What is a Trilby Hat?

Wearing a hat is a stylish way to finish off an outfit. Not all hats are created equal. Others are classy, while others are casual and athletic. And you can’t go wrong with a traditional trilby hat for a stylish and sleek look. Wearing one will surely add a classic touch and a dapper edge to your look. But seriously, what is a trilby hat?

The trilby hat shape resembles that of its cousin, the Fedora. It is distinguished by a short brim of 5 cm or less against more than 6 cm for the Fedora. The front has a pinched and lowered brim that extends upwards into the back. Finally, its crown is slightly hollowed, giving it the shape of a teardrop.

But wait, there’s more to the trilby hat than meets the eyes. Let’s talk more about this very stylish hat – where it came from and how to wear it.

What is a Trilby Hat

As we already mentioned, a trilby is a type of hat with a short brim angled down at the front and slightly turned up at the back. This hat style is commonly mispronounced as tribly or triby. Well, tril-bee is the correct pronunciation (just in case you are going to, but one and you don’t know how to pronounce it). With its discreet design, stylish style, modern shape, and compact size, this is an excellent choice for people who aren’t used to wearing hats.

Trilby hats were named after the 1894 famous novel Trilby by French-British writer George du Maurier, a group of fictional artists living in Paris. When it was staged in London as a play, the lead actress playing Trilby donned a short-brimmed hat with a sharp rear brim.

But it was not instantly recognizable but was worn as a rich man’s hat in the early twentieth century, and then mainly in Britain. The trilby hat didn’t reemerge until the 1970s, when it became popular as part of the retro movement. Still, it quickly faded away, along with the famous headgear of men’s, such as the fedora hats and hats in particular. The Trilby resurfaced in widespread use in the very early twenty-first century.

Even though trilbies were customarily made of rabbit felt, they are now frequently decorated with tweed, wool, or straw. And to be able to differentiate it from other hats, you should be aware of its parts which we listed below.


The short brim is the most distinguishing feature of trilby hats. A short-brim hat has an inch, and a half or less of the brim called a “stingy brim” hat. A trilby provides almost no sun protection because the brim does not cover the eyes. Furthermore, trilbies are typically worn halo-style at the back of the head, indicating that it is more of a head accessory than a completely efficient piece of fashion.


Trilby crowns are usually short; it doesn’t have a tall crown-like on a western hat or top hat. Like a fedora or safari hat, Trilby hats have a center indentation with pinches on either side.


This tiny-brimmed topper comes in various materials, including straw trilby, wool trilby, and other felt Trilby. Heavier fabrics, such as wool blends, are better suited for cold weather. In contrast, straw, cotton, or canvas are better suited for springtime and summer, too.

How to Wear a Trilby

It’s not easy to wear a hat. You stand out more than a man in polka-dot suspenders or a robe in a public place. The hat, more than any other piece of clothing, dramatically alters a man’s image. That is why it is so important to have a basic understanding of how to wear a hat. In this case, a trilby hat.

To wear a trilby, try incorporating the hat’s youthful vibe by styling it with contemporary styles and designs. You can opt to match the hat with slim trousers, a fitted shirt, and loafers. You can also add some unique accessories to achieve a smart casual or semi-formal look.

If you’re going to wear your Trilby in the summer, we suggest you go for a straw style in a light cream, white, or beige color. On the other hand, If you plan to wear a trilby in the winter, you should go with a felt design.

The Best Trilby Hat for Men

You might not notice it, but there are many great trilby hats for men in the market. And to help you choose your first or maybe your next trilby hat, we’ve listed 4 of the best for you.

Bailey of Hollywood Tino Wool Felt Trilby Hat

Bailey of Hollywood created a one-of-a-kind Trilby using its renowned Litefelt process. The groundbreaking system employs a premium felt hat made of natural unstiffened wool to retain shape and make the hat water repellent. Which then is one of the most appealing aspects of this Trilby option. It is firm and nearly unbreakable. Without a doubt, Bailey has created one of the best Trilby hats for men.

Lipodo Smooth Trilby Leather Hat

This all-leather Trilby hat from Lipodo will surely win you over. It has the ideal materials and design to take your style to the next level. The smooth and sturdy pigskin leather has a rustic yet classically stylish look. And to give you a classy finish, the leather trim blends smoothly with the whole hat.

We’re pretty sure Lipodo leather Trilby will quickly become your favorite hat in your wardrobe. Just take note that this hat runs big, so we suggest purchasing a smaller size.

Borsalino Finissimo Fur Felt Trilby

Borsalino’s narrow brimmed Trilby hat is made from unusual materials. It is made of the highest quality hare fur felt to keep your head warm in the winter. It has the conventional crown dent and a grosgrain ribbon trim that ends with a bow around the hat. This charming felt Trilby is accented with golden brand lettering for a different style.

Belfry Straw Trilby Hat

This hat from Belfry is Cuban-inspired straw Trilby hat with functionality and a classic silhouette. The Toyo straw’s neutral color and multi-tonal weave make it a stylish option for the summer months. Depending on your mood, the short brim can be styled up or down. And, hey, you’re in luck if you’re a guy with a big head because hats in the Belfry have sizes ranging from small to XXL.

The Bottom Line

Trilby hats are available in various vintage styles, conventional materials and modern designs, and many production alternatives. A Trilby is not worn in the same way that a typical hat is, making it a one-of-a-kind headpiece that attracts attention to you as you wear it. And it is safe to say that whatever your fashion sense might be, there is a Trilby just for you.

READ ALSO: What is a Fedora Hat and How to Wear It?

Jonathan B. Delfs

I love to write about men's lifestyle and fashion. Unique tips and inspiration for daily outfits and other occasions are what we like to give you at MensVenture.com. Do you have any notes or feedback, please write to me directly: [email protected]

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