QUORA: What types of hats (besides baseball caps) are currently accepted as fashionable for men in the USA? P…
Answer by Enna Morgan:
Now hold up! When you put hats, USA, and fashionable in the same sentence, it is impossible for even Stevie Wonder to not say (or sing) ‘fedora!!’ So let’s not knock it off the list before we look at its virtues.
The classic and and gender friendly fedora (photo & design by e.m)
But first, let’s back up a moment. It depends on how you define the word, ”fashionable.” Is it defined as ”what looks good,” or ”what it popular?”…..Or both?
I will use the latter definition. So, the most ”fashionable” hats in the USA would be the caps, the Kangol line, the fedora, and the fashionable but not so popular, bowler.
The original Greek Fisherman hat, style made popular by Kangol, is a favourite of everyone regardless of class, colour, gender, or age. (photo & design by e.m)
To clarify their functions: caps are worn as a casual, sporty, and often practical accessory. Kangol bridges the gap between casual pragmatism, and fashion, and the fedora is the one that offers multiplicity of purpose. Also very often in dance and special occasion, the bowler comes into play.
A brushed mohair felt bowler (photo & design by e.m)
The bowler or derby was designed for royalty and gained popularity amongst the working class. It became popular with mime artists, such as Charley Chaplin and in the equestrian circle. It can often still be seen in stage plays, which depict characters from the early 1900’s. This style remained popular more in Britain than in the USA. So since your question is about the USA, I will not discuss the bowler. That returns us then to……the fedora!
The Fedora has a long standing popularity in the USA and globally, and interestingly enough, was first introduced into mainstream culture by a woman, in 1891, in the movie Princess Fedora. It was popularised in men’s fashion after Prince Edward donned it in 1924, thus making a statement. Due to its nascent popularity in this period of haute couture and attention to coifs and headwear, it became a staple for such renowned hatting companies as Stetson (USA) and Borsalino (Italy). The fedora thus became riveted in mainstream American culture.
A staple on the fashion menu of the Italian Mafioso, the fedora was first associated with the maverick image. Then later, with the likes of Frank Sinatra (who was, by the way, quite the consummate Mafioso) and Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones) making it their signature style, the fedora was always in the public’s eye.
The fedora was one of the classic fashion items that were associated simultaneously with both haute couture and grunge fashion. It was one of the only items that bridged the gap between society’s highfalutin and its hoi polloi.
Michael Jackson, Ciara, and Ne-Yo gave it a popularity booster shot into mainstream culture and it is now taking its place in the pantheon of the souvenir shops that line the streets of every bustling metropolis.
So, sorry to disappoint you, but I cannot exclude the long-standing, dapper, tried and true, ubiquitous fedora from this discussion of ”fashionable hats.” I also cannot omit it, as it is my personal favourite 🙂
I will say this though: If your reason for wanting to exclude the fedora is because you feel that you do not look good in it, think again! As a milliner of some 13 years, I have heard this statement more times than the Queen of England has had tea on a Sunday, ”I do not look good in hats.”
What this really means is that you have not been properly fitted by a milliner. There is a hat for everyone, and the fedora is, as stated, one of the most adaptable hat that has ever been created. The problem may be that the crown height or brim width needs adjusting to suit your face, style, or silhouette. I will venture to say that everyone can wear a fedora – you just need to find the right one.
So the short answer to the question: the fedora