wider brim and a little more graceful, maybe. Trilby a little more stiff looking (not literally). I think there are official definitions that a very good hatter might use, though.
     
  4. akatsuki

    akatsuki Senior member

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    The Fedora is worn by reddit-loving geeks. The Trilby by hipsters from 2008?
     
  5. Lafont

    Lafont Senior member

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    I wrote to Bates Hatters, in London, thru Facebook.
     
  6. Lafont

    Lafont Senior member

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    No response from Bates. For shame. If they're too busy perhaps the mascot cat can respond, at least....
     
  7. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    Aside from the aforementioned brim width I think of a trilby as less formal and a bit more sloppy and softer. Sometimes called a 'slouch hat'?

    I see a trilby in brown as worn by an older gent with a tweed sports jacket covered by a Barbour jacket on a drizzly day at an English race course.

    I see a fedora in black, midnight blue or gray worn with a lounge sut and tie but not sure by whom and where in this day and age, outside of the TCM channel!
     
  8. Singlemalt

    Singlemalt Active Member

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    Trilby below: Note the brim, because that's where the biggest difference is. Most people visualize a trilby when they say/hear fedora.

    [​IMG]

    Fedora below:

    [​IMG]


    Note the brim is upturned all the way around.
     
  9. Lafont

    Lafont Senior member

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    I see some differences of opinion, here.... (as usual). I looked in a huge very old Webster's dictionary and did not find trilby even listed.
    Roetzel seems to imply in his "gentleman" books that a trilby is more casual and yes - great for the races.
    How about "fedora" generally an American term and "trilby" British? As we all know "fedora" comes from a character in an American play.
     
  10. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Adding to the above, a Trilby will be offered in a far wider range of materials than a fedora. A Trilby is a casual hat. No matter the hat, make certain it suits both you and your facial shape. Not every man looks good in a Trilby. They are better suited to smaller or slim men with wiry builds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  11. Mute

    Mute Senior member

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    You should do a search on The Fedora Lounge. They have quite a few threads on this subject which pretty much beats the subject to death. You'll find your answer there. To long to re-post here.
     
  12. mhdena

    mhdena Senior member

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    I would not call that a fedora if you turn the brim down all around you have a Trilby like Sean Connery wears/wore.

    Fedora is American

    Trilby is English

    This was one of the overall consensus at the Fedora Lounge.
     
  13. peach

    peach Active Member

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    Those two hats are to hats what the leisure suit is to suits.
     
  14. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Well said! The stingy brim hat chosen to represent the fedora above sure doesn't look like what I'd call a fedora.
     
  15. daizawaguy

    daizawaguy Senior member

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    The same difference as trousers and slacks...
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  16. Lafont

    Lafont Senior member

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    Bernhard Roetzel's response:
    "It's the size of the brim that makes the difference if there is a difference at all. A Porkpie is a Porkpie and a Homburg (or Anthony Eden) is a Homburg (called "Homburger" in it's native land Germany) but Trilby and Fedora are so closeley related that the differences are almost irrelevant, at least in my opinion. Other languages know neither of these names anyway."
     
  17. Lafont

    Lafont Senior member

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    From Bates Hatters in London:

    "Good question! We are often asked this in store as although Fedora’s and Trilby’s are essentially the same hat, there are some notable differences. A Fedora is commonly known to have a larger brim, usually at least 2.5 inches if not larger. Our widest brimmed Fedora that we have here at Bates goes by the name of the ‘Bruand’ and is 4 inches wide! The brims are usually flat and with a pinched crown. The Trilby however has a smaller brim and sometimes, but not always, a shorter crown. The brim will generally be slanting down and the back slightly turned up. Our most popular trilby design is currently the ‘Weekender’, a brim size of only 2 inches, which comes in numerous colours and is the perfect hat for a city wearer. Hopefully this clears up the differences but do let us know if you have any other questions!"
     
  18. Singlemalt

    Singlemalt Active Member

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    Post a picture of what you understand to be a fedora?
     
  19. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    The idea that a fedora must have a wider brim than a fedora is a silly attempt to manufacture a difference between the terms where there really isn't much of one, but that piece of crap you posted is only marginally a fedora. A real fedora is blocked out of a one piece felt (ideally fur felt, but wool felt is valid, if an inferior material) or woven straw blank, with a crease down the center of the crown. It is commonly pinched, but that's not a necessary element. You can have a fedora that looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    The best definitions of each would seem to draw a distinction in that the trilby must have a short brim, while the fedora may have a short or a wider brim, and that the fedora must be blocked out of one piece of material (with certain exceptions) while the term trilby allows for a cut and sew construction where multiple pieces of fabric or straw are sewn together, but that last distinction has become fairly meaningless in modern usage.

    But both of the hats you posted are complete crap, and aren't even close to what a traditional example of either hat would look like. This, for example, would be a more traditional example of a trilby. The 2nd picture in my post would also qualify:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  20. Singlemalt

    Singlemalt Active Member

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    I didn't mention anything about material or quality of build but rather the general shape and more specifically the way the brim is folded. That's how I learned it over the years. But as others have pointed it out, it's a controversial topic, even on hat forums. Bates Hatters definition seems logical, something I'd consider as the proper definition.

    Good thing you pointed out the fact that they're are pieces of crap. Excellent wording and mature way of conveying your opinion. I appreciate that.

    And yes, I agree that the idea that a fedora must have a wider brim than a fedora is a silly one. Good call.
     

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