That’s Not A Fedora (And Stop Wearing It)


The trilby has become the cheesy default hat for too many men, and it’s a mistake.

There’s a meme going around some circles that guys who wear fedoras are jerks. This tends to be accompanied by photos of guys who are not wearing fedoras. Instead, they have fallen prey to a devastatingly common trend in retro-fashion: the trilby.

I’ve seen shops that carry nothing but a hundred variations on this unfortunate hat. Guys retain vague memories of seeing old photos of Frank Sinatra wearing something similar, and assume that its powers will translate to them. They will blithely call it a fedora, unaware of the haberdasher’s blasphemy they are committing.

FedoraVsTrilbyThe structures of the two hats are similar, but the trilby has a sharper crown and, most importantly, a much narrower brim. This distinction may seem minor, but we are discussing aesthetics here, and a minor distinction makes all the difference in the world.

Trilbies, using less material and being more forgiving of poor fabric, are cheap to make and thus have become widely available. So on one level, a guy in a cheap trilby is saying “I wanted a hat so I just grabbed the first one I saw and considered that sufficient.” Worse, though, the simple fact is that trilbies look like crap on most men. They’re unflattering and unattractive.

The key to choosing a hat, for men, is simply this: a man’s hatbrim should be in proportion to his shoulders. Sinatra could pull off a trilby because, back in the day, he was a skinny little guy with a narrow, vertical-line aesthetic. Most men, however, have broader shoulders, and thus should wear a wider brim. A trilby on a big man looks like the reservoir tip on a condom.

If you’re a man who wants to wear a hat, I applaud you! They’re a great look, and there’s a hat out there for you. However, it is probably not on the hat cart at the mall. Unless you are a very slim little fellow, the trilby is probably not your look. Fear not, though: many good alternatives are available.

DerbyHatFor the gent who wants to maintain a lean line, but wants a jaunty bit of class and a certain lighthearted style, the derby is an excellent choice. It’s fun, it can be formal or casual, and it’s not a goddamned trilby.

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 8.23.20 AMFor those who really want a fedora, there’s always actually wearing a fedora. This is a great mid-sized brim for the gentleman with mid-sized shoulders, but a decent hat shop will have a variety of brim widths to best match your build.

PorkpieAnother great mid-size brim option is the porkpie, which you may recognize as the distinctive style of hat Walter White wore in Breaking Bad. This is a great casual hat with a certain flair to it.

HomburgFor slightly broader shoulders and a great classic look, consider the homburg. You may remember Al Pacino rocking this hat in The Godfather, or Humphrey Bogart wearing one in Sabrina. It’s a hat with dignity and distinction.

GamblerBroad-shouldered men should also consider the slightly Western flair of the gambler style, a broad brim that provides a distinctive and noticeable silhouette. It’s a confident hat, one that stands out.

These are far from the only options, of course; there are many, many different ways you can go if you decide to wear a hat. All I ask is that if you decide to wear a hat, you wear a hat. Don’t go halfway, don’t nervously grab the first thing you find and hope you can pull it off. Find something that works on you and then work it.

And for god’s sake stop calling trilbies fedoras. They have different names for a reason.

Top Photo—Luke Hayfield Photography/Flickr

All other images from Wikimedia Commons

About Noah Brand

Noah Brand is a writer and editor, and quite possibly also a cartoon character from the 1930s. His life, when it is written, will read better than it lived. He is usually found in Portland, Oregon, directly underneath a very nice hat.


  1. I have broad shoulders, I love my nice trilby that I bought years ago from a used discount vintage clothing shop, and given all of the compliments that I get when I’m wearing it, I think that this article is pure hogwash.

  2. I got tired of reading the ignorance about half way down and only saw ONE comment that actually had a lick of sense to it, and that was from Derek, the 50 year young fella [dated January 12, 2014 at 4:28 am]. So if there were older posts I missed, apparently the more recent posters did too, so I will reiterate and elaborate on Derek’s statement.

    A trilby IS a fedora. The ignorant posters here, would by the same logic state that a square is not a rectangle (fyi, it is). A trilby is a fedora with a shorter, or “stingy”, brim. Quite often trilbies have higher crowns than “traditional” fedoras, BUT, the fact remains a trilby is a fedora, just as a square is a rectangle and a circle is an ellipse.

    I’m 30, I wear a stingy brim fedora (aka trilby), I have straw ones for the late spring/summer months as well as a few made from more traditional hat material that I frequently wear year round. My trilby does NOT have a high crown, but it is still a trilby/stingy brim/short brim fedora (recall I said they often, not always have higher crowns). I find that short brim fedoras compliment my face shape and over all build better than other hats. I also believe they look quite dapper with my clothing, whether I’m wearing tailored slacks+proper fitting button up+vest, or if I’m simply wearing a nice polo+jeans (that fit correctly!).

    The daft troll who contradicted himself more times than I could count stated that he’d be honest where others would not, that fedoras (and therefore trilbies) are cringe worthy/greasy/a sign of being socially unaware (how a hat makes one socially unaware is beyond me). To YOU I say this:

    A greasy hat is a greasy hat, be it a bowler,ball cap, top hat or fedora… this is a sign of someone who does not take care of their things or simply refuses to get a new hat. The same could be said about what I’m assuming are the ill-fitting pants and/or Affliction shirt you like wear.

    Besides your obvious ignorance on the topic, there are hardly any “cringe worthy” hats, only “cringe worthy” hat wearers who “let the hat wear them”.

    A hat of any sort is not a mere accessory if worn properly, its can be an expression of one’s personality, confidence and sense of self. JFK sadly helped usher in an era where men no longer felt hats were “in style” (check the time line and many well written and well source articles). If you’re not a hat guy, then you’re not a hat guy. But if you decide to place a piece upon your head, ensure it compliments the shape of your face, or at the very least, wear it confidently.

    I do not wear a hat for you. I do not wear a hat for her. I wear a hat for me.

  3. ms. Nola R Elkins says:

    Noah Brand YOU ARE MY Hero!!!! I grew up in a time when MEN knew how and DID wear hats!!! My Dad could “Rock” a Fedora from Dobbs like nobody’s business. He was also a Snazzy dresser and hand painted
    ties were all part of putting a mean wardrobe together!! As YOU can tell this was the 1940’s and 50’s!! I loved your article because you KNOW what you’re talking about. The Trilbie doesn’t cut it with me and I’m female.
    I agree with you — a man should wear a HAT if he’s going to WEAR a hat.
    Thank you for giving me a place to come and sing the praises of WEARING A HAT!

  4. Courtney Green says:

    A perfect article about hats I have read after long time people many time mix up all these hats but you have defined it in a very edifying manner.

  5. I wear Fedoras, Homburgs, Gamblers, and in the summer wear my Cuenca Panama hat. My Fedoras are brand name hats like Dunlap, Cavanagh and Stetson. My Panama Fedora hat I bought in Cuenca, Ecuador. Most of my hats range in price from $280 – $2700. My youngest son came home one day wearing a trilby hat that he wore and just threw around, and that’s what those Wal-Mart type hats are for. Modern Trilbys are hats that very young men wear, because you can buy them for like $7.00 at Wal-Mart. When my youngest son turned 18, I bought him a Brent Black Havana Fedora that cost me $1800.

    A hat is a hat. I agree. But a real hat is more than just a hat. It is a statement of who you are and where you have arrived. I receive compliments on my hats at times, and often because of the suit that I am wearing. I have my suits made for me, and I do not wear “store bought” shoes. I have dressed well all my life, and my partners and clients have come to expect this from me. I don’t own anything that I could wear a Trilby with. I recently bought a pair of jeans. And that’s only because my wife asked me to. Yet, I wear my dress shirts with these jeans and a sports coat, and often a tie.

    Stingy brim hats are essentially Trilby hats. In Cuba, it is not uncommon to see men wearing Trilby hats, but we’re not in Cuba.

    I feel that Trilby hats have their place, on Cuban men and younger men who have very little cash flow. When a grown man wears a Trilby hat, it says to the world that he has little sartorial knowledge and that he saw a cheap hat, thought it looked good and bought it.

