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Trilby

Trilby

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A trilby hat is a type of fedora. The trilby is viewed as the rich man's favored hat; it is commonly called the "brown trilby" in England and is much seen at the horse races. It is described as a "crumpled" fedora. The London hat company Lock and Co. describes the trilby as having a "shorter [viz., narrower] brim which is angled down [snapped down] at the front and slightly turned up at the back" versus the fedora's "wider brim which is more level [flatter]." The trilby also has a slightly shorter crown than a typical fedora design.

The hat's name derives from the stage adaptation of George du Maurier
George du Maurier
George Louis Palmella Busson du Maurier was a French-born British cartoonist and author, known for his cartoons in Punch and also for his novel Trilby. He was the father of actor Gerald du Maurier and grandfather of the writers Angela du Maurier and Dame Daphne du Maurier...

's 1894 novel Trilby
Trilby (novel)
Trilby is a novel by George du Maurier and one of the most popular novels of its time, perhaps the second best selling novel of the Fin de siècle after Bram Stoker's Dracula. Published serially in Harper's Monthly in 1894, it was published in book form in 1895 and sold 200,000 copies in the United...

; a hat of this style was worn in the first London production of the play, and promptly came to be called "a Trilby hat".

Traditionally it is made from rabbit hair
Rabbit hair
Rabbit hair is the fur of the common rabbit. It is most commonly used in the making of fur hats and coats, and is considered quite valuable....

 felt
Felt
Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woollen fibres. While some types of felt are very soft, some are tough enough to form construction materials. Felt can be of any colour, and made into any shape or size....

, but is usually made from other materials, such as tweed
Tweed (cloth)
Tweed is a rough, unfinished woolen fabric, of a soft, open, flexible texture, resembling cheviot or homespun, but more closely woven. It is made in either plain or twill weave and may have a check or herringbone pattern...

, straw
Straw
Straw is an agricultural by-product, the dry stalks of cereal plants, after the grain and chaff have been removed. Straw makes up about half of the yield of cereal crops such as barley, oats, rice, rye and wheat. It has many uses, including fuel, livestock bedding and fodder, thatching and...

, wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

 and wool/nylon blends. The hat reached its zenith of common popularity in the 1960s; the lower head clearance in American automobiles made it impractical to wear a hat with a tall crown while driving. It faded from popularity in the 1970s when any type of men's headwear became obsolete, and men's fashion instead began focusing on highly maintained hairstyles.

The hat saw a resurgence in popularity in the early 1980s, when it was marketed to both men and women in an attempt to capitalize on a retro fashion trend. As a result, the hat has remained popular with both sexes into the 2010s; various manufacturers have found the trilby useful for advertisement as well as bold patterns. In this sense it resembles the Tyrolean hat
Tyrolean hat
The Tyrolean hat is a type of fedora hat named for the Tyrol in the Alps. It is essentially the shape known as the Trilby. Tyrolean hats are made of felt, traditionally having a corded hatband and a feather on the side as trim....

, which is itself a kind of trilby-shaped fedora.

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