The fedora is one of the most recognizable hat styles in the world. However, this does not mean that every fedora is exactly alike. In fact, there are literally hundreds of variations on the traditional fedora hat based on color, material, crown shape, and — perhaps most importantly — brim style and size.
In today’s guide, we are going to take a closer look at various fedora brim styles to help you choose the best fedora for you!
Wide Brim Fedora Hats
As the name implies, wide brim fedora hats feature wider brims that extend farther out from the base of the crown. That said, there is still a great deal of variety among wide-brimmed fedora hats. In fact, wide brims can come in different styles, serve different functions, and even have different costs!
In general, the “standard” fedora brim reaches about 2.5 to 3 inches from the crown of the fedora. Thus, anything longer than 3 inches can generally fall within the category of wide brim fedora hats. However, large brims generally come in two different sizes: the wide brim and extra wide brim.
The wide-brimmed fedora hat will likely have a brim that extends about 4 to 5.5 inches from the crown. Alternatively, extra wide brims are generally 6 inches or longer. Either style can be stiff or malleable, with flat or upturned edges.
The most obvious benefit of a large brim is the additional protection from the sun. A standard brim will provide some coverage to the head, face, and neck, but it may not cover everything. On the other hand, a wide or extra wide brim can cover more of the upper body, including parts of the shoulders, chest, upper back, and upper arms. Thus, wide brim fedora hats are an ideal choice for people who spend a lot of time in sunny areas. However, wider brims are also more prone to getting caught in the wind, so you should always be careful with your wide-brimmed fedora if you feel a strong breeze!
When it comes to fedoras, the quality of the materials and craftsmanship will be the greatest determiners of the cost. That said, more material requires higher costs for both the manufacturer and the consumer — and wide brims require more materials. As a result, an authentic, wide-brimmed fedora hat can cost anywhere between $300-$600.
Flat Brim Fedora Hats
Flat brim fedora hats refer to any fedora hats that do not have any kind of upturned or downturned brim. Instead, the brim is completely flat. As a result, the brim is often crafted to be stiff so that it can keep its flat form, though some variations allow for softer brims as well.
Flat-brimmed fedora hats come in a wide range of styles and sizes. That said, flat brims are typically larger, as shorter brims usually feature some kind of deviation at the edges. Consequently, there is a high crossover between the straight brim and wide brim fedora hats. Flat brim fedora hats have become increasingly popular in recent years and make for an excellent fashion accessory for both men and women.
When a fedora’s brim is flat, it provides ample coverage against the sun. However, completely flat brims often sacrifice some functionality in favor of style. This is most evident when it comes to how flat-brimmed fedora hats are worn. Typically, these hats are worn higher on the head (or inclined) to avoid encroachment on the wearer’s ears.
As previously stated, flat-brimmed fedora hats typically have longer brims. Therefore, they also require more material to manufacture. This means that you can expect to pay prices between $300-$600.
Stingy Brim Fedora Hats
Stingy brim fedora hats — also known as short brim or small brim fedoras — offer a one-of-a-kind fashion statement, particularly among men. Not only are they extremely popular, but stingy brim fedoras also have some unique benefits that neither the wide nor flat brim options can offer.
Stingy brim fedoras have various styles, but two of the most common are the Watson and Trilby fedoras. The Watson hat comes in many different patterns, but the brim is almost always flat (or slightly declined) at the front and inclined at the back. Some variations include a slightly declined brim on all sides. This style is frequently accented with a feather or stylized band.
Alternatively, the Trilby offers a very stingy brim that is usually upturned all the way around. Some variations have an extended brim at the front that is slightly downturned. However, fedora “purists” often designate hats with fully upturned brims as falling within the Trilby line of luxury hats.
You might think that short brim fedoras offer little in the way of functionality, but they actually have some very useful benefits. Stingy brim hats are a great alternative in colder climates, as they can be worn lower on the head and offer greater warmth to the scalp. Additionally, the short brims make them more comfortable and convenient in windy environments.
As you might expect, stingy-brimmed fedoras are frequently a slightly less expensive alternative to fedoras that have larger surface areas. That said, the type and quality of the materials can greatly affect the price tag. In any case, you can generally expect a Trilby, Watson, or similar stingy brim fedora to cost somewhere between $200-$400.
Should The Fedora Brim Be Up Or Down?
The proper position of the fedora brim is a question that has been around for decades. Fedora fanatics still debate about the “correct” way to wear the hat. Nonetheless, the general consensus is that the “flat” style (where the brim is perpendicular to the ground) is the most common and even the best way to wear fedoras. However, the style and size of the brim are both important factors, as well as the environment in which you wear the hat.
In formal settings, the “flat” style is the best way to go, regardless of the type of brim. However, if you are wearing your hat casually, you have more freedom with the incline (or decline). For example, if you are wearing a mid-sized or stingy brim fedora during the day, it is acceptable to keep the brim angled down. However, if the decline is too strong, you could impair your own vision or hide too much of your face. Additionally, these brims can also be angled up in casual environments for greater visibility.
Alternatively, large or wide brim fedoras are not quite as versatile. It is very uncommon to see a wide brim fedora angled down. Consequently, you should either wear a wide brim fedora with the “flat” style (high on the head to avoid chafing against the ears) or the inclined style.
Finally, if you want to store or hang your fedora hat, you will also need to keep the size and style of the brim in mind. Flat or upturned brims are generally safe to place on flat surfaces or hang on hat racks without any issues. However, if some or all of the brim is downturned, you’ll want to hang it somewhere so that pressure is not put on the bottom of the hat, as this could end up causing the brim to become deformed over time.
We hope you found this guide on fedora brim styles useful! If you would like to acquire a high-quality fedora hat for your own collection, be sure to check out Bellissimo Hats today!