    When people see me wearing a suit that was tailor made for me, shoes that can not be bought from a store and a classic, real Fedora, or Homburg or Gambler style hat they see me as a man of distinction. I only recently found out that when a man wears a Fedora that he is seen as a “douche.” The funny thing is that my suit, my shoes and my hats, together, cost more than many people gross in a month’s time.

    I believe that the “hating” of men who wear Fedora hats is misplaced because few people know the difference between a $7.00 Wal-Mart Trilby hat and a 1903 Dunlap formal hat. And that’s sad.

    I did go into a mall shop once that sold suits and hats. I was wearing my Dunlap hat. I asked the store person if they carried hats like I was wearing, and he said, “Not that quality of hat. They haven’t made hats like that in over a hundred years or more.” It felt good to know that some people can still tell the difference.

    • Nancy Trimper says:

      It’s so nice to know that there is a man in the world who knows how to dress. Any well dressed men I know are dressed by their wives. My husband refused to allow this and usually looked like hell. I love homburgs and when I was growing up, all men wore hats, and suits. They replaced felt hats with straw in the summer, Grandpa had a real panama hat.
      I also notice lately that if a man wears a tie he doesn’t wear a jacket, and if he wears a jacket, no tie. I don’t get it. I think whoever started the wearing of baseball caps everywhere should be shot!

      • Aaron "Indy" James says:

        I agree. I’m a 21yo college student studying archaeology and as a joke one day I started dressing like Indy (for field work it’s the classic look and then in class it’s a suit and tie) and after awhile the look just stuck. I own a Penman Last Crusade Indy hat which cost me around 560 dollars (beaver felt) and nobody and I mean nobody has ever thought of the “trilby” look ever. I get Indiana Jones almost everywhere I go but nobody ever confuses my fedora with a trilby. I think this whole “trilby is a fedora and you’re a dweeb” thing is just an internet muck up. It’s something the internet spewed out one day and it’s never left. In all honesty I wish we could go back to a time when people wore suits to go grocery shopping rather than just to church on Sunday and even that’s gone away. We’ve gone from dressing like classy individuals to dressing disheveled and my generation calls that cool. Lately though at least in my town more shops have started going back to the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s way of dressing. I’ve started seeing beautiful women in more Betty Page style of looks and men in more Doctor Jones style of wear also. So maybe in a little bit this whole “neckbeard” thing (that’s what started the trilbys are fedoras argument) will go away.

    • Since when mentioning the prices of one’s hats became a means of showing class? Well, it does show the opposite: no class. Clearly, someone desperately wants to be seen as upper class by talking about the dollars they spent: often again and again in one post. Bourgeois are always entertaining.

  6. Sukito San says:

    Trilbies are trilbies… and Fedoras are fedoras. They are two different hats that can give a good sense of style depending on the one who wears it. Fedoras are nice but should be worn and paired with a collared shirt. While trilbies are more flexible and looks good, not only with a collared shirt but even when paired with a non-collared top. It’s the person who gives character to what he wear depending on the attitude on how he carry his clothes. So, wear what fits you, what makes you comfortable, and what makes you happy. In our evolving world, simply RESPECT on other people’s fashion sense and vice versa. Good day 🙂

  7. The width of the brim on a man’s at has more to do with the shape and width of this face than the width of his shoulders. I have very broad shoulders but look ridiculous in broad-brimmed hats, because with my prominent cheekbones, narrow lower jaw a prominent chin, I’d look like a skeleton in a broad-brimmed hat.

    Other than that, I wouldn’t take advice from a pretentious fashionista. I choose style over fashion any day.

  8. My favorite hat that gets me an unlimited amount of compliments is my ‘Bromley’

  9. So, is the hat worn by Thomas Jane’s character in “The Expanse” a short-brimmed Fedora or a Trilby? By this article and the few close-ups I’ve seen, I’m guessing Fedora?

  10. It is by all accounts a young fellow’s issue. More seasoned gorgeous men can pull it off with aplomb. The way that a large portion of the trilby and fedora caps available are economically made and shoddy looking (which regularly is inside of a young fellow’s financial plan) doesn’t offer the youthful some assistance with guying out either.

  11. Actually, Frank Sinatra didn’t wear a trilby, but a short brimmed fedora. The article is incorrect and should be corrected.

  12. The Trilby is supposed to have a slope from front to back along the crown, and many of the smaller brimmed hats I see these days do not. Perhaps the term Tredora should be applied as they seem to be hybrids.

  13. Hat.

  14. I once told Bear Bryant: “Hey man, you know that’s not a fedora you’re wearing. It’s a trilby.”

    His reply: “Sure. And this ain’t a giant flashlight in my pocket.”

  15. I think everyone have its own taste in choosing what to wear and how he/ she look like to feel. It doesn’t matter weather you are wearing a cheap or expensive outfit accessories. Trilby and Fedora looks similar upto some extent but in close view this post share great info. I love to use headwear of all types topping with outfit. Find wide selection of hats, caps and beanies

  16. Just came across this article. While it is skewed with an agenda, it at least shows some different options for hats.

    While reading through the comments, I found myself chuckling and shaking my head. I found it funny that some people really care about what others think. They don’t even realize that their own opinion is not their own but a reflection of what the perception of others may be.

    If you don’t wear a hat because of ‘how it may look to others’ you’re an idiot. Life is short, do what you like. If you don’t want to wear a hat, don’t. Do not however, comment about those who do because you perceive it as ‘hipster’ or whatever other title you want to associate with hat wearing.

  17. You lost serious points for using haberdasher….a haberdashery specialized menswear, a milliner is the person who makes hats….so while even a haberdasher might make the same mistake (altho unlikely), a milliner never would.

  18. Trilby hats were worn back in the 70’s in city neighborhoods called “barrios” by men who sold flavored ice called”piraguas” . So,I guess you could also call them “Barrio Hats”. Just a fast fact.

  19. Dell Conagher says:

    I just remember a porkplie hat as the hat Fozzie Bear wore.

  20. Pedant!

  21. Not surprised, something gets lost every time a new generation tries to “reclaim” something, and they end up messing it up. Little hipsters are no exception.

  22. Julia Purdy says:

    As a woman, I wholeheartedly agree that the hat must be proportionate to the body. I had a boss who showed up at work on a warm Saturday afternoon (he was just stopping by when I was working) and he was wearing a short-sleeved button-down plaid shirt that looked straight out of the box, immaculate khakis, and a ridiculous little hat that in turn, along with the shirt, made him look ridiculous. He is slender but tall, and the hat looked as if it had just landed on his head, like a frisbee. But clearly he thought he was a fashion plate (he was only 42 at the time).
    Italians and other Europeans have an impeccable sense of what goes with what. The whole message is to avoid making a “brutta figura” (a bad impression). If you want a sense of style, study Vittorio DeSica.
    My father was Italian from the old country and the only hat he ever wore was a beat-up, canvas brim hat with a madras band, like the type boaters might wear on a round-the-world solo adventure. But then he was a nonconformist of the old school, anyway.

  23. madscientistdave says:

    I guess I have the perfect build for a trilby. Not so broad shoulders, not as much musculature. I own a few of them and I ROCK them. Tilted ever so slightly forward and cocked slightly to the right. I love my trilbies, and no, I will NEVER call them a fedora. Fedoras simply look too big on my head. I’ll take my trilby any day, and leave the fedora to the guy that’s too big to wear a trilby.

  24. Sheila Rowland says:

    My Dad wore a trilby ALL HIS LIFE and it was nothing like that thing you describe as a trilby. It was more like the hat you describe as a fedora. So stop making these distinctions. You are wrong.

    • Maybe he wore a fedora then? Jesus.

    • Bob Barker says:

      You not understanding the difference doesn’t change what a trilby is. He was obviously wearing a fedora if it looked like the fedora pictured above. Because that’s what a fedora is. Jesus.

  25. I’ve been wearing a trilby for a couple years – didn’t know it but I have been. Target $12.99. I literally stopped traffic in Boston one day. A guy brakes in the middle of the road and yells at me “Hey you!…Awesome hat!” Coworkers love my hat. My kids love my hat. My point is, who decided that a trilby is for douche bags? My guess is someone who got laughed at for not being able to pull off the look. I feel good when I wear it and will continue to wear it despite this article.

