A fedora is a men's felt hat that is creased lengthwise down the crown and pinched in the front on both sides. The creasing does not define the hat, however. Fedoras can also be creased with teardrop crowns, diamond crowns, center dents, and others, and the positioning of pinches can vary if they are found at all. Early on, fedoras were sold open crown, meaning they were uncreased, with the owner creating his/her own crease manually. By the 1950s, hat makers started blocking the various creases into the hats when they were made. This is now the standard. The brim goes all the way around the crown and can be left raw edge, finished with a sewn overwelt or underwelt, bound with grosgrain ribbon, or finished with a self-felted cavanagh edge. Traditionally, fedoras have grosgrain hat bands. A trilby hat is similar to a fedora, but typically has a narrower brim, and the back of the brim is distinctively more sharply upturned as a result.
The term fedora was in use as early as 1891. Originally a women's fashion into the 20th century,the fedora came into use in about 1919 as a men's middle-class clothing accessory. Its popularity soared, and eventually it eclipsed the similar-looking Homburg by the 1920s. Fedoras can be found in nearly any color imaginable, but black, grey, tan, and brown are the most popular.
The word fedora comes from the title of an 1882 play by Victorien Sardou, Fédora, written for Sarah Bernhardt. The play was first performed in the United States in 1889. Bernhardt played Princess Fédora, the heroine of the play, and she wore a hat similar to what is now considered a fedora. The fedora became a female fashion which lasted into the early part of the 20th century. When the fedora became a male fashion item, it was popular in cities for its stylishness, ability to protect the wearer's head from the wind and weather, and the fact that it could be rolled up when not in use. Since the early part of the 20th century, many Haredi and other Orthodox Jews have worn black fedoras and continue to this day.
The hat is sometimes associated with Prohibition, Great Depression–era gangsters and the detectives who sought to bring them to justice. Popular stars in the 1950s such as Gene Kelly wore fedoras often in their movies, like Singin' in the Rain. In Hollywood movies of the 1940s, characters often wore a fedora, particularly when playing private detectives, gangsters, or other "tough guy" roles. A trench coat was frequently part of the costume, a notable example being Humphrey Bogart's character in Casablanca. The fedora is widely recognized with the characters of The Spirit, Daisuke Jigen, Freddy Krueger, Dick Tracy, Rorschach and especially Indiana Jones. The fedora is also closely associated with film noir characters.
Like the bowler hat, the fedora was popular from the early 1920s to the mid 1960s on the east coast of the United States. In the late 1950s the hat began to lose favor on the west coast of the United States, which is known for its more casual clothing. The late 1950s switch from wider lapels and ties to thin ones resulted in shorter-brimmed hats, diminishing their practicality. This likely played a role in the fedora eventually being deemed a non-essential item. Also playing a part were the shrinking automobiles of the mid-1950s, which often made it difficult to wear a hat while driving. By the early 1970s, the fedora was seen as a dead fashion, typically only worn by older or more traditional men. However the fedora has seen a revival in recent fashion seasons. In the early 1980s, pop stars Daniel Newton and Michael Jackson began using black and white fedoras which became one of their trademarks. Famous Dallas Cowboys head coach, Tom Landry, was also known for wearing one, and the English novelist Terry Pratchett also wears one. The trilby, a hat similar to the fedora but with a narrow brim that is sharply turned up in the back, has become a part of youth fashion in the 2000s due to its retro appeal, and is normally associated with indie rock/bohemian, hipster and ska scenes. Leonard Cohen (whose sartorial merits have won him the 1997 BOM, Best Dressed Montrealer Award) and his band members wore fedoras during the exceptionally successful world-tour of 2008–2010, which saw Leonard Cohen take to the scene after almost a decade of absence.
In popular culture
●Humphrey Bogart popularised the fedora to the point that a type of fedora was named for him.
●In the Nightmare on Elm Street film series, the main antagonist, Freddy Krueger, wears a fedora hat.
●In the film The Adjustment Bureau, the members of the Bureau wear fedora hats as means of slipping between dimensions.
●In the television series Caprica, set 58 years before the events of Battlestar Galactica, fedoras are widely worn by members of Colonial society.
●In the manga Reborn! the character Reborn wears a fedora hat.
●Michael Jackson was known for his famous black fedora, which he often wore during interviews, concerts and other appearances.
●In the television series White Collar, Neal Caffrey almost always wears one. He refers to it as his "assault to the commonplace".
|Perry the Platypus|
●In the cartoon, Phineas and Ferb, Perry the Platypus is famous for his brown fedora when he turns into his secret agent self, Agent P.
●In the TV show and in the 2011 film, The Green Hornet wears a dark green fedora.
●Indiana Jones wears this in all of the Indiana Jones franchise.
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