Trillby fedora hat Eric Javits

Trilbly vs Fedora

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Whether you are going out for a casual night out with friends or attending a formal reception, your choice of hat can do more than just complement your outfit. In the fashion world, a hat can make your outfit. Although similar, gender-neutral, and sometimes confused for one another, the trilby and fedora hats each have their own unique characteristics, styles, and ways to wear.

Today, these hats are stylish, especially for women. It is sometimes difficult to accurately point out which hat is which, but those who are up-to-date with the latest fashion will surely want to know how to tell these two hats apart. For those who could use a little help, this simple guide explains how to identify the differences in style and purpose between a trilby and a fedora. 

What is the Difference Between a Fedora and a Trilby?

Although the trilby and fedora are quite similar, they have several differentiating factors that separate them from each other. For example, the trilby is more casual and commonly made with cotton, straw, raffia, and wool felt. They also have a brim that is permanently fixed down.

On the other hand, fedoras are worn for both casual and formal wear and are commonly made from wool and fur felt, as well as straw and raffia for the hotter months of the year. The fedora’s brim can also be snapped up or down, unlike the trilby’s fixed brim.

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Another big difference between these two hats is that a trilby is usually worn on the back of someone’s head, whereas a fedora is worn forward for shade and sun protection. Spotting these unique characteristics is key to finding out whether the hat is a trilby or fedora.

One of the biggest differences between the trilby and fedora is the reasons they are worn. The fedora can be worn for casual as well as formalwear. The trilby is worn for casual wear only. Although both are very fashionable, choosing which one to wear may depend on where you’re going and which material you choose, the season and type of weather. 

For example, the Trend Spotter explains that a trilby aims for a smart casual to semiformal look paired with slim trousers, a fitted shirt, loafers, and unique accessories. In the summer months, they suggest wearing a straw hat in a light color rather than a felt material best for the winter.

What is a Fedora?

Similar to the trilby, the fedora obtained its name from a play titled Fedora in 1882. In fact, the play’s protagonist, Princess Fedora Romazov, wore this kind of hat and started its timeless appeal. In women’s fashion, the fedora is worn pinched at the sides and front to finish the classic and notable look.

Throughout history, the fedora hat has been a staple in the fashion industry. From prohibition times with bootlegging gangsters to unique and modern women with a hipster or vintage look, the fedora brings a sense of style that can only be accomplished by the addition of a hat. It creates a unique, sophisticated and classical look, suitable for most events, while providing adequate sun protection and boasting certain features that undeniably indicate "fedora." 


Although the classic fedora is made of felt, straw fedoras have become increasingly popular in the fashion world. Straw fedoras can be more comfortable in the hot summer months while still showing class and style. The more casual straw fedoras can be ideal for events for business, networking, sports events, and even weddings.

Crown shape

Fedoras have come a long way since they first made the fashion scene. While they were once restricted to only center-crease crowns, they have since expanded to crowns including teardrop, diamond, and telescope. The ability to pinch a fedora in any way the wearer sees fit allows for a variety of stylizations from just a single hat, which makes it all the more unique and versatile. 

Brim size

A fedora will always be distinguished from a trilby based on the brim size. Generally, a true fedora will have a brim of two inches or just slightly bigger. The brim should always be able to be snapped up or down the whole way around the hat. There are women's style fedoras that follow a brim thickness of about three inches or so and come in a variety of styles and finishes to suit their fancy. Generally, the larger and softer the brim, the more feminine the appearance. 

Timeless Iconic Fashion of Fedoras

The fedora has been a fashion necessity for many years. Classic movies and even modern-day films feature fedoras being worn by actors. Even in today’s TV shows, a fedora can be pointed out. Whether it is an old-school mystery film showing a detective with a fedora or a modern crime-based television series, this hat depicts a sense of suspense and sleekness.

From the beginning of the fedora in the 1882 play, titled Fedora, to today’s popular TV shows and fashion statements in runway shows, the fedora makes for a notably sophisticated hat. You can recognize the iconic fedora in several crime-fighting movies such as Superman and X-Men, as well as other detective movies that show a uniquely mysterious but stylish vibe.

In today's fashion, iconic women including Kate Hudson and Anna Friel have worn fedoras to embrace their timeless look. 

What is a Trilby?

Trilby hats first became popular following a staged show based on Trilby, a novel written by George du Maurier in the early 20th century about bohemian Paris. The trilby hat later became a fashion trend in the early 21st century for both men and women. Although most people have heard of fedoras, not as many people have heard about the trilby.


What is neat about the trilby is that it transforms your look with a classic edge. However, you must know how to wear a trilby. Trilby hats may be worn during casual events while showing a classical homage and vibe. This hat is ideal for brunch, a day trip, or shopping. While some people tend to confuse trilbys with fedoras at first glance, there are clear differences that set them apart and determine one to be a genuine trilby. 