    • My point is, who decided that a trilby is for douche bags?
      I’d wager it was someone who got their feelings hurt by a person wearing a trilby. After being hurt they needed something, anything, to strike back at.

      Most people that wear those hats probably wouldn’t bother a soul but unfortunately its becomes a symbol of hate, a symbol built by people who supposedly are against hate….

      • It was the preferred hat of the somewhat creepy, fairly poorly socialized conventoon geek, to be worn with an oversized button down shirt showing a comic book character surrounded by flames, and cargo shorts. These guys traditionally don’t smell fantastic, make abrupt, innappropriate comments at cosplay girls and..again..are generally creepy. I think that’s where most of the backlash comes from.

        • dapper says:

          Actually the trilby is the hat of the rich, horse race going men in the UK. At least that is what it’s suppose to be associated with.

    • I say this because I want to help you and becase this post is recent.

      The hat you wear everyday is ridiculous… no one likes it, it’s a greasey horrible item.

      Everyone will compliement you, just Like I compliement fedora wearing cringe worthy guys thinking about how socially unaware they are.

      First of all, this is not an attack. If you’re stylish 30 year old super confident, you can rock wahtever hat you are.

      If you use the hat, however, as a fashion accessory with every outfit you go out with, then that’s cringeworthy, and no one will tell you but an anonymous person.

      Step 1: Research open mindedly about the reputation and stereotype of the fedora

      Step 2: Acknowledge that you can only wear it if you’re super confident and cna pull it off ( no one really can, unless you’re working on the Mad Men set)

      Don’t get buthurt, I took the time to tell you this because some people use it for years and don’t understand that poepl elook at them because they look ridicukous, not because they’re those cool fedora wearing guys who just walked into the school library/supermarket/coffe shop.
      I don’t hate you, so don’t use that to rationalize.

      I would NEVER wear a fedora, not even as a 5min prank/bet

      • Jamie Parsons says:

        Did you even read the article? It’s NOT a fedora, it’s a trilby. For Christ’s sake.

      • Dell Conagher says:

        So basically, you can only wear a f̶e̶d̶o̶r̶a̶ trilby if you’re “cool”, but you still call it a “greasey horrible item”? AND you still say to be open-minded about the hat. How do you not see the inherent double standard in this?

        Also, it’s a bloody HAT. Get over it.

        • You annoying nitwits, I can wear whatever hat I want. I do not dress to solely impress women, if this was vice versa something woman wore rather commonly (with a main reason being men not finding them attractive when they dress that way) it would be labeled completely sexist. In Williamsburg I know it is completely in-style and fashionable, and if it wasn’t I really do like it, so their OPINIONS of my physical appearance are irrelevant. Are you literally suggesting thousands of people stop wearing a clothing article you dislike? HA! Absolutely pretentious with unwarranted self importance.

    • I’ve been wearing a trilby since high school, and I’ve been complimented on it a million times, and never have I once heard that it looks stupid, douches, etc. I even have friends that wear them, this article is wrong, check your facts

  26. Well I have to say that I thought this article was extremely informative, and I like that the author had a firm stance on his viewpoint, but didnt overstate it. He is right on all points. People have just adopted the Trilby as a quick 20 buck hunk of junk mall stand hat and you see them fricking everywhere, and he is also right that they look really great on some people and absolutely ridiculous on a great many others. The more important points though, are calling it for what it is, a Trilby, not a Fedora, they are very very different. Also most of the people who are buying these mall stand hats arent doing it because they actually have a sense of personal style that this fits into and have actually considered the options, maybe done a little research and then made a purchase. They have just seen it as the latest fad and decided to go all sheeple and buy what they have seen everyone else wearing. Not even knowing that there is a huge difference between a quality Trilbey and the made in china for a penny on the dollar just they sell in gas stations. I like people who think for themselves. If you are one of those people who thinks for themselves, and you have tried on Trilbeys, found them to fit in with your particular personal style, and then make an educated decision to get one somewhere, then more power to you, but if you are one of the sheep, just buying one at random because you have seen them everywhere, then yeah, I can see how this article would hurt ones feelings. The weak willed are often defensive of their actions because they do not truly know why they make them.

  27. lastlife0726 says:

    The only man I’ve ever seen pull of a trilby is Lewis Lovhaug,

  28. David Weldon says:
  29. David Weldon says:

    Both of the hats show appear to be fedoras. No trilby is shown. Fedoras have a snap brim and trilbys never have a snap brim. Also trilbys were not known for having c crowns (the most classic fedoras usually did) and the ‘trilby’ shown here has a c crown. This post reminds me of clothiers who started selling pant instead of pairs of pants. A pant is the amount of material used to make one plant leg from waist band to cuff. The store keepers didn’t know.

  30. Thanks for the clarity Noah.
    I’m sure I’ve heard that a trilby also goes by the name “crumpled/crushed fedora”. Is that true? If so, I wonder if this is where some of the confusion had come from?

  31. Thanks god http:/// add categories Fedora | Trilby etc.. 😀

  32. wellokaythen says:

    I don’t care so much. However:

    No matter what hat you wear, please please PLEASE don’t do what a lot of young men do and use a hat as a substitute for showering. A hat is not a magical grease remover. It is not an effective alternative for shampoo.

  33. Nothing at all wrong with a Trilby.

  34. I love fedoras on guys and I’m a woman. With the right clothes they make you look pretty sharp. Those Trillbys on the other hand…I just think hipster.

  35. Gentlesir Niceguy says:

    *Tips trilby

  36. So what is the exact brim to shoulder rule?

  37. Want more specific info about hats? Here is a link that will give you a bunch of info:

  38. I appreciate the article. It’s helpful and informative.

    But we don’t need more fedora shaming. While I feel like many women take offense to the fedora-wearers, even creating a cultural stereotype out of them, no group of people should be reduced to an article of head attire. Beyond that, it seems the men actually came first to the fedora shaming, and those people used it as an excuse to mock people who they didn’t accept. You see numerous posts mocking socially awkward and conventionally unattractive guys, and I’m frankly sick of it, because they’re not using it to criticize fashion choices. They’re using what’s on their heads to mock the person under the hat, essentially saying, “You can’t be cool. You don’t look the part.”

    I got compliments on my trilbies, when I wore them. I don’t anymore. There’s too much stigma. To anybody trying to take it back, I say kudos. The hat shaming needs to end, because it’s more than hat shaming- it’s people shaming and pointless, callous bullying. I appreciate the article, and I’ll use it to make informed fashion choices, but the aim of the article- to aim trilby-wearing- does not please me one bit. We should be combating the larger problem at work here, and learning to accept people when others have difficulty doing so.

  39. Wear what you like. Who gives a shit?

  40. brian wolle says:

    How can you criticize a free article like this? I’ve been wearing hats for decades and learned something here. Get a life folks. Move on if you’re bored. Constructive criticism always welcome. Too many have no fashion sense.

  41. As someone who gets their fedoras custom made (Peters Brothers Hats in Ft Worth, TX) I hate those damn Trilby hats. While they are technically in the fedora family, I refuse to refer to them as such.

    Also, for those who care about obscure hat trivia, both of these hats are named from characters in a play. Trilby was a male character but Fedora was a female.

    The more you know (Insert shooting star and piano music here)

  42. Someone says:

    I thought the trilby was a WOMAN’S hat…

  43. Anonymous says:

    their fucking hats! big freaking deal!

  44. Richard says:

    To many people need a real job to stop wasting there time following this and need to stop reading these kind of useless blog/websites offering poor/negative advice.
    Be a man and wear what makes you feel comfortable – its called choice.

  45. Anonymous says:

    The Trilby was originally for women.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually is wasn’t. The trilby came around in England the 1890s. It made it to America and was popular among men through the 60s when it faded off. The fashion industry tried to bring it back by marketing it to women. So in short – this IS a man’s hat and the author of this article needs to find a life.

