When you think of fashionable hats, it’s possible that the first style that comes to mind is the humble fedora. Women’s and men’s fedora hats are the epitome of high style. They’re popular among celebrities and they’re seen all over the streets, in everywhere from small-town America to glitzy Hollywood. They add a certain low-key flair to any casual look and can even be worn with dressy ensembles!
Have you ever noticed, though, that fedoras tend to have a certain negative connotation? It’s not that people don’t love them, but there are stereotypes involved that may lead people to believe that those fashionable hats for men and women are only limited to certain types. In fact, some people may be subjected to what has quickly become known as “fedora shaming”! What’s with this unfair case of maligning someone for their choice of headwear?
For many, it could be that fedoras are associated with so-called “nice” guys. Consider the men throughout history who have worn them with ease, and with great prevalence, almost every day of the year. There’s Bruno Mars, the quintessential everyman musician. There’s Justin Timberlake, whose boy-band roots are shiny and glossy and free of controversy. Certainly, fedoras are fashionable hats—but they aren’t really daring. Maybe that’s part of the reason why they don’t elicit the same excitement as, say, a branded men’s baseball hat or even something quirky, like a men’s beach hat.
On the flip side, the classic fedora is often associated with a sleazy sort of guy, whose uniform of choice is the hat and a trench coat. While the modern man is hardly a star in an old-world Hollywood film, it’s not unusual for some to take their inspiration from the “old” days and bring that style into their real lives. It’s an unfortunate reality that clothes and accessories tend to tell a story of some kind. Negative stereotypes associated with fedoras may brand the wearer a little risky for his willingness to associate with these questionable traits. But people who are confident in themselves and their style are unlikely to break away from their hat of choice. Why not wear a fedora if that’s what you like and if it happens to play well with the rest of your look?
Of course, fedoras are also largely associated with Indiana Jones. It’s unlikely that you’re an adventurer of the same sort, but if you have an adventurous personality or a gregarious spirit, you can bet that this hat would look right at home perched on your head.
There’s also some credence to the theory that fedoras were more of a fad than an actual fashion classic. In the past, they were formal—think of the guys in Mad Men who considered them basic parts of their everyday uniform. In the modern world, though, a man wearing a fedora as a fashion accessory with a suit or a crisp ensemble may detract from the impact that the entire outfit would otherwise have. Some stereotypes simply fall into this realm. The wearer isn’t considering the negative impact that his fedora has on his look, and isn’t giving much thought to the fact that the hat was once a stylish option but no longer is considered a fashion essential.
In essence, it’s that association with the past that sets fedoras apart in a slightly negative way. Some women consider it a symbol of an era in which men felt a sense of superiority, and used their hats as a way to display their power. For those who automatically connect the fashionable hat with such a negative mindset, it’s difficult to break free from that line of thought.
The truth, though, is that fedoras are nothing more than fashionable hats for men and women. These accessories offer a standout alternative to basic baseball caps and visors, and they tend to make a bold statement no matter what—even if that statement has an association with something stereotypically negative. Ultimately, it’s all about your style preferences and your desire to stand out or blend in with the crowd. Wear what makes you happy—there’s no room in your closet for the opinions of other people!