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Fedora vs. Trilby: Which Is Right for You?

man wearing a Cuban Panama Fedora

You’re told that a trilby or a fedora hat would suit your crown nicely. But when you look at the two, they look almost identical. Now, you’re thoroughly confused.

The reality is, it’s not uncommon for hat lovers to mistake trilby hats for fedora hats, as they have strikingly similar looks. To make matters even more complicated, trilby hats are sometimes inaccurately sold as fedoras. However, there are actually major differences between fedora and trilby hats, even though these two styles have many similarities.

Here’s a rundown on everything you need to know about the fedora vs. trilby hat and which style would be the right choice for you.


The Fedora

man wearing a brown fedora hatman wearing a brown fedora hat

Fedora hats, like the Brooks Panama Fedora, feature crowns that usually span 3.75 inches or 5 inches and have pronounced “pinches” in their front sections. The crown can be either a center-dent or a teardrop style. In addition, the fedora’s brim may range in size from 2.25 inches to 3.5 inches.

These hats may come with sweatbands, lining, and even decorative features, like feathers. They are also available in colors like honey, sky blue, and sage.

With a wide variety of sizes and designs, fedoras complement most face shapes. Long and round faces are complimented by fedoras with wide brims and short crowns. People with square faces might find that a fedora with a rounded crown helps balance the face and soften the angles of the jaw. Heart-shaped faces work best with fedoras with an angular design and clipped brim. And as a more neutral face shape, oval faces will look best in any fedora design.

That said, these are just guidelines. You should always wear the hat that you feel matches you and your look!


The Trilby Hat

man wearing a tan trilby hatman wearing a tan trilby hat

Trilby hats, like the Rokit Braided Trilby, feature short brims that are slightly turned up in the back and a front that can be angled either downward or upward. The brims will usually range from 1 ⅝ inch to 2 inches in size. Like a fedora, a trilby hat can be lined or unlined. It may also feature a teardrop or center-crease crown. These types of hats are available in hues such as blackberry, deep red, and light gray.

With their taller crowns and shorter brims, people with round faces will find that trilbies fit them wonderfully. That said, just like with fedoras, go with a trilby if it’s your personal style!


Fedora vs. Trilby Fabric Choice

If the quality of your hat’s material is particularly important to you, go with a fedora over a trilby.

Fedoras stand out for their high-quality construction and material. Today’s fedoras may be made from a wide variety of materials, ranging from paper straw to polypropylene, which is great at resisting moisture. Other popular materials used to fabricate fedoras include the toquilla palm, polyester, and wool felt.

On the other hand, the fabric of a trilby hat generally isn’t one of its defining characteristics. That’s because trilbies are usually more casual hats. For this reason, they tend to be created from less costly and lighter materials, like braided paper straw. However, materials like polyester and wool felt are also used to create trilby hats.


Fedora vs. Trilby Crown Choice

Another major difference between fedoras and trilbies has to do with the crown.

As we mentioned earlier, both trilbies and fedoras have crowns with pinches on the sides and center indentations. However, the crown of a trilby hat is usually pointier than that of a fedora, which is more open. So, if you prefer a hat with a more compact design, the trilby would be the best choice for you.


Fedora vs. Trilby Hat Function

Is fashion more important to you than function when it comes to a hat? If so, the trilby hat would be the best fit for you.

Hat wearers usually wear fedoras more forward, as this helps with shading their eyes. However, trilbies’ “stingy” brims don’t cover the eyes, and you wear this type of hat on the middle or back of your head. As a result, they don’t provide much protection for your face or eyes. For this reason, trilbies are usually worn for style, not because they are practical.


Fedora vs. Trilby Brim Preference

As we highlighted earlier, another key difference between the fedora and the trilby is that trilbies have shorter brims. Trilby wearers often prefer the look of a shorter brim. However, if you want your hat’s brim to be wider, the fedora may be the better option for you.

With fedoras, the brims can be rocked snapped down, or snapped up all around, in the back, or in the front. Although these brims can be curled, they are usually straight and flat. On the flip side, with trilbies, the edges of the narrower brims are usually curled up.


Fedora vs. Trilby Fashion

Finally, a core difference between a fedora and a trilby is that fedora hats are more formal than trilbies. So, if you’re looking for more of a casual cap, choose a trilby vs. a fedora for your outfit.

The benefit of fedoras is that they can easily be dressed down or dressed up gracefully. This makes them an excellent choice for either a formal or semi-formal occasion or event, like a wedding or a fancy dinner party. Simply pair a fedora with your favorite smart trousers, blazer, and fitted shirt.

Trilbies are usually wonderful to wear at semi-formal or casual events. Feel free to wear them with loafers, fitted shirts, and slim trousers.


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