While fedoras have very defining materials as an immediate indicator, trilbys are not so confined. Trilbys can be made of a variety of materials including cotton, straw, wool, and leather, just to name a few. This lends a hand in being able to match a trilby with virtually any casual outfit. 

Crown Shape

This is usually where people get a trilby and a fedora confused for one another. Even though they can both be pinched at the crown for styling purposes, there is one detail that is a sure sign of a trilby hat. The point of the crown will almost always be sharper than that of a fedora. 

Brim Size

Perhaps the most defining detail of a trilby hat is the brim. Serving little to absolutely no functionality other than style, the trilby hat possesses a very short brim the whole way around. If you want a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes, you are out of luck. But if you want to make a fashion statement with a hat, the trilby is a good place to start. Remember, the wider the brim, the more soft and feminine the hat will look. Keep this in mind when trying to find that perfect trilby to match that sweet sundress you have hanging in the closet. 

Notable Trilby Appearances

Since the size of a trilby can sometimes look awkward on a person's body, it is not always the easiest to pull off. However, the hat has made notable appearances on famous actors throughout time. 

While Frank Sinatra's iconic go-to hat was the fedora, he was seen sporting a trilby every now and then. Due to his smaller stature, the trilby actually suited him quite well. The trilby was also kept well-alive on the big screen when it was part of the costume choice for John Belushi and Dan Akroyd in the Blues Brothers movies. 

Famous singer and actor Justin Timberlake has also been known to wear a trilby from time to time. Gorgeous leading ladies including Cameron Diaz, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Alba have also been seen wearing stunning looks featuring trilby hats. 

Choose the Right Hat for You

When it comes down to it, both hats are very fashionable today, but choosing which one to wear depends on your outfit and the event that you are going to. If you are going out to a casual event, both the trilby and fedora can be good options for your outfit. However, if you are going to a formal event, a fedora is your choice to look the part while remaining fashionable. As mentioned before, a trilby can be difficult to wear as the size is quite small. However, confidence and personal style will allow anyone to successfully wear a trilby in a casual setting. 

Although these hats can sometimes be indistinguishable, true fashionistas know the difference between a trilby and a fedora. With all of the options for hats available out there, it never hurts to be up-to-date with the current trends and choices. While both the trilby and fedora are fashionable looks, if you want a hat that is all around trendy on a day-to-day basis, whether casual or formal, the fedora is the way to go.

Trilby vs. Fedora 

Although the trilby and fedora look similar and have their own stylish characteristics, there are a number of ways that you can pick which hat to wear. What distinguishes the two the most is what kind of event you are going to. Is it a casual event such as a picnic or family gathering, or is it a formal event such as a wedding or bridal shower? Your answer will determine which hat will be more appropriate.

Regardless of the appropriate dress code, what is fantastic and convenient about a fedora is that it is suitable for either kind of event. You can easily pull off wearing a fedora at a casual luncheon and then wear that same hat to an upscale dinner. You can call it a 2-in-1 hat. Fedoras go well with a sophisticated suit or trousers with a dress shirt, vest, or blazer. Women look absolutely stunning and make a fashion statement with a brightly colored fedora paired up with a monochromatic outfit. Dressed up or down, a fedora can add a touch of class to almost any look you choose. 

Trilbys are a bit less versatile when it comes to suitability. While a fedora can be worn for casual or formal events, a trilby is best worn for only the casual to semi-formal moments. Match it up with a pair of smart trousers, a fitted shirt, and loafers. Keep in mind that seasons do change. When summer is abounding, a straw trilby is ideal. However, to keep seasonal fashion guidelines in mind, a felt version should be worn in the winter months. Wear hair down with soft beach waves or braids for a hipster or bohemian look or take the look to the next level and sweep your hair up under the hat for a touch of class. 

Fashion by Eric Javits New York

Eric Javits New York is dedicated to delivering accessories that are of superior quality but are also functional and fashionable. 

Designer Eric Javits dedicates his business to providing women with the absolute best designs around, featuring elegance and timeless looks. After he turned his love for art and sculpture into a love of fashion, he opened his first hat business strictly created for women in 1985 and has since continued to leave a positive impact on the fashion world.

Featured on the covers of famous and iconic fashion magazines including Vanity FairVogueHarper's Bazaar and Elle, he is well-known for his talent and originality. Gorgeous design, luxury and intelligence are the foundation of every piece that Eric creates. Notable women including those of royalty and socialites as well as stars of the film and music industries show off his creations, and he is recognized around the world. His award-winning fashion is found in the finest stores internationally and across the United States. 

Eric's collection includes a wide range of hats, as well as handbags, wallets, and wristlets. While he specializes in women's fashion, he also creates thoughtful and fashionable designs for men.

At Eric Javits New York, we understand the importance of finding the perfect accessories for every occasion. If you ever have any questions or are looking for a special hat to wear for an occasion or day-to-day living, contact us. We offer modern yet classic hats for any occasion and style and are sure to help you find the one that suits you best. Allow us to serve you and help you discover the luxury, beauty, and practicality that only designs by Eric Javits can offer. 


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