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Let's Talk Fedora

Fedora is probably the most famous and most wearable hat of all. We adore this hat for its style and practicality. We all love it for the perfect shape and it suits everyone. There are so many varieties of style - wide brim, short brim, classic or modern crown design, endless colour palette and perfect minimalistic side bow trimming.

Flint Fedora, Elena Shvab Millinery, photo by Dean Ryan

It is often associated with stylish gangsters in the 20s, irresistible Humphrey Bogart in the 40s, adventurous Indiana Jones in the 80s (to name a few, right?!)

Thus, we all know Fedora primarily as a male hat that was later adopted by women together with many other men’s fashion items. Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn were true inspiration and revolutionized female fashion in the 30s by wearing a men’s suit and pairing it with a Fedora hat. It’s the most powerful and sexual statement image. And that was just the beginning of Fedora hat as female accessory and a statement item.

Choosing to wear Fedora hat we, women, share and communicate our message as independent, bold, stylish and forward thinkers. Even today, if you pay attention and look at stylist’s vision - Fedora is the only hat worn together with a men-inspired three-piece suit, white shirt and trousers. Well, that’s quite a statement for just a little accessory.

But the most amazing thing is that originally Fedora was a female hat and came into fashion as female accessory at the end of the 19th century. We should be grateful to Sarah Bernardt who starred in Victorien Sardou's play “Fedora” in 1882. Bernhardt played main character Princess Fédora Romazov. During the play, Bernhardt, well known for cross-dressing, wore a center-creased, soft brimmed hat. The hat named after the heroine came into fashion and was adopted by women's rights movement as a symbol.

Hats by Elena Shvab Millinery. Styling @onedaystyling

Later in 1924, after Edward, Prince of Wales, started wearing Fedora, it became popular among men for its stylishness, practicality replacing uncomfortable top hats. So yes, the Fedora hat is one of very few fashion items that was adopted by men from a female wardrobe and not the other way around! Now that you know its story, wear it and make your own statement!

Fedora Blue and Fedora Grey, handcrafted by Elena Shvab Millinery. Photo by Luba Ternavskaya

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