The Tom Smarte Guide to the Trilby Hat

The Trilby

This guide to the Trilby follows on from my previous guide to the Fedora hat. Although they are both very similar in design, each style creates a quite different look which will either perfectly complement you or not, depending on your face shape. The subtle difference is in the width of the brim, that produces a quite powerful effect. 

The History of the Trilby Hat

The term trilby was coined from a theatre adaptation of George du Maurier’s 1894 novel. A hat was worn at the first London production which was referred to as the ‘Trilby hat’. It has a slightly narrower brim than a fedora, around 4 cm, and is often made with a pinched or teardrop crown. The brim tends to be upturned at the back and sometimes snapped down at the front. It can be found in a variety of fabrics including felt, wool, cotton and straw.

Who the Trilby hat suits

A trilby would be suitable if you had either a short or oval face. The medium brim would add balance to a short face and if you were lucky enough to have an oval face, any style of hat would suit you.

How to wear it

A trilby can be either smart or casual and the look you’re after will determine how you would wear it. The classic, smart way would be the same as the fedora – placed from the front of your head to the back and adjust with a very slight tilt to the side. For a casual look, you can wear it on the back of your head, so you would place it from back to front, showing the underside of the brim. The trilby is the perfect accessory for a jeans and t-shirt outfit, layered with a field jacket.