In the world of cinema, music and popular culture there are objects (which we now call vintage) with such an overwhelming personality that they are iconic in themselves, teleporting us to a specific decade and place. When reference is made to the Walkman or the Game Boy it is inevitable not to remember the 90s, and when we see a jukebox or a record player we remember with longing the music of the 50s or 60s.
With clothes we have the same feeling of going back to the past with certain very specific accessories that marked the way of dressing of a whole generation. If we look back we will relate the pirate trousers with the decade of the 2000s, or the bell-bottoms with the party and the rhythm of the dance halls of the 70s.
The fedora hat: distinction and elegance
In this post we analyse the curious case of the fedora hat, a symbol of distinction and elegance in the hat shops, especially among the cream of the most distinguished social circles in the United States since the 1920s and 1950s. Of Italian origin, the fedora hat is characterised by its flexibility and short brim, standing out for its comfort and glamour. As a curiosity, there was a mantra in the United States that anyone who did not combine his fedora hat with a good suit was insulting fashion and was a hick (colloquially called a hick).
The hat of gangsters and private detectives
How many times have you seen a fedora hat in a movie and not noticed it? We’re betting on a winning horse (a nod to Robert Redford and his fedora hat in “The Sting”) that you’re sure to have seen it hundreds of times. Indiana Jones, Dick Tracy, Humphrey Bogart? a multitude of iconic characters and actors whose performances will go down in the history of cinema have always been accompanied by this unmistakable hat.
But without a doubt, if there is one actor who gave lustre and glamour to this hat, it was our beloved Al Pacino. Incarnated in the skin of the great Michael Corleone, our friend Al knocked down the doors of the greats of cinema with a fabulous performance in The Godfather and The Godfather part II, being his fedora hat almost an extension of himself.
The fedora hat today
Fashions come back… and so do fedora hats. Although they never really went away, it is becoming more and more common to see actors and singers of our time wearing this distinguished accessory. The controversial underground pop singer Pete Doherty or the fabulous jazz singer Gregory Porter (with the permission of his iconic beret) still keep alive the memory of an accessory that left its mark on American film culture.