  46. Mike Bromley says:

    Well, bubba, I’m a big guy with broad shoulders, and I wear this silly hat. It looks really stupid on me but ya wanna know what? Who Cares???? I like my hat. It’s comfy. And my gal likes it. And you can take your snooty fashion sense and put it where the sun doesn’t shine. I dare you to walk up to some guy and tell him he looks like a condom. I suspect you’ll come off like a bug on a windshield.

    • Looks like somebody did not read the article…

      • Anonymous says:

        This. All those guys are slim little dudes. Also, they are trendsetters and can wear whatever they want. The author clearly states the trilby can be worn by many people. But as the default “wannabe” hat that people buy, I think it is safe to assume those people are douches, at which point the trilby is to be referred to as a “douche hat”. There’s a difference. It’s all in the wearer. Federline. The name still resonates…

  47. Allan S K Prasad says:

    I have just started wearing a hat after year of wearing a woollen hat with suit and tie with overcoat. This started during the cold spells in winter. But I now know that it does not go with my work clothes. I tried a hatfrom a Charity shop and liked it. It was a fedora and since then I have bought 2 others. I love the time when men wore suita with ties and long overcoats. Done some research on the internet and now hooked on style and Fedoras. Hankering to watch Bogart in Casablanca to learn. Yours is a good article and thank you for sharing your knowledge on hats to give us an informed option on good taste.. And yes I do not like trillbies. They seem to be worn by comedians.

  48. hat lover says:

    Seriously, GMP? You’re better than this. This is fashion shaming, pure and simple. *You* should be ashamed for posting this drivel.

    • TooCoolForSchool says:

      No, you should be ashamed for thinking criticism is somehow off limits. Stop with the “shaming” nonsense. Stop right now!

      A person is perfectly capable of changing his hat, if it simply does not look good. That is not some form of internet bullying; it is an honest criticism. This is not an issue of “shaming.” The word is overused, and people like you are diluting it when it actually matters.

  49. Bugger off, I like them.

  50. MrPotatoHead says:

    Women get bullied continually by the fashion police in this country.

    We don’t need nor want that for men.

    Imma wear what I want.


  51. Anonymous says:

    This sounds like a personal opinion piece about fashion disliked by one person.. Mr. Brand, you get the cookie for knowing the difference between a fedora and a trilby. I’m a female and have a trilby. They usually seem to be sold during summer months. And I wear my to the beach. Having said that, I’ve seen MEN in them and they don’t look horrible. Ibut if I did see a man out in a real fedora I would probably think he had a screw loose or was dressed up for a holloween party or over the age of….I don’t know,,too old to date. I don’t like jeans with bedazzled ass cheeks, but a lot of girls wear them and it doesn’t keep me up at night. An article about the difference in the two would have been enough. Uh, and no one should stop wearing them, especially because you said they should.

  52. I’m a bit surprised and a little saddened that GMP is hosting this article. I’ve appreciated GMP as a place where judgment pushed to the wayside to allow people to create their own identity. It’s a place where we can embrace who we want to be instead of what society says we should be.

    Despite this, here is an article telling me how I should be, that I should wear certain clothes to get approval, instead of expressing myself however I wish. GMP, you do a good job at what you do, don’t allow judgmental writers take that away.

  53. bblackmoor says:

    On the one hand, calling something the wrong name bugs me (I am looking at you, Van Dyke that gets called a goatee). On the other hand, I don’t understand the hate for trilby hats. Let people wear whatever they want.

  54. Stephanie says:

    I am sad to see so many people hacking on what hat a man wears and the name he calls it. The Good Men Project is about lifting each other up not tearing each other down. For the love of all that is RIGHT about a man let him wear whatever hat he feels good in. No one should feel they have the right to impose their head wear preference on another person. Let’s get back to building each other up ok kids.

    • Lifting someon up doesn’t always mean giving them compliments and motivation speeches. At also involves constructive criticism and tough love. Frankly, things like this, as trivial as it seems, is something one would traditionally learn from your male role models and support circles growing up as a boy.

      • hat lover says:

        Except that it’s wrong advice. A trilby looks good on me, for example, as well as many other people.

        This isn’t tough love, it’s baseless judgement.

        • Anonymous says:

          He does say that the trilby isn’t the hat for most men, but some can pull it off. He said it worked for Sinatra right? Defensive reading leads pointless posts criticizing writers for things they didn’t say.

          • I don’t think hat lover was making a pointless criticism, perhaps just a bit vague. He asserts that “many” other people look good in trilbies, while the article suggests much fewer than that do. The writer may not be explicit on this point, but the inference is justifiable.

            Plus, I think there’s a broader implicit point in hat lover’s reply, which echoes what many here are saying. While I do whole-heartedly agree with the point about calling a thing what it is (otherwise, what is the point of names), I do think it’s a bit cheeky and overboard to insist on an apparel view and choice this innocuous. Especially for a choice this far down on the offensiveness scale, let people wear what they want.

            If I have to put up with “irregardless” being considered a word, the writer, and those like him, can suck it up for people wearing trilbies that “shouldn’t”.

      • Janna: Lifting someon up doesn’t always mean giving them compliments and motivation speeches. At also involves constructive criticism and tough love. Frankly, things like this, as trivial as it seems, is something one would traditionally learn from your male role models and support circles growing up as a boy.

        So how do you feel about telling fat women to stick to one piece bathing suits? Do the same thoughts apply, for the same reasons? Or is different because we’re talking about women rather than men?

        • I am not Janna, but I am a woman, albeit a slender one, and I will be the first to say that there are many women who should not be seen in public in bikinis. There are also many women who would benefit from a good look in a full-length mirror — preferably from behind too — to ensure that their outfit is not too tight, and covers everything that needs to be covered.

          We have become a society that is so afraid of “hurting” feelings, stepping on toes, etc. that we just let everything slide, and orientate ourselves to the lowest common denominator. It’s dishonest, because we still judge and laugh behind those unfortunate souls’ backs, but nobody takes it upon her- or himself to help the person. Most people simply don’t know any better. The “cultural revolution” of the 1960s, you can probably tell that I loath the concept, created deep fissures in the transmission of traditional style. Before, notions of how to dress were passed from mother to daughter and father to son, but how can you pass anything on if you have no clue yourself? That’s very much like an illiterate person trying to teach a child to read!

          The simple answer is that, no, the sex of the person makes no difference.

    • amandawicked says:

      This is clearly a mens fashion article. If you dont want to read something that criticizes fashion, then dont read a fashion article. There was no hate speach or putting anyone down for things they cant help. The world is allowed to think your hat looks stupid, and if youre one of the million douchebags that wear these shopping mall “fedoras” I think you look stupid. You think you look good, but the people you are trying to impress think you look stupid. Sure, some people dress for themselves, but most dont, and we all know it. The trilby isnt cute, and if youre offended, its because you mistakingly thought you looked good in one, and youre mad that you dont. Oh well. Stop reading fashion articles if you dont want to be told you have no fashion sense.

    • David O'Bern says:

      Not an imposition of hat preference, but simply the correcting of misnamed headwear surely.

  55. Mackenzie says:

    In other mistaken word choices, I think you mean milliner, not haberdasher. Millinery is the art of hat making. Haberdashery is the selling of small wares (such as buttons), though in the US it has picked up the additional meaning of tailor.

    (I do living history type stuff and am starting to make and sell buttons, so I ought to know what my trade is called!)

  56. My dad bought me a hat a few years ago while my family was visiting Aruba. I’m not an expert on hats, so I don’t know exactly what it is, whether it’s a trilby hat or a fedora hat. It has a narrower brim, which while looks attractive, doesn’t reduce glare from the sun.

  57. Thank you very much. Thanks to your advice, I exchanged my trilby for a sombrero.

  58. I’m sorry, but I find the I’m better than you attitude towards the trilby quite short sighted. For starters,the Fedora is a very broad style of hats. First, you may not like to admit it, but the trilby IS in fact a style of Fedora. Deal with it. Second, wear the hat fits your body and don’t listen to people that think one style of hat is better than the other. Depending on how broad your shoulders are, how long you your neck is, and the shape of your head, one particular hat style suits each person differently. You may need a tall crown, you may need a wider or shorter brim. Over the years, I’ve owned many hats that this author would call the perfect fedora. You wanna know something? I looked extremely stupid in them. I would wear it with pride, and never admit how goofy I looked, because I subscribed to the same way of thinking as this author. I am so glad that I grew up, and changed this stupid, narrow minded look at fashion.

