Stylish Ways To Wear A Fedora

What would life be without fedoras — a versatile accessory that's been in vogue since days beyond recall? From Reese Witherspoon to Kim Kardashian to Miley Cyrus, swathes of Hollywood's A-list celebrities were spotted cutting a stylish figure in these iconic headgears. Fedoras have a certain je ne sais quoi that enables them to dress up the most laid-back basic items and dress down the most high-end articles of clothing. Pair a fedora with any type of outfit, and you look like you've just stepped out of a Vogue shoot. Most fedoras are made out of felt or wool, featuring wide brims and indented crowns. Like any headpiece, fedoras are varied in shapes, sizes, and embellishments. Some fedoras have center-dented crowns and wide brims, others feature diamond crowns and short brims.

Having its roots in France, the fedora debuted on the stage of the Théâtre du Vaudeville in Paris back in 1882 in a play called "Fédora." In the 1920s, fedoras worked their way into the closets of the most fashion-forward crime figures of the century — think Italian mafias and Japanese yakuzas in tailored suits. Vintage film noirs like "The Godfather" and "Casablanca" featuring dapper silhouettes in discernable Borsalino fedoras also cemented the popularity of these hats and moved them into the mainstream. Nowadays, fedoras are worn by both women and men all year round and are very much relevant in the current fashion scene. Here's your guide to rocking a fedora with anything from your wardrobe.

Pick the right size of fedora

For a fedora to look good on you, it must fit the shape of your head. A fedora that's too tight or so roomy that its sweatband lands below your eyebrows is not a good fit for you. The best way to buy a fedora is to try it in person or have it tailor-made. If you buy a fedora online, you have to know your measurements to make good use of the sizing chart. To get the size of your hat, use a straight, untwisted tape measure to measure the circumference of your head where your hat will sit, about half an inch above your eyebrows, per DelMonico Hatter.

If you are uncertain about your actual size, purchase one size up just to be on the safe side. Then, you can use a hat sizing tape or hat sizer insert to reduce the circumference of your fedora so it fits your actual head size. Also, try to find a hat that matches the shape of your face. For instance, an oblong face will get a lift with a wide-brimmed fedora, while a diamond face could use a moderate-brimmed fedora with a pinched crown, Sun Hats advises.

Add an embellishment to your fedora

Some fedoras come with decorative headbands that embellish the bottom of the crown. These headbands can either be grosgrain, ribbon, leather, or beads. If your fedora is plain from head to bottom and you don't want to be stuck in a style rut, Head Covers recommends zhuzhing up your hat and lending a personal touch to it by adding some adornments from your local craft stores, such as flowers, ribbons, beads, to name a few.

Or, you can turn your fedora into a dazzling Kentucky Derby hat by putting flowers, rhinestones, and feathers on it — the sky's the limit. To attach fake flowers to your fedora, BLDG 25 recommends using a hot glue gun and metal clamps or pins, which you can easily get from any local craft store. Trim the faux flower's stem to expose a smooth surface on the back of the flower before attaching it to the hat. If there are leaves, glue them to the back of the flower. Then, use the hot glue to attach the metal clamps or use pins to hold the decorations in place. Until you achieve the most spectacular and cohesive display on your hat, don't be scared to experiment with various embellishments and the way you arrange them.

The color of your fedora must compliment your outfit and skin tone

As your fedora sits right above your face, its color should contrast with your skin tone so as to bring harmony to it. According to Gentleman's Gazette, those with pale or lighter skin tones will benefit from darker colors such as charcoal and medium gray, dark to medium brown, and navy blue. When it comes to styling your hat with your outfit, the color of the fedora should match or be lighter than your garment, per Fashionable Hats.

For instance, if you don a white or bright-colored fedora, let it be the star of your look and wear an outfit of a darker or more muted shade, such as black, gray, beige, taupe, gray, or brown. In case your fedora is black, your outfit can be of a lighter hue. Colors that compliment black are mustard yellow, orange, fuchsia, olive green, and white. If you're building a collection of fedoras, have fun spinning the color wheel and opt for combinations that reflect the "opposites attract" principle. For instance, if your fedora is red, reach out for a green or soft blue coat. Other complementary color combos for your reference are yellow and purple, green and magenta, and gray and pink. If you're unsure, go monochromatic and color-coordinate your hat with your outfit using a single color.

Make an Indiana Jones reference

A fedora can add a sophisticated and royal touch to your look, but it can also turn you into an Indiana Jones reference with the right styling. If you'd like to project a rugged, beholden-to-none charm reminiscent of Dr. Henry Walton Jones, reach for a safari fedora and pair it with a brown leather jacket, long-sleeve t-shirt, khaki pants, or rodeo-ready jeans, a canvas web belt, and brown lumber boots or knee-high boots. In case it's too hot for a leather jacket and long-sleeve, you can still crack the Wild West cowboy look by pairing a safari fedora with a long-sleeved striped shirt adorned with a wild rag around the neck, jeans, and boots.

The reason why the Indiana Jones look requires a safari hat is that adventurers prioritize function over aesthetics. Light and comfy, safari fedoras have long brims that help to block the sun and are usually made with straw fabrics and minimum adornments, per ThreadCurve. If you prefer a more feminine look, you can still embrace your free-spiritedness by going Bohemian. Outfit-wise, embrace loose-fitting dresses or flared pants with vibrant colors and bold prints or animal patterns. To accent your ensemble, put on a floor-sweeping cardigan or a chic Boho poncho and opt for a catchy pair of gladiator sandals or beaded flats. Top off your look with a safari fedora, and you'll surely turn a few heads.

Wear a fedora with a suit or a blazer

If you lean into the classic, debonair Frank Sinatra look, pair your debora with a suit or a blazer. The key to styling a fedora with a suit or a blazer is to go for colors from the same palette in order to create a cohesive look. If your suit is an earth tone color, like brown, gray, and taupe, pair it with a fedora from a neutral color palette — something muted and flat, per Hat Realm. The same can be said for a suit that falls under the bright color palette. To add an element of flair while maintaining the cohesiveness of your look, put on another accessory, like a tie or a silk scarf, that matches the color of the fedora.

A fedora should also match the intended effect of your outfit. For instance, a classic wool or wool felt fedora would be a great accompaniment to a tailored suit, while a straw fedora or a Panama hat would better suit a more casual or warmer weather outfit — like a funky oversized blazer or a denim jacket, points out Fashionable Hats. Even if you're serving a fedora-centered outfit, your fedora shouldn't be excessively fancier or much more casual than your outfit and suit the mood of the events.