Difference Between Trilby and Fedora (With Table)

Hats have long been a statement of fashion through the ages. With time the fashion trends have changed, and different types of hats have been worn by all classes of people. Hats have also been regarded as an indicator of status in some parts of the world. Trilby and Fedora are two types of similar-looking hats with some differences.

Trilby vs Fedora

The main difference between Trilby and Fedora is that they primarily differ in their shape. Trilby and Fedora slightly differ in their overall shape, although they look very similar. They also differ in their brim width and purpose of wearing. They are distinct from each other in several eats, as discussed further.

A trilby hat is a type of hat worn by people as a fashion accessory. A trilby hat looks like a cowboy hat but with a smaller brim and shorter length. The crowns of these hats are pointier, and the brims are narrow, usually pointing towards the sky or away from the user. They are generally worn exactly on top of the head.

A Fedora hat is a type of hat worn by people as a fashion accessory as well as for sun protection. A Fedora looks very similar to a trilby hat but has a blunt crown compared to a trilby and has a wide brim of more than two inches which are flat and do not bend as in the trilbies. They are usually worn slightly in the front.

Comparison Table Between Trilby and Fedora

Parameters of ComparisonTrilbyFedora
SizeA trilby hat is slightly bigger than a fedora hat.A fedora hat is slightly smaller than a trilby hat.
Crown ShapeThe crown of a trilby hat is pointier than a fedora.The crown of a fedora is more rounded than a trilby.
Brim SizeA trilby hat has a narrow brim.A fedora hat has a broader brim than a trilby.
How to wear?A trilby hat is meant to sit on top of the head.A fedora hat is meant to wear a little towards the front of the head.
Material UsedThe material used to make a trilby is not characteristic.Material used to make fedoras traditionally were fur felt or wool felt.

What is Trilby?

The history of trilby hats can be traced back to 1894 when the hat made its first official appearance in a stage adaptation of a novel. The novel was George du Maurier’s Trilby. The lead character in the play wore such a hat and hence inspired by the name of the novel. The hats were named trilby hats.

These hats have the same shape as a peculiar cowboy hat but with a smaller crown and narrow brim. The crown of a trilby hat is sharp and pointy. Traditionally there is not meant to be any crease on the hat or any indents. It sports a narrow brim of fewer than 2 inches.

The brim is narrow and slightly bent upwards rather than sitting flat like a fedora. Due to such a narrow beam, sun protection is scarce in this hat, and hence the hat is used mainly as a fashion accessory. It is worn directly on top of the head with no bias and thus does not assist much in blocking the rays of the sun.

Traditionally hats were meant for men, but trilby hats today are even sported by women. Some famous personalities wearing a trilby hat are Madonna the singer, Justin Timberlake the singer, Victoria Beckham, the model and entrepreneur and so on. Trilbies are one of the famous hats and are largely sold in the US.

What is Fedora?

The history of fedora hats can be traced back to 1882, when the hat made its first appearance in the play with the title of Victorien Sardou’s Fedora, written by Sarah Bernhardt. The lead character in the play wore such a hat, and hence inspired by the name of the play, this style of hat was called the fedora hat.

These hats have a similar shape to a trilby hat but have some minor distinctive differences. The crown of a fedora hat is indented in the centre traditionally, but today the indent can be found anywhere. The edges are pinched and hence gives the hat a different appearance than the trilby hats, which are rounded.

The brim on a fedora hat is at least 2 inches or wider, giving proper sun protection. Thus a fedora hat is more widely used both as a fashion statement as well as its original purpose of sun protection. The hat, also to aid in sun protection, is worn slightly tilted towards the front of the head.

Some famous personalities sporting this type of hat are the very famous classic look of Frank Sinatra, Humpty Bogart, Harrison Ford etc. The wider brimmed hats are more popular among women.

Main Differences Between Trilby and Fedora

  1. A trilby hat is bigger than a fedora hat.
  2. A trilby hat has a pointed crown without any indent, whereas a fedora hat has an indent near the centre.
  3. A trilby hat is more popular among men, whereas a Fedora hat is more popular among females.
  4. A trilby hat has a narrow brim and hence provides less sun protection, whereas a fedora hat has a broader brim and hence provides better sun protection.
  5. A trilby hat is a newer hat style compared to a fedora hat.
  6. A trilby hat traditionally is made of any available material, but a fedora hat was traditionally made of wool felt, or fur felt materials.


Hats were invented to provide physical sun protection for men and women at earlier ages. Both trilby and fedora are similar types of hats with the minute difference that can change the look altogether. Trilbies are more formal looking, whereas fedoras have a casual look.

These hats can easily be confused, and a close look on the brim and crown must be taken to distinguish between the two. Today different materials are used to make these hats like felt, jeans, cotton, silk, and so on. These hats, however, are very versatile and can be worn with different types of clothes to make a fashion statement.


  1. http://ozbud.net/asrfqkuwdr/isq-hat-10037-cnmanufactures-32749611.html
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2133.1992.tb14816.x

About the Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at Ask Any Difference is a team of experts in the field of "Difference Between" topics and led by Sandeep Bhandari, Piyush Yadav and Chara Yadav. Trusted by over 1.5 million readers worldwide
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