Fedora days

Thanks to this Zippy strip, it’s been a fedora morning:


Fedoras, trilbies, homburgs, and more.

Johnny Depp in a dark brown fedora:


Then a white Borsalino — a brand of fedora whose name has become recognizable on its own as a style of hat:


From Wikipedia:

Borsalino is a hat company known particularly for its fedoras. Established in 1857, Borsalino produces felt from Belgian rabbit fur at its factory in Alessandria, Italy.

Then on the name fedora, from OED3 (June 2015), rather hesitantly:

Origin: Apparently a borrowing from French. Etymon: French Fédora.

Etymology: Apparently <  Fédora, the title of a drama (1882) by Victorien Sardou (1831–1908) and the name of its heroine, played in early productions by the French actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844–1923), although the precise connection is unclear.

The soft felt fedora was originally marketed as a men’s hat, and no contemporary evidence has been located which connects this style with the male members of the play’s cast. The name of the play and its heroine appear to have been adopted slightly earlier for various items of womenswear, including hats, and it is possible that the name fedora was applied to the men’s hat because of its general fashionable associations.

orig. U.S. A low, soft, felt hat with a curled brim and the crown creased lengthways.

(The first cites are from 1883 and 1884.)

The fedora is minimally different from the trilby. Sean Connery in a trilby:


From Wikipedia:

A trilby is a narrow-brimmed type of hat. The trilby was once viewed as the rich man’s favoured hat; it is sometimes called the “brown trilby” in Britain and was frequently seen at the horse races. The London hat company Lock and Co. describes the trilby as having a “shorter brim which is angled down at the front and slightly turned up at the back” versus the fedora’s “wider brim which is more level”. The trilby also has a slightly shorter crown than a typical fedora design.

The hat’s name derives from the stage adaptation of George du Maurier’s 1894 novel Trilby. A hat of this style was worn in the first London production of the play, and promptly came to be called “a Trilby hat”.

Then three more men’s hat styles, bearing a family resemblance to the fedora and the trilby. The bowler, pork pie, and homburg, shown here in versions available from the Stacy Adams company (see the cartoon in #1) — still in business, but now focused primarily on men’s shoes:

(#5) Victorian bowler

(#6) Rocker pork pies

(#7) Homburg

Wikipedian notes:

Bowler: The bowler hat, also known as a bob hat, bombín or derby (USA), is a hard felt hat with a rounded crown, created originally during 1849. The bowler, a protective and durable hat style, was popular with the British, Irish, and American working classes during the remaining 19th century, and later with the middle and upper classes in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the eastern United States.

The bowler hat is said to have been designed during 1849 by the London hat-makers Thomas and William Bowler to fulfill an order placed by the company of hatters James Lock & Co. of St James’s., which had been commissioned by a customer to design a close-fitting, low-crowned hat to protect gamekeepers from low-hanging branches while on horseback at Holkham Hall, the estate of Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester (seventh creation) in Norfolk. The keepers had previously worn top hats, which were knocked off easily and damaged. (link)

Pork pie: A pork pie hat is one of three or four different styles of hat that have been popular in one context or another since the mid-19th century, all of which bear superficial resemblance to a culinary pork pie dish.

The first hat to be called a pork pie was a hat worn primarily by American and English women beginning around 1830 and lasting through the American Civil War.

… The pork pie began to appear in Britain as a man’s hat not long after the turn of the century in the fashion style of the man-about-town, but its resurgence in the United States in the 1920s is credited to the silent film actor Buster Keaton, who wore them in many of his films. (link)

Homburg: A homburg is a formal felt hat characterized by a single dent running down the center of the crown (called a “gutter crown”), a stiff brim shaped in a “kettle curl” and a bound edge trim.

It was popularized by Edward VII after he visited Bad Homburg in Hesse, Germany, and brought back a hat of this style. He was flattered when his hat style was mimicked, and at times he insisted on being copied. (link)

Sir Anthony Eden was famous for favoring homburgs, as here:


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