Since the fedora has been around for decades, most people are pretty familiar with the classic look of the fedora hat. It has been worn for well over a century by kings and working-class people alike. Nowadays, fedoras have become a staple of modern fashion and a great accessory for both men and women. However, despite the fact that fedoras have been around for more than 100 years, the vast majority of people do not know how to talk about the different parts of a fedora hat.
So, in today’s guide, we are going to examine the fedora hat anatomy to explain and define each part of the fedora. This way, if you are shopping for a fedora, you won’t get confused by the descriptions or overwhelmed by the industry-specific lingo and jargon. Instead, you will be able to understand all of the different parts of a hat with ease and choose the best fedora for you!
Much like a crown worn by a king, queen, or princess, the “crown” is the part of a hat that sits on the top of your head. Crowns come in various shapes and sizes, from the open crown to the diamond crown. In any case, the height, shape, and overall size of the crown will have a significant impact on both the visual appeal and the comfort of your fedora.
For example, a smaller crown might fit a little tight on your head, while a larger crown can be looser and more easily worn at different angles. Therefore, the size and shape of the crown can actually affect the way you wear your hat. Some crowns are smaller and specifically designed to be worn on top of the head, often in a more casual fashion. Alternatively, most fedora crowns are designed to fit snugly, so that the bottom of the crown rests comfortably on the sides of your head (usually slightly above the top of your ears).
It is also important to note just how varied crown designs can be. The fedora is most notable for the distinct shape of its crowns, which are often defined by the presence of intentional dents and creases. The “standard” fedora features two side dents that are closer to the top, front-end of the crown. These dents make it easier to pick up and put down the hat, as your fingers can fit naturally into the dents on each side of the crown.
Additionally, many crowns feature side creases, which are essentially longer versions of the standard side dents. These are mostly used for aesthetic purposes, though they can also be used to grasp the hat. Dents and creases are not limited to the sides of the crown, either. Almost all fedoras feature some kind of top dent or creases to provide the “classic” crown look. Finally, the shapes of crowns vary widely, though many are wider at the back and feature a prominent “pinch” at the front. This shape is often best noticed when looking at the hat from a top-down view, where the taper of the crown matches the shape of the top of the crown.
Needless to say, once you’ve chosen a crown shape that suits your tastes, you need to consider the type of fedora brim that you want. Like crowns, brims come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. That said, brims are a little easier to define based on their diameter, trim, and resilience.
The biggest decision you will need to make is between a stingy brim, standard brim, or wide brim. Each size has its advantages and disadvantages, but it ultimately comes down to your personal tastes and needs. For example, a stingy brim gives you greater visibility, while a wide brim gives your face and neck greater protection from the sun. In either case, you can make just about any size brim work for different occasions, from a casual walk on the beach to a red-carpet event!
Next, you should consider the binding (trim) of your brim, as some brims are upturned on all sides, while some are completely flat, and others are downturned in the front and upturned in the back. These shapes can also affect the sturdiness of your brim. Brims with upturned edges are usually stiff and not meant to be adjusted, while you can get a flat brim fedora that has a stiff or malleable brim. Again, it all comes down to your personal preference. Be sure to check out our guide on fedora brim styles to learn even more about your options.
Lastly, you will want to consider the color and overall look of the underbrim. Most underbrims match the color and style of the exterior of the brim, though this is not always the case. You can get two tone fedoras that feature contrasting colors on the underbrim for a more eye-catching effect.
Ribbon / Hat Band
The ribbon or hat band sits at the bottom of the crown, providing a visible distinction between the crown and the brim. Fedora bands can be simple and understated or decorated with feathers, buckles, studs, and dazzling colors. Generally, the ribbon helps give the fedora an extra pop of color and a greater sense of distinction.
The sweatband sits in the interior of the crown, close to wear the crown meets the brim. This ensures that your sweat does not affect the exterior material of the fedora. For example, if you have a fur felt fedora, excessive sweat could cause irreparable damage if worn without a sweatband. For the sake of comfort, most high-quality fedoras feature sweatbands made of roan leather or similarly comfortable and absorbent material.
In addition to the sweatband, every fedora needs an inner liner that helps make the hat more comfortable to wear. High-quality fedoras feature inner liner materials like satin, as it is extremely comfortable and helps keep the head from getting too hot or too cold in a wide range of climates. You can also look for inner liners with distinctive colors to further customize your fedora!
Thus far, we have mostly discussed the way your hat looks, from the shape of the crown to the size of the brim. However, all of these factors are also affected by the material of the hat. Though opinions vary based on personal preferences, the best quality fedoras are generally made using rabbit or beaver fur felt. Leather fedoras are also quite popular and distinctive, though they are a little less practical, as they should not get wet. Alternatively, fur felt can be worn in light to moderate rain with minimal risk of deformation.
If you are in the market for a lighter, more breathable fedora, you might consider a straw or fabric fedora. These materials are cheaper to acquire and are great for climates that are extremely hot and humid. However, these materials may not last as long as more durable materials like fur felt. In any case, you can learn more about some of the most common and popular materials in our fedora hat material guide!
We hope you found this guide on the different parts of a fedora both fun and useful! If you’d like to buy a high-quality fedora to add to your collection, be sure to check out some of the options available at Bellissimo Hats today!