We generally think of the fedora hat as a menswear staple, but history reveals that fedoras for women were just as popular and functioned as a symbol for the beginning of the women’s rights movement. Politics no longer plays a role in how the female fedora is viewed, but it has secured its place as a highly loved fashion accessory.
A Brief History Of The Fedora
Surprise! The fedora hat actually began with a woman. According to History Of Hats, the fedora style came about because of a play written by Victorien Sardou, aptly named “Fédora”. Stage actress Sarah Bernhardt wore the felt piece during her role as Fédora Romanoff, and women’s fedoras grew in popularity as a result. Later, the fedora hat transitioned to become a favourite fashion accessory of the gangster ridden Prohibition-era, and ladies fedora hats lost their appeal.
Are Fedoras in Style Today?
These soft brimmed style hats with their indented crowns have grown in popularity among celebrities and fashion influencers over recent years. If you aren’t used to wearing hats, you’ll find out that styling a fedora is quite easy. You don’t have to deal with an overly heavy floppy brim getting in your way, plus despite the softness of felt and wool, the fabric holds its shape really well.
4Tips On Wearing a Fedora Hat
Don’t feel you have to go for a traditional felt or wool style fedora. There are some lovely braided straw hats that are lightweight and breathable for being out in the heat: great for summer. A small fedora hat really is an all-seasons hat and great style investment.
- Looking for a more female fedora hat? There are plenty of designs with a wider and softer brim, providing the perfect balance between the floppy hat and the classic fedora. If you’re outdoors a lot, you’ll get extra coverage from the sun, but you still have that identifiable indented crown and ribbon.
- The classic fedora style favours neutral colours of black, grey, ivory or tan. But when looking for fedoras for girls, why not branch out and go for a bright hue or pattern to change it up. It’s a great way to break up a monochrome outfit.
- Wondering how to look good in a hat? Easy: think about your hairstyle! You don’t have to wear it up in a simple pony tail or let it all down. A boho-inspired side braid or elegant low side chignon look super chic. A fedora hat doesn’t have to be considered only as casual wear, either. You’ll also find that short pixie cuts or a head full of curls finish off great fedora hat outfits.
- Combat the difficulty of ordering online and getting the wrong size by measuring for your hat correctly:
- First, measure approximately 3/4 of an inch above your ears with a soft measuring tape (you don’t want your fedora to sit too low).
- When it comes to headwear, you want to measure to the nearest 1/8 of an inch.
- Double check the size chart for the brand you want to purchase and, if you find yourself falling between sizes, you should always size up.
What to Wear With a Fedora Hat
Wondering how to make a fedora hat work with any outfit? Here are a few tips on how to look good in a hat, from lunch dates with girlfriends to more formal events such as outdoor weddings.
For the beach:
- If you’ve ever questioned how to wear a straw fedora, to the beach you go! Pair a wide-brimmed fedora with a modern bikini, and look for a breezy cover-up to go over your swimsuit while you wander between the water and sand.
- Another option is to throw on a shorter shirt dress if you’re not a fan of sheer kaftans.
For a day out with your girls:
- A neutral-coloured fedora hat looks great with all kinds of denim: distressed, flared, skinny, mom or a pair of cut-off shorts are very complementary.
- You can go for a boyfriend style t-shirt and loose cardigan, or throwback to the 70s with a pair shorts and lacy off-the-shoulder top.
For on the way to work:
- Pair your fedora with sleek black trousers and a structural white button-down shirt and you have a solid business casual outfit.
- Try skinny trouser pants with a silky blouse and you’ll find your fedora actually adds elegance, rather than taking it away.
For an outdoor wedding:
- It’s totally possible to make a hat work during wedding season. Try a jewel-tone jumpsuit, heels and a smart clutch. You’ll look sophisticated for the celebration.
- A classic hat can look so glamorous with the right dress. A retro-style throwback in its fitted glory looks wonderfully timeless. Keeping classic styles in your wardrobe will provide longevity.
Different Types of Fedora Hats
We’ve covered how the width of the brim can change your look for a multitude of events and outfits, but there are actually several different styles of fedora. If you look at the indentations of the crown, you can break them down into about nine categories: from a Frank Sinatra fedora, to a panama fedora, to more feminine styles. This is a chance to experiment with your look.
Difference Between Trilby and Fedora Hats
Though very similar in appearance, a trilby is not a fedora. A trilby’s brim is folded up at the back and you’ll find the front slopes down slightly compared to a fedora’s brim, which doesn’t have the same asymmetrical degree. The crown of a fedora hat is also higher than that of a trilby.
Other Types of Women’s Hats
Depending on the occasion, you may find yourself looking for other millinery substitutes. Right now, the upswing of urbanwear has women favouring edgy graphic baseball caps. Borrowed from athletes’ sports caps, this style of headwear has transitioned into the skateboard and hip hop cultures permanently. Take a look at the multifaceted wardrobes of Rihanna and Rita Ora for inspiration.
Perfect for the cold weather, knit beanie hats are another style that are both practical and stylish. Though they can appear rather plain, they work well with denim and loose sweatshirts, plus Lauren Conrad waves to complete the look. Oversized knit caps also look great with winter layering.
On the other hand, if you are heading out for a formal occasion such as a wedding or the races, you may want to go for a fascinator. In technical terms, this is considered a headpiece rather than a hat. Some milliners create a mix between a hat and a fascinator – appropriately termed the “hatinator” – but in reality you’re looking at an extremely decorative headpiece that can range from simple to avant garde.
A Quick Guide to Wearing Fedora Hats for Women
- When it’s hot, we recommend breathable straw fedoras and wider brimmed hats for extra coverage.
- Step away from the neutral fedora style with a bright colour like red or mustard yellow.
- You can try multiple hairstyles underneath your fedora. A side braid or low chignon can look really lovely and will help dress up your hat if you need.
- Measure properly to make sure you get the right fit. Go 3/4 of an inch above your ear and measure to the nearest 1/8 of an inch. If you fall between sizes, make sure to size up.
- When it comes to fedora hat outfits, pair with denim and a cardigan for your casual meet-ups, tailored trousers to make your headwear work-ready, a kaftan for a breezy beach look, and a glamorous dress for those formal occasions.
- There are variety of female fedora hats to choose from, so have fun experimenting with styles.
Wearing a Fedora: Final Note
When it comes to daily dressing, a hat is often overlooked in favour of a new handbag or piece of jewellery. However, having a quality fedora hat can save you from those bad hair days or simply make your outfit more complete. Hats off to that!
Here’s more on women’s fashion styling from alexie.