When you go out in men’s hats, there are many to choose from. There can be some quite odd choices and a great many familiar ones. One such hat that has long been an icon and go-to accessory for millions is the fedora. The fedora has a long history in which its popularity has risen and fallen, but all in all, it has remained a staple since 1891. Here’s a brief history of the classic fedora.
1891: Fedora, the French Play
The first popularized use of the fedora occurred in a play, for which the hat is named. The play revolves around a princess (also named Fedora) who donned the first fedora on stage. This sparked its immediate popularity among women, and it later became a symbol for the women’s suffrage movement.
1924: The British Royal Fedora
The fedora remained largely a female fashion accessory until the 1920s. The first noted male figure to wear the fedora was Prince Edward of Wales in 1924. His use of the fedora helped it become very popular among men. This grew to such an extent, that the fedora became an even larger staple of men’s fashion than it was before for women.
Before the 1950s: Prohibition Accessory
In the 1920s, Prince Edward wasn’t the only fedora hero to lend to its rise in popularity. In fact, from the 1920s to the 1950s, many favored the fedora because of more infamous icons of popular culture. In this time period, the fedora was adopted by many gangsters and prohibitionists. It was this association that helped the fedora reach the peak of its popularity.
The 2000s: Hipster Essential
The word “peak” really does an accurate job describing the fedora’s popularity in the 50s because, after that, it was primarily downhill from then on. Despite some surges in popularity in the 80s and 90s, the fedora never quite rose back to its former glory until the 2000s, when its appreciation was largely adopted in the hipster fashion movement, in which both men and women often welcome the familiar accessory.
At the end of the day, the fedora has for over a century been a staple accessory. From its roots among 19th-century suffragettes to the hipsters of the 2000s, the fedora has been an icon to a great many number of people. You can join the historic ranks of fedora-wearers the next time you go out and buy men’s hats.