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Fedora vs. Trilby – War of the Trendy Hat

With a fedora hat and a trilby being such incredibly similar hats, how is anyone supposed to tell them apart? To confuse the issue further, a trilby itself is classified as a fedora. Lots of shops will advertise these hats as simply a Trilby Fedora.

As a general rule of thumb, and to keep confusion to a minimum, a trilby is a small fedora. Granted, this rule, like all good rules, is easily broken. Don’t be persuaded by marketing efforts on the part of hat manufactures that their specific hat is defined one way or another.

What is important to know about a fedora of any type, whether a trilby or not, is that a man must choose a hat with a brim proportionately sized to his shoulders. This, in essence, is where the debate takes the most heat.

The Fedora Hat

A fedora has a wide brim. With a brim two inches or wider, it historically provides a functional feature of keeping the elements like rain and sunshine off the wearer, especially when hat wearing was the norm and people lacked the shelter of cars. It should also be worn slightly over the eyes, rather than on the back of the head. Traditionally a it’s is made of higher-end, durable material, like wool or felt.

A fedora will also look better when styled with a suit or anything with a collar. Generally a fedora is not a good choice with more casual wear. Due to the large nature of the hat, it is commonly recommended for broad shouldered men.

The Trilby HAT

A trilby, on the other hand, is the tiny cousin to the fedora. The brim of a trilby is much shorter and can often be flipped up or down. It is worn on the back of the head, thus providing no practical purpose other than being a trendy headpiece. But make no mistake about it, even though a trilby offers no shade, it makes up for it in the style category. Though not considered cheap, a trilby can be made with less expensive material, often tweed or straw, but wool variations are common as well.

A trilby is carefree and fun. Inherently it pairs well with trendy clothes or stylish jeans. Since being a slimmer hat, it is often recommended for younger men, especially those with smaller frames and less broad shoulders.

New to these Hats? Read our Guide to Get you Started

What style do you prefer? Tell us in the comment section below.

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