Wiki article on this topic: A fedora is a hat with a soft brim and indented crown. It is typically creased lengthwise down the crown and "pinched" near the front on both sides. Fedoras can also be creased with teardrop crowns, diamond crowns, center dents, and others, and the positioning of pinches can vary. The typical crown height is 4.5 inches.
The fedora hat's brim is usually wide, approximately 2.5 inches wide, but may be wider, can be left "raw edged" , finished with a sewn overwelt or underwelt, or bound with a trim-ribbon. "Stitched edge" means that there is one, two or more rows of stitching radiating inward toward the crown. The "Cavanagh Edge" is a welted edge with invisible stitching to hold it in place and is a very expensive treatment that can no longer be performed by modern hat factories. Fedora hats are not to be confused with small brimmed hats called trilbies.
The term fedora was in use as early as 1891. Its popularity soared, and eventually it eclipsed the similar-looking homburg.
Fedoras can be made of wool, cashmere, rabbit or beaver felt. These felts can also be blended to each other with mink or chinchilla and rarely with vicuña, guanaco, cervelt, or mohair. They can also be made of straw, cotton, waxed or oiled cotton, hemp, linen or leather.
A special variation is the rollable, foldaway or crushable fedora with a certain or open crown. Special fedoras have a ventilated crown with grommets, mesh inlets or penetrations for a better air circulation.
Fedoras can be lined or unlined and have a leather or cloth or ribbon sweatband. Small feathers are sometimes added as decoration. Fedoras can be equipped with a chinstrap, but this is rare.
The term fedora was in use as early as 1891. Its popularity soared, and eventually it eclipsed the similar-looking homburg. The word fedora comes from the title of an 1882 play by dramatist Victorien Sardou, Fédora, which was written for Sarah Bernhardt. The play was first performed in the United States in 1889. Bernhardt played Princess Fédora Romazov, the heroine of the play. During the play, Bernhardt – a noted cross-dresser – wore a center-creased, soft brimmed hat. The hat was fashionable for women, and the women's rights movement adopted it as a symbol. After Edward, Prince of Wales started wearing them in 1924, it became popular among men for its stylishness and its ability to protect the wearer's head from the wind and weather. Since the early part of the 20th century, many Haredi and other Orthodox Jews have made black fedoras normal to their daily wear.