    Everybody is different and one hat does not always work for everybody. I now wear trilbys almost exclusively, because they look good on me. I dodon’t see it from a fashion sense or a hip and trendy sense. This particular style of hat fits a shape of my face and head better than any other style. Why would I continue going around looking like a doofus just because I thought one style of hat was cooler than another.

    I think a lot of it is jealously. And that’s understandable. Us hat wearers have always bucked trends and when wearing a wide brim hat (the trilby) became trendy, we got defensive. Because it was the wrong type of hat. This is the “no fair, I was wearing this type of hat long before you were” attitude. Grow up and embrace it. Enjoy the at the wide brim is experiencing an uptrend, even if it isn’t your ideal hat.

    • Snap brim Fedora is another name for a hat that runs a shorter brim than the classic Fedora. It looks good on my too.

  59. Jose Torres says:

    catch a grip dude, hats should be worn with proportion to the body. But take it easy on the Trilby’s brother, because it’s all about taste and if the person is into style then he’s going to know when to wear the Trilby and when to wear the Fedora.

  60. David Valenta says:

    That second thing is NOT a Trilby. A trilby is a soft felt hat with a narrow ribbon and an unbound edge. It was a commonly seen hat on English horsemen ,trainers and breeders.

  61. Come on guys. Research. A Trilby IS a Fedora. As a friend once said to me whilst I was choosing a hat, all Trilbies are Fedoras, not all Fedoras are Trilbies.

  62. 1. I can’t believe I clicked on this and actually read it.

    2. As a lurker on various online forums for hat enthusiasts, this misplaced insistence here that a trilby is not a fedora is rubbish. It’s really more of a US / UK thing, often compared to “rubbish” vs. “garbage.” What the US calls a fedora was called a trilby in the UK for ages. The terms have criss-crossed the Atlantic in the past couple of decades. Neither refers, universally, to a particular style of hat.

    3. When did GMP devolve to a fashion choice bitch fest? Seriously? Good men wear trilbies too.

  63. While I don’t disagree with the article’s sentiments, I will point out that a haberdasher is one who sells things for sewing, a milliner makes hats. 😉

  64. For all your complaining about people getting names of hats wrong, you make the mistake of saying “haberdasher” when you meant to say “milliner”

    • In American English, a haberdasher is a men’s outfitter. They sell all manner of men’s clothing & accessories. Yes, including hats. (and ties, and cuff links, and shoe trees, and pocket squares, and socks, and suspenders, and shirts, and …)

  65. Eduardo García says:

    We really need to consider how the true dangers of the trilby. Young men start experimenting with such headgear without realizing it is a gateway fashion. Sure, it’s just a hat, till you see them with a pocket squares and the next thing you know they will want to wear Italian shoes. God forbid…

  66. The Trilby and other styles are all considered a type of Fedora. There is a website called “hats in the belfry”. They have descriptions and discussion on all kinds of men’s and women’s hats, including the various types of Fedoras, which includes the Trilby.

  67. I got to say my son rocks a trilby. But then he’s two 1/2, and very slender. I hadn’t seen anyone wearing these before he started wearing them about two years ago, but that could just be in my area.

  68. To Men – from a Woman:
    Wear what makes you feel confident.
    Wear what suits your style.
    Wear it because you like it, because your girlfriend bought it for you.
    Wear it because your boyfriend thinks you look hot in it.
    Wear it because you picked it up on that one trip on Spring Break when the world wasn’t anywhere close to perfect and you had fun anyways.
    And NEVER take advice on what YOU should wear from anyone who tells you it looks cheesy and cheap because THAT man is selling you a lifestyle HE thinks you should buy into.

    • Amen sister! Right back at you! It aint what you wear but how you wear it. I have me a collection of boxers, fedoras, beanies, and ball caps, and I sport them all. Thank you for keeping it real.

  69. this is largely bullshit.

    you do not wear a hat that relates to your shoulders, you wear the hat that is in style. and currently trilby s are in style. maybe you dont like them, but that does not mean they are ugly. I love them and I will continue to wear them. I am very glad they finally came back in style, they are a heck of a lot nicer than the ball caps which were the only hats guys were allowed to wear for decades. fedora’s or trilby’s as you prefer to call them, and very handsome and really work well to enhance the handsomeness of many men’s faces. I hate it when women wear them. They are men’s hats.

    furthermore, I am 50 years old, and I remember very well, men wearing Fedoras like these in the 60’s when I was a kid. and they were called fedoras. even then. I have never heard the world trilby in my life.

    Fedoras change with the times times. In the same way that women’s hem lines go up and down with the times, so do the brims of fedoras get larger and smaller with the times. A skirt is still called a skirt no matter how long or short it is.

    In the 40’s the large brimmed fedora was in style, buy the 60’s it was the small brimmed one. In the 80’s the large brimmed one came back as a men’s accessory, and now the small brimmed one is back. Get used to it. and stop writing dumb articles.

    • The length of a skirt doesn’t denote different names, but the shape of it certainly does. I wouldn’t necessarily expect a man to know vocabulary that is almost exclusive to women’s clothing catalogs, but some different types of skirts include pencil, A-line, mermaid/trumpet, mini, wrap, and bubble.

      These come and go out of style all the time, just like hats, but the fact remains that not every body can “pull off” every fashion. A woman with straight hips won’t look as good in a mermaid-cut skirt or dress as a woman with Christina-Hendricks-like curves (that shape was pretty much invented for her body type). A woman with a large bust is better off in an A-line skirt that balances out her frame than a pencil skirt that will just emphasize the lack of top-bottom proportion. Bubble skirts are best on very thin, tall women, and can add visual weight to a thicker frame with shorter legs.

      And that’s the point of this article – not that no one should ever wear a trilby ever, but that just because they’re in fashion, doesn’t mean they look good on everyone. Neal Caffrey in “White Collar” wears a trilby, and wears it well, because he is tall and lean with a narrow face. But it would look silly on his co-star Peter, who is broader in build and has a different jawline entirely. And Neal’s friend Mozzie, short and round-shaped, can pull off a flat cap that wouldn’t be flattering at all.

      Go ahead and wear trilby fedoras all you want while they’re in style, but that doesn’t mean it’s your best look.

    • christopher says:

      If you are a sheep you wear what’s in style. That doesn’t make you stylish it makes you trendy. If you have style you wear what suits your build and facial structure. Then i doesn’t matter what the rest of the sheep are wearing you look stylish.

    • They may have originated as men’s hats, but guess what: now, on women they are IN STYLE. If the shape of your shoulders matters less than the current trend, then so does your gender.

  70. Imma wear whatever I want, thanks.

  71. Sean Connery wore Trilby hats in the early James Bond movies.

  72. For someone trying desperately to be pedantic you are completely missing the fact that a trilby is a type of fedora as is a pork pie.

  73. You also need to state that most of the unfashionable idiots that are wearing hats incorrectly need to doff them (take them off) when indoors. That’s the polite and courteous thing to do unless you have a medical condition. Hats are for outside, period.

  74. So what is your position on flat caps?

    My husband is 6’2″ about 280lbs and has a linebacker-like build, broad and solid but not particularly fit. He got a wool flat cap at a Celtic festival a few years ago and it became his absolute favorite, and he just used his Christmas money to buy himself a couple more in different colors. I think he wears them alright, my only observation is that he has a round, bearded jawline, which the round cap sort of emphasizes – paired with the wrong outfit he ends up looking overweight. But now you’ve got me thinking about his shoulders and what a wider-brimmed hat might do for him. He’s been interested in Panama hats for a while but hasn’t bought one yet, he too has a larger-sized head that’s hard to shop for.

    So in your opinion, what kind of male body type can pull off the flat cap?
    And I really need to find a similar article for women’s hats because I’ve yet to figure out what works for me.

    • Wait, now Google Images has me confused – what’s the difference between Panama and Fedora?

    • And I really need to find a similar article for women’s hats because I’ve yet to figure out what works for me.
      from memory you have a roundish face, . so i reckon a 1920′ s flapper-hat would work on you

      • Have we met, or are you going by my avatar pic? Just wondering.

