Difference Between Fedora and Trilby

Fedora vs Trilby

All over the world, hats are worn by men and women to improve upon their personality and to look attractive. There are many different styles of hats made of various materials. Most popular designs come from designer houses, though; there are also hats that are used more for their functionality than their looks. Two of the designs that are similar in looks and very popular are Fedora and Trilby. Both are made by several companies around the world, and they confuse many because of their similarities. This article attempts to highlight the differences between Fedora and Trilby.


Fedora is a type of felt hat worn commonly by men in many parts of the world. Black and grey colored Fedora hats are most popular, and the interesting fact about this style of hat is that, it originated in 1891 as a hat for the females. However, Fedora son became popular among men as it was considered stylish while at the same time being able to protect the head of the user from weather. Fedora became a trademark of the Jews at one point of time, and during the Great Depression in the thirties, it became popular among the gangsters, the mafia, and the detectives. The style was further popularized by Hollywood stars in movies during the early 20th century and even in 1950’s. Jazz musicians added to the popularity of Fedora by wearing it during their performances. The greatest of the musical stars, Michael Jackson wore Fedoras in most of his performances and during concerts and tours.


Being a felt hat and having looks almost similar to Fedora, Trilby has long been considered a rich man’s hat. Some even refer to as a crumpled Fedora. In reality, it is easy to see that Trilby is a hat with a shorter brim that is slightly turned up at the back. The origins of Trilby can be traced back to 1894 when the novel called Trilby written by George de Maurier was adapted for stage and the actors wore this hat in the play.

Trilby is made of felt crafted from rabbit hairs, but today, the material has changed to include woven woolen materials. During the 80’s an attempt was made to popularize the hats by creating designs in tweed to attract young men and women. In a way, it was like promoting Trilby as a retro fashion.


What is the difference between Fedora and Trilby?

• Fedora originated as a women’s hat in 1891 while Trilby originated in 1894 through a play called Trilby

• Fedora has a longer brim than Trilby

• The shorter brim of Trilby is turned slightly upwards at the back

• While both are felt hats, Trilby was traditionally made of rabbit hair

• Trilby has been considered as a rich man’s hat while Fedora has been popularized by movie stars and a performer as great as Michael Jackson

• Fedora is creased at the crown pitching at the front with an all round brim that is wider than the brim of Trilby