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Trilby Hat Vs Fedora: What's the Difference?

Trilby Hat Vs Fedora: What's the Difference?

The trilby and fedora are two hats which are often mistaken for one another. To the untrained eye, it’s easy to see why as they boast many similarities in looks, not to mention their origins are also quite similar too.

If you’re wondering about the difference between trilby and fedora hats, keep reading and we’ll tell you all you need to know.

What is a trilby hat?

To understand the difference between trilby and fedoras, it’s important to first learn about each hat individually. A trilby is a hat with a short brim that is angled down at the front and turns up slightly at the back. It first made an appearance during a stage adaptation of George du Maurier’s novel ‘Trilby’. The lead actress of the play wore the short-brimmed hat and soon after, the style took off. Traditionally it was made from rabbit felt but it’s made from a variety of materials today including tweed, felt and straw.


What is a fedora hat?

The fedora on the other hand is a hat with a pinch near the front and a shallow indented crown and a wide, round brim. Originating in 1882, the fedora outdates the trilby, but it also has its roots in theatre. First making an appearance in a stage play of the same name, the style rapidly grew in popularity once it was seen atop the head of one of the show’s characters. Usually, a fedora is made from wool, felt or cotton.

So, what’s the difference between a trilby and a fedora?

The main differences between these two iconic hats lies in the crown and the brim. Fedoras have a wide brim of around 2.5 inches and a shallower crown of around 4.5 inches. The crown is pinched at the front and back and features an inward dent at the top. Trilbies on the other hand have a much narrower brim – so much so that they’ve even been nicknamed the “stingy brim hat” – with a slightly taller and pointier crown. Trilby’s also have a pinched and indented crown.

The position in which both of these hats are worn tends to differ too. Trilby’s sit further back on the head with a more perched look, whereas the fedora is worn forward so the generous brim can offer shade for the face and eyes.

Additionally, the trilby is widely thought to be more of a casual or smart casual hat, ideal for daytime outings, whereas the fedora is regarded as a smart hat that’s the perfect accessory for both semi-formal and formal events.

Looking to learn more about the various types of hats? Discover the origins of the iconic baker boy cap, next.