        I Googled after posting my comment for articles to guide women, and a lot of them had to do with face shape or how to match a hat to one’s outfit, but said little or nothing about hairstyle and body frame. I’ve worn my hair really long, pixie-short, asymmetrical, permed, and everywhere in between, and noticed while trying on hats that there are some that would look ridiculous with really short hair (like newsboy caps – I looked like an actual 1920s newsboy) but much different with shoulder-length or longer, or vice-versa. I’m also somewhat petite (5’5″) and have narrow shoulders, and some brimmed hats I’ve tried on seem to dominate or swallow my head & neck.

        I’m kind of amazed the articles I found barely touched on these aspects of hat choice. If those two things matter to choosing an appropriate hat for a man, I’d think they’d matter for women too. Overall it’s not a huge priority to me because I have so very few occasions to wear hats anyway, other than winter hats for warmth, but I would like to know what kinds of styles I *can* wear should an opportunity arise. I have super-fair skin and hats in the summertime are a huge help!

        • Have we met, or are you going by my avatar pic? Just wondering.

          no, we have not met. i was going by your old avatar pic, if memory serves you were wearing glasses in the photo

        • I Googled after posting my comment for articles to guide women, and a lot of them had to do with face shape or how to match a hat to one’s outfit, but said little or nothing about hairstyle and body frame.

          you could try “google books”. you might find a vintage guidebook (in preview or full view) from 1870 or 1930. id be very surprised if there were not a few books that dealt with the appropriate hats for diff hairstyles n bodytypes during the days of ‘etiquette’.

  75. Anastacia says:

    I’ve seen a very broad-shouldered man who looked good with a Trillby. He was tall with a thick neck and kind of resembled a penis anyway (cause of the thick neck)! I think the Trillby can be nice, better than a trucker hat for sure.

  76. THANK YOU for writing this. I shudder every time I see a guy in a trilby. Women look like crap in them, too. Mistake does not begin. Blaspheme is the word here.

    Bless you and your children’s children for being the one to speak out about this.

  77. David Wise says:

    I’m going for the bowler look, Clockwork Orange-style.

  78. a-HEM… *cough* *adjusts soapbox*

    Actually the “Trilby” was FIRST known as a “Crumpled Fedora” in both the UK and the US and as both the Fedora and Crumpled Fedora gained popularity with American Gangsters in the early 20th century they dropped the “Crumpled” and simply called it a “Fedora” (in those days the raised rim was often VERY slight making the two hats look almost identical).

    The “Crumpled” Fedora is actually just considered to be a variant of the actual Fedora, and so both hats are correctly called “Fedoras” . Interestingly enough, the Fedora in the picture you supplied is actually “crumpled” making it a Trilby – as mentioned, it only takes a very slight lip to make a hat a Trilby, the sharper crowns are a newer invention, back in the day Trilby’s all looked just like the “Fedora” pictured. The Trilby pictured is of course what you say it is. For a hat to be simply a “Fedora” and not also “Crumpled”, it must have NO lip whatsoever.

    The name “Trilby” comes from the play adaptation (1895) of the book Trilby (1894). In the first London adaptation, the female heroine donned the hat and so it became popularized as a “Trilby” (yes I know heroine = female hero, just emphasizing that it’s a woman to link the hats with women, don’t ruin all my best-laid plans!). The name “Fedora” comes from another play (1882) done in Paris where, yet again, the female heroine donned the hat and so it became popularized.

    The name “Trilby” caught on in the UK on account of the play “Trilby” whereas in the states, from gangster culture, the shortened “Fedora” was retained. Technically both hats are classified as “Fedoras” but the “Crumpled” look is what sets the two apart.

    To be fair, people often look at the length of the brim and say “This is a Fedora” and “That is a Trilby” – yes, Trilby’s frequently have a shorter brim but the only defining feature is the actual raised crown. As mentioned, back in the day, the two hats were near identical all except for a slight raised lip on one. This is also referred to as an “indented crown”.

    But within the United States they are both correctly referred to as a “Fedora” with one being a variant. In the UK they will call them a Fedora or a Trilby, so while traveling you might do well to be aware of both names, but here in the US…you can just call it a Fedora and nobody should actually have cause for complaint except visiting Brits.

    *steps off of soapbox*

  79. Allison Leigh says:

    I was really excited to hear that someone else knew the difference between a Trilby and a Fedora, but apparently you don’t know the difference between a milliner and a haberdasher.

  80. if you are cool as the proverbial cucumber then you can wear what you want

  81. Wow. You’re the exact type of person that this “meme” was made for. Calling yourself a “gent” is some douche-level shit, and nobody is going to take the time to differentiate your gay hat with that other gay hat.

  82. Dapper DanMan says:

    A trilby’s a fine choice if you’re a 14-year-old girl, or Justin Timberlake (wait – is that redundant?). Otherwise, go fedora.

  83. Personally I’ve always felt that, personal taste aside, a man should be able to wear anything. The idea that the wrong colour or style could in some way take away a person’s masculinity is sad. Being a man is not something that is fragile and easily destroyed in the face of colour and style.

    Although I think some men could do with a bit of fashion sense.

    • I don’t think it’s a question of style as much as lack of personal style… these hats are default for guys the way Uggz are default for girls.

  84. Whatever.
    I don’t take fashion advice from people like you on the internet.
    You can think what you want about me and my “trilby” hat. If I like it I’ll wear it, and I don’t give a crap what you think. Only a shallow, judgmental scumbag would care what I’m wearing, and feel it acceptable to write an internet article judging someone who he doesn’t even know based on what they wear. What are you? 14 years old? Get over yourself.

    PS: I don’t even own a fedora or a trilby. But if I did, it would be none of your business.

  85. I like the Trilby and it looks great on me, quit hating…

  86. I understand and mostly agree with this article. However, who are you to say “stop wearing it”? What if a trilby looks good on a guy? It’s overused? Oh, what a tragedy. That’s like saying stereotypes are too stereotypical. Trilbies look good and they’re fashionable still and will be until they go out of style (what a concept). So they get the name wrong, yes, it needs to be fixed, but don’t become biased against a certain style just because it’s called by the wrong name. And of course, the point of this comment, don’t tell people what to wear and what not to wear because of your own personal opinion. Last I checked, I live in America and am free to choose what I wear.

  87. I love that you educate people on other hat styles! (One little note missing: a “derby” is just the American word for it. It is also known as a bowler. Unlike fedora/trilby, derby/bowler is the exact same style.)

    I do agree with you, but from a marketing perspective, trilbies almost have to be called fedoras. That is the word people know, so that’s the word they’re going to type when searching for that kind of hat. I am a hat-maker (currently only ladies’ hats), and it does make me cringe a little to call a trilby a fedora, but I do it (in addition to the correct term).

    Thank you for this post. Your rant made me laugh. (And when I start making men’s hats, it will definitely be fedoras and not trilbies.)

  88. Jay Bardyla says:

    What if you have long hair (just past the shoulders) and want to try a hat? Any recommendations (I’m 6’3″, medium to broad body type).

    • Russ in Texas says:

      These hats were generally made with a shorthaired aesthetic in mind.
      Now, personally, I like the Trilby, though the brim is indeed to narrow for my tastes most of the time.
      I’d recommend the porkpie – it’s casual enough that you can get away with it whether you braid or straight without looking like “hey, I’m being ironic with my classic-style hat and long hair!”

    • Try tying back your hair. There’s not much you can do with long hair and hats, unfortunately, so as one hat-wearing long-hair to another, I advise investing in some plain black hair-ties.

    • Either long hair or a hat is sufficient ornamentation for one head. Both at once is kind of overdoing it.

    • Anastacia says:

      Johnny Depp has a big hat collection and has somewhat long hair. Look for pics of him with hats to get some ideas perhaps?

    • DeLani Bartlette says:

      The gambler. Talk about bad-ass.

