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Trilby Hat Basics: The What and Hows

As I have said before, I’m not a huge hat person, so I’m not often sure which hat is which. However, the Trilby hat is most definitely something I have heard quite a lot. I might have seen it frequently, too. But like the common person, I may not know exactly which of those is the Trilby.

So, if you’re like me and need or want to know what a Trilby hat is and how it looks like, here’s a brief guide for you:

What is a Trilby Hat?

MIRMARU Classic Trilby Short Brim 100% Cotton Twill Fedora Hat with Band(Black,SM)

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The wealthy man’s hat, often known as the ‘brown trilby,’ is a headgear with a thin brim. Its popularity peaked in the 1960s, but it has since waned. The rim of this cap is what distinguishes it as a trilby: it rises up at the rear with slightly slanted sides and flattens out in the front.


The trilby hat was named after a book by George du Maurier set in Paris in 1984. The play was staged in London, and the principal actress, who portrayed Trilby, donned a small, narrow brimmed hat, which gave the hat its name and helped it gain popularity.

The narrow crown enabled it much more convenient to use in low head height automobiles in the 1960s; nevertheless, it began to wane in the 1970s as new haircuts became popular. In the 1980s, as an element of the vintage fashion trends, it regained appeal for both men and women.

Its Composition

Straw Hat for Women Men - Summer Khaki Fedora Hat with Band Sun Hat for Travel

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The trilby hat is composed of a variety of materials, including rabbit fur felt, however, this is no longer the case. Straw, wool, tweed, heavyweight cotton, and wool/nylon mixes are not used in the production of this hat. Wool and nylon mixes, as well as other heavier material blends, are ideal for the winter. For the spring and summer seasons, straw, canvases, or cotton are ideal.

Hat Features

This hat’s main distinguishing characteristic is its thin and small brim. The brim of the hat measures an inch and a half, earning it the nickname “stingy brim.” This hat is used as a stylish accessory rather than for sun protection.

That’s because the rim is too small to provide enough sun protection for the face and eyes, and the hat is normally worn on the rear of one’s head in a halo style. Trilby hats have a shorter crown than fedoras, top hats, and western hats. It features a central depression with pinches on either side, similar to the fedora and safari hats.

How Should a Trilby Hat Be Worn?

Womens Fedora Hats 100% Wool Wide Brim Felt Panama Sun Hats Vintage Trilby Cap with Buckle

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When purchasing a trilby, ensure the size fits you properly; you don’t want it to seem too tiny for your body’s frame size. Men, women, and even children may all wear a trilby hat. If you wish to use a trilby hat, it’s crucial to do it well; you may go for a smart suit appearance for a gangster look.

It may be dressed up or down with a polo, bomber jacket, or straight-cut jeans and a simple tweed blazer with cords. Denim, chinos, or stylish pants will always look fantastic with this hat. In the summer, pair it with chinos as well as a polo shirt to create a stylish ensemble.

This hat looks great on women, too, especially when paired with a stylish pencil skirt, fitted blazer, and elegant shoes or sandals. For a laid-back summer or spring appearance, wear it with a flowing long dress and simple sandals. For a more casual daily style, combine it with a shirt, a beautiful blazer, and jeans.

A trilby hat is versatile, discreet, and stylish; depending on the occasion, it may be dressed up or down. The various materials might assist you in styling it for various seasons and outfits.

Some people believe that the trilby hat is still fashionable today, while others disagree. A trilby, we think, is still a fashionable, sophisticated appearance that anybody may wear today. Many celebrities, like Brad Pitt, who has combined his trilby with dark sunglasses, continue to wear it as their go-to hat.

Wearing Different Hats

A trilby could be too tiny for certain people’s features and bodies, and it’s best for slender heart-shaped, round, square, or oval faces. If the Trilby doesn’t suit you or you want a different elegant hat to match your attire, they can be a good option.

Pork Pie Hat

The Hat Depot Cotton & Cotton Herringbone Paisley Lining Premium Quality Porkpie Hat (L/XL, 1. Cotton - Navy)

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The pork pie hat is comparable to the Trilby in size, but it has a few distinguishing elements. The telescope crown, which is a flat, round-shaped crown with a circular crease, makes this hat stand out.

Women originally wore these hats in the 1930s, but jazz artists made them very fashionable in the 1940s. This hat has a narrow/’stingy brim,’ but the edges of the brim gradually curve up, offering it a refined finish, akin to the Trilby.

Fedora Hat

Jelord Women's Vintage Leopard Print Fedora Wool Hat Wide Brim Panama Trilby Wool Felt Hat with Band, Brown, US 7 1/8

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The fedora hat is quite popular, and it is often confused for a trilby hat, despite the fact that they are significantly different. The Trilby is distinguished by its distinctive thin, half-angled brim. The fedora hat features a brim that is at least 2 inches broad, which is both fashionable and functional in terms of sun protection.

This hat, like the Trilby, may be styled up or down depending on the appearance you want to achieve. You may order one with a brim that is just short of 2 inches if the brim is just too big for your taste or body frame.