A fedora is a hat with a soft brim and indented crown. It is typically creased lengthwise down the crown and “pinched” near the front on both sides. Fedoras can also be creased with teardrop crowns, diamond crowns, center dents, and others, and the positioning of pinches can vary. The typical crown height is 4.5 inches (11 cm).
The brim is usually approximately 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) wide, but may be wider, can be left “raw edged” (left as cut), finished with a sewn overwelt or underwelt, or bound with a trim-ribbon. “Stitched edge” means that there is one, two or more rows of stitching radiating inward toward the crown. The “Cavanagh Edge” is a welted edge with invisible stitching to hold it in place and is a very expensive treatment that can no longer be performed by modern hat factories.
The term fedora was in use as early as 1891. Its popularity soared, and eventually it eclipsed the similar-looking homburg.
Fedoras can be made of wool, cashmere, rabbit or beaver felt. These felts can also be blended to each other with mink or chinchilla and rarely with vicuña, guanaco, cervelt, or mohair. They can also be made of straw, cotton, waxed or oiled cotton, hemp, linen or leather.
Many fedoras have a wide brim. These are not to be confused with small brimmed hats called trilbies.
A special variation is the rollable, foldaway or crushable Fedora (rollable and crushable is not the same) with a certain or open crown (open crown Fedoras can be bashed and shaped in many variations). Special fedoras have a ventilated crown with grommets, mesh inlets or penetrations for a better air circulation.
Fedoras can be lined or unlined and have a leather or cloth[ or ribbon sweatband. Small feathers are sometimes added as decoration. Fedoras can be equipped with a chinstrap, but this is rare.