  89. I will take a trilby any day over a damn trucker hat!!!

  90. Everyone’s right on the noggin to take on brim size. Right now every hipster and wannabe wears a stingy brim, and it looks patently silly. Talk about the reservoir tip on a bunch of dickheads. As for wider brim fedoras, I find that correspondence from brim to lapel is right up there with other proportional relationships. I have two wide lapel coats from the ’80s, and only they can support the look of my broad Bogie brim.

  91. It’s way more of a mistake to wear something that doesn’t look good on you. Your advice is flawed because you are saying wearing a trilby is a mistake, which will make a bunch of small headed narrow shouldered guys look ridiculous in a fedora they will go out and buy after reading this. Better advice would be to be aware of your body’s proportion and find clothes and accessories to fit your individual body, style and personality. Generalizations are lazy, even when it comes to fashion.

  92. Strangely enough, while visiting Venice, Italy in 1986, I ventured out to find the legendary Fedora. I sauntered in to a stylish looking haberdashery and seeing several Fedora like hats inquired which one was a Fedora.
    The Italian gentleman keeping shop politely informed me that Fedora was a hat maker long since shut down; just after WWII he said. He recommended a fine example of a similar style. A Borsalino was another fine Italian hat maker still in business. The brim was not quite as wide but close enough for me so I brought it home to America and enjoyed it for many years.
    I guess nowadays “Fedora” represents a somewhat undefined replica of that iconic line of old.

    • In the 1880s the famed actress Sarah Bernhardt starred as the princess in the eponymously named play _Fedora_. She wore the first instance of the hat, and it became popular with suffragettes of the period. It did not become popular with men until the 1920s.

    • Max Roberts says:

      I’ve owned a few Borsalino hats…they are amazing.

  93. Bravo! That confusion has been annoying me for quite some time.

    I’d like to amend the width-of-shoulders rule. The width of your ears also figures into your brim choice. I look like President Obama — imagine him in a narrow-brimmed trilby, and you’ll see why I have four fedoras in my closet instead.

  94. Large Cranium says:

    While I understand, and love the point of the article. There’s an even deeper flaw with mall cart hats: They are only made for small headed men. Most Extra-Larges don’t fit my 7 5/8’s head. In Fact, I’ve been to a few Haberdashers around my city, and they don’t even carry hats that fit my head. In that regard, a larger brimmed hat looks RIDICULOUS on small headed men (I’ve seem plenty of broad shouldered small headed men that look like toddlers in their large-brimmed hats). It’s not just shoulder size that matters, but head diameter/height, as well as the position in which you place the hat on your head (low on the brow, on the back of the crown, etc). I happen to own a trimbly that fits the correct ratios to my body, but is scaled up–I’m average 5’9″ build. The “Trimbly” form doesn’t mean they all have to have 1.5 inch brims and be shaped for a head that is that of a child’s…

    • I feel your pain, a 7-5/8″ hat size as well. Crash helmets are a real pain. I did find one place in Portland, Oregon. I think it is John Helmer Haberdashers on Broadway and the staff will find whatever it is you seek for gargantuan gourds like ours at a reasonable price.

      • Mike the Hatter. Sells fedoras from small child’s size to 7 3/4 and beyond. Huge array of hat styles, materials and prices. Also cleans, repairs, blocks, re-lines and resizes. Used them for theatrical costuming for years.

  95. FedoraMaster2000 says:

    In this moment, I am euphoric. Thank you for this great post, my good sir.

    *tips fedora*

  96. I understand the point here, and it’s assimilated. However, the author wrote like a bit of a jerk. Try not to be such a pompous know-it-all when your write. It’s off-putting.

  97. Thomas Pluck says:

    I have a couple of fedoras of varying brim (though no trilbys) and a straw porkpie for summer. I recommend Worth & Worth if you live in NYC, or Miller Hats online. They sell quality hats. But it’s best to find a hat shop near you, so you can try them on. There are still haberdashers around, and it is worth your time to find one instead of mashing a cheap hat on your head and assuming you look like Indiana Jones or Cary Grant.

  98. interesting read.
    interesting also to see your american perspective on these hats

    the porkpie: the strongest association for me is the 1980s twotone crew in the uk wearing the porkpie in tribute to the 1950/60s ska men. i also interiorally visualise old west indian men in the uk wearing it, as it was the hat of their youth
    the homburg: i think of david suchet’s, ‘hercule poirot’. dont know whether the hat is the same or not. however its construction has the same elegant, urbane feel

    the derby hat, here in the uk is called the bowler hat.
    i wikied,’derby hat’ to see why you called it that. i found out that bowler was named after one the men who constructed it, as a riding hard/ crash hat. that the bowler hat was the hat most likely to be worn in the usa wild west – explains why in the photos ive seen it more than a few times.

    ive often wondered where the 1900s fashion for bowler hats in the uk came from.
    i wonder if the tranmission process was similar to the adoption of working class/rustic dress by elite young english men in the late 1700s. that in the late1800s, the men of the top third of english society also hung around with london working class fashionable men.

    i remember a contemporary account of working class men in garishly coloured chequered suits.
    perhaps they also wore bowler hats, and the pinstripe suit too? and elite young men adopted and carried some of these fashion practices as they aged into positions of influence

    • AnonymousDog says:

      WAS the bowler/derby the hat “most likely to be worn in the usa wild west”? Maybe by men in towns, who were more likely to be photographed. Men living and working in the countryside were more likely to wear wider-brimmed hats as protection from the elements. Compare group photos taken in town with vintage photos of men out in the country.

      • here is the wiki entry which talks about it, cite 6 goes to an interesting 1957 newspaper article. i was just passing on what the wiki said

        The bowler, not the cowboy hat or sombrero, was the most popular hat in the American West, prompting Lucius Beebe to call it “the hat that won the West”.[6] Both cowboys and railroad workers preferred the hat because it would not blow off easily in strong wind, or when sticking one’s head out the window of a speeding train.

  99. Christopher says:

    I think this will be my last visit to this website. The shaming of the MRM is really not my cup of tea. I can understand many of their points and I don’t have a neckbeard and have never owned a fedora. I wouldn’t even call myself a mens’ rights activist, but even I feel just a bit offended and put off by this charade.

    • Theorema Egregium says:

      I’m sorry! Where did you get that vibe? I always felt this article was really about headwear, and nothing else. I mean, there ARE articles on this website that border on shaming, or are at least written in a condescending tone, (it often seems to be the custom to speak to men as if they were tenatious and rather stupid little children), but this here is not one of them. And it was not about the MRM at all, unless you make associations that are not at all obvious.

  100. It should really be “Stop wearing cheap, China made trilby’s.” Not all triby’s are made of cheap materials. Bailey of Hollywood makes high quality, American made hats and they have a few trilby styles that are really nice (check out a style called “Wynn”). The trilby pictured looks cheap and cheesy because it was probably made in China. They are often separate pieces of fabric sewn together and they are meant to be “trendy” and disposable. Bailey makes hats the old fashioned way: it’s all one piece of fabric, often wool. Their hats are traditional and stand the test of time both in terms of fashion and that they are more durable. I can attest to this because my father owns a small hat shop and I have worked for him. As a side note, the fedora pictured as a side by side comparison is a Borsalino which is like a $500 Italian made hat. Huge difference between the two hats.

  101. I’m a leaner average height guy and I look better in most trilbys than most fedoras. I have two fedoras that work on me but most have brims that are too wide for my narrow face. Conversely, most trilbys have a brim that’s too narrow for my shoulders. It’s not easy finding either that works but it’s been easier finding trilbys that do.

  102. Mrs. Campbell says:

    I agree with everything here; a hat is an accessory and it should go with the clothes and the person. But just as important as knowing which one to put on is knowing when to take it off.

  103. bill speidel says:

    The hat on the left is not a fedora; it is a modern costume piece that knocks off a fedora at a cheap price point. The band is too narrow and obviously low quality. There’s no reinforcement around the brim to give it definition and the loose molded shape just screams cheap felt that lacks an interior hat band for support.

    The easiest way to spot a true fedora and not a costume piece is if it’s stamped with a numeric size (like 7 1/4) and not a meaningless “L” or “XL”.

    However, I still thank you for opening the discussion.

