Thursday, May 1, 2014

I Adora the Fedora

Finally a fedora has entered my life.

I am very late to the fedora party. It has taken me this long to find one I like that also fits. If the whole point of (finally) wearing a hat in the sun is protection, a cute little short-brimmed fedora would not cut it. What I needed was a fedora with a nice-sized brim that would stay on my head and somehow keep me from looking foolish.

The party started about 2007

I have at least a dozen other straw hats. Most don't do a thing for me. My favorite to date has been a straw cowboy hat from Target. Does not go everywhere.

Of course there are felt fedoras and straw boaters (see above) but the hat du jour would be a straw fedora with a prominent band. And if you don't think they can be worn in a variety of jaunty angles, see above again.

The fedora itself has an interesting history. Wikipedia tells all:

The word fedora comes from the title of an 1882 play by dramatist Victorien Sardou, "Fedora", written for Sarah Bernhardt... Bernhardt played Princess Fedora, the heroine of the play. During the play, Bernhardt, a notorious cross dresser, wore a center-creased, soft brimmed hat. It was popular for its stylishness and its ability to protect the wearer's head from wind and weather. 

Sarah in Le Smoking

The straw fedora arose from the popularity of Panama straw hats that were created in many shapes, from boater to trilby. From the 1920s until the hatless 1960s men changed their hats seasonally. The proverbial mad dogs and Englishmen in the noonday sun? At least the Englishman wore a hat. Suddenly, in the early part of this century, the straw fedora got hip. There's no real scholarly answer, but this quote from an online forum seems to nail it:

It could have to do with the fact that hats are sort of anachronistic to today's young people. The older generations sort of grew up with them (to some degree), and so over time they acquired an air of novelty. It also helps that the era in which fedoras were popular has been romanticized to hell.

Mad Men and Englishmen...

So this time I'm hardly a trend-setter, but for all the right reasons will be a mad hatter this summer.

Rachel Zoe:
Celebrity mom and good mother


  1. Bought my first panama fedora last week! It took my ages to find one that say properly on my head. Who makes yours?

  2. Small world! Someone in China made mine. It's a very inexpensive version, but it looks good and sits well. And some of my favorite shoes have come from Payless.