My New Amina Marie and a Short History of the Fedora

Welcome back!

I am very excited to show my new hat by Amina Marie Millinery. Having one of Amina’s hats has been a dream-come-true ever since I first saw Amina in June of 2015 at a pop-up event at the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.

A close up of my new hat along with the texture on my wrap. I designed this top in a way that I could show one of my vintage Mother of Pearl belt buckles.

This hat’s design is inspired by the traditional Fedora. Amina and I worked together to make this one just for me. It is a fur felt hat with a 1.75 inch brim and a 5 inch crown, which differs a bit from the traditional Fedora (see research toward end of this post).

Living close to Kansas City, I was able to go in for fittings to make sure it was perfect. Of course, it touts that gorgeous black and creme ribbon band that is an Amina exclusive.

Can you tell I am happy? It was such a joy to work with Amina in planning my hat. 

The height of the my hat’s crown was something I chose. I think the extra height makes the look more elegant and (clever girl) it makes me look taller! My hat could have been just a single color but what’s the fun in that? 

This is not the first time I have talked about Amina Marie Millinery on this blog. I covered her new studio opening HERE and love the photo I was able to get of her, Heidi Hermann and Whitney Manny during the benefit for Rightfully Sewn during Kansas City Fashion Week last March. HERE
 

It was hard to pick what to wear with my new hat. Black and grey is one of my favorite combos. It was important for me to pick something that I designed and made to wear for this first showing. I say “first showing”, because I’m thinking this hat will be on here a few more times. 

My wrap is a cape/poncho hybrid that I knitted in what I call the Rows of Many Colors technique. This idea is great for those left-overs in the yarn stash. I don’t know if I am alone in this problem, but when I see just one beautiful skein of yarn at an incredible price it usually comes home with me (I have gotten better mainly because I just don’t look anymore–well not too often).

I have knitted a few pieces in this technique, mainly scarfs and shawls, which can make a dramatic statement depending on the combinations of yarns. If you want to see more of what I have done, please go HERE where I have written an article just about this technique along with basic instructions. 

Boot season’s here, finally! So I break out my grey suede Rebecca Minkoffs. This is the third season for these and they get the wear. My daughter Michelle has even borrowed them. I love the detail on the heels. 

I ended up using two different bags today because I just couldn’t make up my mind. The small black Urban Oxide cross body has been with me for a dozen years. With its small size and interesting texture, it has always been my go to when I want something modern and manageable. On the other hand, the three tone B Makowsky is just a great statement-but oh is it heavy!

The Loft knitted dress/top was thrifted and that huge belt if from Blue Fly. That sums up the important pieces. Now comes the research that I did on the Fedora.

 

 

A Brief History of the Fedora

 

What I believe could have been the original Fedora as it was in the late 19th Century. This hat is from the Metropolitan Museum of Arts costume collection and was designed by French designer Mme. Mandel in 1885. I found it in their archives HERE.

In 1882, the French playwright Sardou wrote the play Fédora about the Russian princess, Fédora Romanoff. The title role went to the premier American actress of the time, Sarah Bernhardt.  

Sarah Bernhardt

 
In the play, Ms. Bernhardt sported a new hat design, a soft brimmed hat with a center crease. If the nineteenth century had a red carpet celebrity list, Sarah Bernhardt would had been at the top. Her new hat, the Fedora, soon became popular with women.

Sarah Bernhardt playing Russian princess, Fédora Romanoff in
Fédora, however not wearing what I consider a Fedora

Men followed the trend around 1924, after Prince Edward of Britain added the Fedora to his wardrobe. As the cliché says, the rest is history. 

Prince Edward VIII sporting a Fedora.

The Fedora quickly rose to the top of the ranks as far as men’s headgear and as the photos show below it was popular and still popular with women.

Classic ladies who could rock a Fedora: Marlena Dietrich, Ingrid Bergman and Katherine Hepburn

 

A modern interpretation of the Fedora by Beyoncé

What Is The Fedora?

There are many hats today that are loosely termed a Fedora. What makes a hat a Fedora and not a Trilby, Homburg, or Panama?. 

Three iconic Fedoras-Humphry Bogart, Cary Grant and Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford)

The Fedora typically has a crown of at least 4.5 inches and a brim of 2.5 inches. The crown is indented and the front is pinched. Also, the brim of a Fedora is fairly level and the wearer has a certain freedom in shaping it to their own taste.
 
Two Close Cousins of a Fedora.

Trilby

Many times a Trilby is termed a Fedora but a Trilby has a slightly shorter crown and a much narrower brim. Generally, the back of the Trilby’s brim is turned up and the front part is turned down (unlike the Fedora which is fairly level). I also think the band on a Trilby is narrower. In my opinion, this is to balance the shorter brim.

I cannot have a hat post without John Hamm-On the left he is sporting a Fedora and on the right he is showing a good example of a Trilby.

Homburg

A Homburg is a felt hat characterized by a single dent running down the center of the crown (known as a “gutter crown”), a stiff brim shaped in a “kettle curl” and a bound edge trim. Homburgs are made from stiff wool or fur felt and have a grosgrain hatband and brim trim. Some may feature a feather.

Men in Homburgs-From left to right: Rudolph Valentino, Steve Buscemi (in Boardwalk Empire) and Winston Churchill

I’m tying up this post and will have to say this has been one of my favorite ones (but I’m sure I say that a lot). Everyone knows I love my Kansas City designers and I love research and especially fashion research. This article has been fun and I hope you have enjoyed it.

So hats off to the Fedora, one of my favorite looks.

My Fedoras from left to right: my white straw summer Stetson, my Dad’s black felt Fedora with a new band that I made from some silk scraps and a grey straw Fedora by Mudd I picked up on sale at Kohls this Spring.

Just for good measure, I am ending with a diagram of the Fedora and all its parts. 



Good-by for now, take care and I will say adieu. I will see you next week and in the meantime, Happy Styling!

This week, I am linking up with Judith of Style Crone’s Hat Attack HERE, Patti’s Not Dead Yet Style’s Visible Monday HERE Cherie’s  Style Nudge’s Shoe and Tell HERE, Catherine’s Not Dressed As Lamb’s I will Wear What I like HERE, Elegantly Dressed and Stylish Turning Heads Tuesday HERE, Living On Cloud Nine’s Style Perspectives HERE, Shopping My Closet’s Style Me Wednesday HERE, The Pleated Poppy’s What I Wore HERE, High Altitude Style’s Link-Up HERE, Fashion Should Be Fun’s Fun Friday Fashion Link Up HERE, Shelbee’s Edge of the Week Link Up HERE, Over 50 Feeling 40 Hit Your Style HERE and Rachel’s (Rachel The Hat) The Passion For Fashion Link-up HERE and Nancy’s Fashion Style Friday’s Fancy Link-up HERE.



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