  104. Tongue-in-cheek with a hint of real guide. I could use a lot less of the “you are not a real man because you wear something from the hat cart” thing. I didn’t know the shoulder-width to brim relation, that was good to learn.
    I will have to miss on the follow-up “you are not a real man because we drive something cheaper than a Mercedes”, since I ride public transportation but my boss will appreciate it.

  105. Nonsense. I wear both a trilby and fedora (not at the same time) and both look great (and I know the difference, thanks). Style in hats is intensely personal and specific: there are plenty of hats–trilbies, homburgs, you-name-its–that look terrible on me because I have a very long, narrow head and face. The unsubstantiated and baseless claim that the look of any given hat is in any way dependent on the relative width of the shoulders is exactly that: unsubstantiated and baseless. Let’s see some actual data, hmmm? Then I’ll take these claims seriously.

    Until then–and seriously, how hard would it be to generate a dataset of dudes wearing different brim-width hats in silhouette, and asking a few hundred people how they look?–I’ll keep wearing hats of any style that actually look good on me, regardless of how you virulent enemies of fashion and personal style react based on your unsubstantiated and baseless theoretical prejudices.

  106. Joanna Schroeder says:

    GMP writer Mark Radcliffe wears (used to wear?) a Trillby and it looks pretty good. I don’t think it’s a thing that needs to be universalized but I love this guyde.

  107. wellokaythen says:

    Right now on the right side of this webpage there’s a column advertising for hats for men. Is this planned, or was this just a coincidence?

  108. It seems to be a young man’s problem. Older good looking men can pull it off with aplomb. The fact that most of the trilby and fedora hats on the market are cheaply made and cheap looking (which often is within a young man’s budget) doesn’t help the young guys out either.

    Of course, you can always skip the whole trilby/fedora problem and just go with a driver’s cap which makes most men look sharp and masculine 😉

  109. Theorema Egregium says:

    The one thing I cannot forgive most Trilby-wearing under-30-s is that they look as if they try to imitate the Blues Brothers, in a hopeless basement-dwelling way. You know, either they are fat, than they look like Jake, or they are thin, then they look like Elwood. Why on earth THOSE guys as models of style? I don’t get it. It’s not actually the hat’s fault, it can be worn with oodles of style too, like this:
    The precondition is, of course, that you have style anyway, and not hope to attain it by wearing a hat.

    • Why is this ok in a way that “calling out” fat women in tight pants or bikinis is not?

      • Theorema Egregium says:

        Interesting point. I was going to write a reply saying that it is not at all the same, but then it dawned on me that you’ve actually got something there. Thank you. I’ll try to answer to the issue.

        Maybe it comes down to this: Wearing hotpants when you haven’t got the figure for it and wearing a stupid hat when it makes you look like Jake Blues BOTH are a bad idea and will severely damage your attractiveness. In both cases your actual body/figure is not the issue, and in fact you can be very attractive with more educated style choices.

        The difference is who is allowed to say so. If I judged a woman I would be termed a misogynist, because it would be assumed I am not giving honest fashion advice, but trying to shame her for not being thin. A woman can say the same, and would at worst be labelled mean, but not misogynist.

        So likewise I would not allow a woman to put down men for the misguiding wearing of trilbies (and neither should you allow it), because I would also assume that they are engaging in shaming (which may or may not be the case). But I am a man, and I maintain my (and Noah’s) entitlement to an opinion on men’s wear.

  110. The stereotype isn’t that guys who wear trilby hats or fedoras are jerks. The stereotype is that they are neckbearded losers who spend all their time on Reddit and 4chan, have no jobs, and live in their parents’ basement. Important distinction.

    • Theorema Egregium says:

      AND that they call themselves “nice guys”. And countless essays in websites including this one here have “proved” that for a men to call himself nice automatically means he is a jerk.

  111. There’s a meme going around some circles that guys who wear fedoras are jerks. This tends to be accompanied by photos of guys who are not wearing fedoras. Instead, they have fallen prey to a devastatingly common trend in retro-fashion: the trilby.
    And that is what happens when you get so caught up in trying to insult/shame people. Suddenly things like fact take a back seat to being able to launch an attack against someone.

    • Danny writes: And that is what happens when you get so caught up in trying to insult/shame people. Suddenly things like fact take a back seat to being able to launch an attack against someone.


      Isn’t bad enough that society incessantly bullies women when it comes to fashion? Do we really want to start doing it to men, too?

      Exactly what does this sort of insulting/shaming of men for wearing whatever actually do to help create good men?

      Here’s a tip, guys: Ignore this sort of talk altogether, and wear whatever you please.

      • Isn’t bad enough that society incessantly bullies women when it comes to fashion? Do we really want to start doing it to men, too?
        Oh they have that covered. You see when women are bullied its oppression but when men are bullied its okay because they really are bad. They are being “called out”.

        When someone takes a picture of a woman then posts it on the net saying how horrible of a person she is because of what she is wearing then we are supposed to know that its oppression because, well because women are oppressed.

        On the other hand when someone takes a picture of a man then posts it on the net saying how horrible of a person he is because of what he is wearing it must be correct because men aren’t oppressed.

        Exactly what does this sort of insulting/shaming of men for wearing whatever actually do to help create good men?
        Supposedly the thought is that by “calling them out” one of two things will happen.
        1. Those horrible guys will straighten up and fly right.
        2. Other guys will come to the defense of women and make those horrible guys straighten up and fly right.

        TLDR; Its okay to insult and shame guys in the exact same ways its done to women because they are guys.

        • Pretty much nailed it, Danny. Good job!

        • Yes, while I appreciate the excellent hat advice, this was not the discussion on fedoras I was hoping for.

          It is coming across increasingly like prejudice to me, and the same is not tolerated when directed at women.

          • Florian Käferböck says:

            There is a slight misconception in that notion: When you say it is not tolerared directed at women, but presumably tolerated when directed at men, who do you think is doing the tolerating/not tolerating? “Society”? There ain’t no such animal. It’s just people who scream when they don’t like what they hear. If you and me don’t like prejudice against men we should not assume there is some mystical entity called society that determines that that is to be tolerated. Society is us. It is up to US not to tolerate it. Let’s scream!

  112. Thank you for the clarification! I’m a female and though I’m not as particular about hat styles and differences in fabric…this is good information to have in my reserves of information :0)

  113. Lara Lillibridge says:

    My boys look adorable in trilbys! Although I thought they were fedoras. I have miseducated them, apparently. Of course, my boys also look adorable in cookie monster hats, which I don’t think most adult men should wear.

    • “Of course, my boys also look adorable in cookie monster hats, which I don’t think most adult men should wear.”

      That made me smile :0)

  114. Theorema Egregium says:

    Thank you for that, Noah!

    Btw., let me tell you that I can’t really blame men for mixing up the types of hats when even employees of hat shops do so. The first time I went into one to ask for a Fedora that girl there looked puzzled and asked “what’s that?”. I pointed to some which were lying around and then she understood what I meant. Puzzling.

    I later gave away my Fedora because I felt it made me look like a Rabbi (not that I have anything against Rabbis, I just did not want to be confused with one), but now I can’t help thinking that maybe I dodged a bullet there. After all it was only very recently that I came across articles such as this:

    My brother recently got himself a Trilby (he is 6’3″ and thin as a stick) and now I fear he might have hurt his dating prospects by it. I am sure he is unaware that there are new stereotypes around that might make any woman who has taken them in loathe him on sight. I only hope that those irrational superstitions are, as so often, a US thing, and have not found their way into Europe yet.

    Now I am proud owner of a fine, classic Bowler and so far I have not come across any social stigma attached to it. And anyway, speaking in Freudian terms, sometimes a hat is just a hat.

    • If he dresses appropriately to wear the hat I don’t think it’s a problem. The stereotype of “gross dudes in fedoras” is kind of simplified. It’s more like “gross dudes who think putting on a hat will make them attractive to women by overwhelming their crappy t-shirt, bad personal hygiene, and misogynistic personality” A hat is an accessory that should accent and improve your outfit, not BE your outfit. If a dude is already unappealing, an inappropriate hat will probably make it worse. But if he’s rocking that hat, he probably doesn’t need a girl so shallow that she’ll loathe him on site despite wearing it properly.


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