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Did fedoras originate with the "upper class"?

leo

One of the Regulars
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106
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OH & DC
The sentence leads off the fedora hat section of the website for a small chain of eastern U.S. hat shops. The emphasis is theirs.

"Fedora hats were born in the late 1800's as a fashion accessory to depict the upper-class."

This does not seem to match info I've read on FL. Is there any truth to this?
 

job

One Too Many
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1,325
Location
Sanford N.C.
No it is not true. Everybody wore them. Even dirt poor farmers wore them. Stetson marketed them to every class of person.
 

BR Gordon

One Too Many
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New Mexico
The fedora, at least the hat with the name fedora, was introduced in the 1880s as a woman's hat. The name was first used in France in a play titled Fedora, with the main character being Princess Fedora.. It became popular with upper class women and only later being adopted by men.
 

job

One Too Many
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Sanford N.C.
I was thinking more western so I could be wrong on the fedoras start with the upper class. Good thread though.
 

rlk

I'll Lock Up
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6,100
Location
Evanston, IL
The fedora, at least the hat with the name fedora, was introduced in the 1880s as a woman's hat. The name was first used in France in a play titled Fedora, with the main character being Princess Fedora.. It became popular with upper class women and only later being adopted by men.

This information is a myth that has been repeated as people merely mimic the erroneous statements. Only the name part of the statement is true. Introduced in the USA as a men's hat by Knox copying the traditional European Alpine style and exploiting the first USA production of the popular play for marketing. A more casual "Bohemian" soft style of hat. Story is identical for the Trilby. Same general type as Edward VII's trendy Homburg of the period.
 
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Yeps

Call Me a Cab
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2,456
Location
Philly
We had some gigantic threads with a wealth of information in them about the origin both of the hat and the names we call it. However, I can't seem to put my cursor on them. Anyone have a link handy?
 

Detective_Noir

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174
Location
Kansas
well buying a suit was around $50-$70 dollars back in the 1920s-30s so that would be an upper class price but the fedora would cost around 5 dollars at least. but the fedora was worn by everyone in the last century, just poeple usually associate the fedora with an upper class like a detective, business man, Professor Indiana Jones. mostly from movies are what they see that only shows upper class men only wearing fedoras
 

rlk

I'll Lock Up
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6,100
Location
Evanston, IL
Not a formal hat in its early years so not associated with the Upper Class unless visiting their country estates or vacationing informally. More associated with starving European artists in early plays and books though country in origin.
 

Stanley Doble

Call Me a Cab
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Cobourg
^ Quite right, soft hats were not worn by upper class or even middle class men in town, or for business. Only for the most casual wear in the country.

In the first Indiana Jones movie he wore an English style called "the poet" from an English hatter. Definitely a Bohemian style. No gentleman would wear a soft hat, or a brown hat in town.
 

scottyrocks

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9,167
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Isle of Langerhan, NY
As much of an IJ fan as I am, I don't think it's a good idea to compare or confuse what happened in 1980 with what was common in 1936. The Poet(s) for the movie were purchased in 1980 in England to portray an earthy, warm, somewhat friendly, vulnerable character. In 1936, men did indeed wear fedoras in town. Maybe there weren't as many brown ones as other some other colors, but they did exist in that environment.
 

danofarlington

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,122
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Arlington, Virginia
Although hats were worn by every class, I have no doubt that particular styles of hat were particular to the different economic classes, and had a matching image. To test this out, imagine a 19th century rich guy wearing a poor farmer's hat, and vice versa. The incongruity shows that they had their styles. Now as to who wore which, I think the threads on this site will be useful.
 
Messages
17,336
Location
Maryland
^ Quite right, soft hats were not worn by upper class or even middle class men in town, or for business. Only for the most casual wear in the country.

In the first Indiana Jones movie he wore an English style called "the poet" from an English hatter. Definitely a Bohemian style. No gentleman would wear a soft hat, or a brown hat in town.

Eventually you see them being worn as city hats (not formal) in the later 19th Century. Today most would call a late 19th Century Fedora (name used in America) a Homburg. The Fedora and Homburg were pretty much the same hat at that time. I have never come across the term Fedora in my research of German and Austrian hat companies from that time period. The only mention of the Homburg was in an export related ad by the original maker Möckel. As far as I know the term Homburg was used in America and maybe Britian. This German gentleman (photo 1890s) is wearing what in late 19th Century America would have been called a Fedora / Alpine / Homburg style hat.

7712646246_58d7af1615_b.jpg
 
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dhermann1

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,154
Location
Da Bronx, NY, USA
Just the clumsy use of the verb "depict" in that sentence marks the writer as a semi literate knuckle head. They probably meant "denote". Anyhow, pretty thoroughly off the mark.
 

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