W2W: Fedora Frenzy

Fedora Frenzy: Not Just For Gangsters Anymore

By Kim Mitchell of  Michelle Tiek Photography & Design

The fedora hat of the past often evokes images of Humphrey Bogart, Dick Tracy and Indiana Jones.  Today, the fedora is worn by men and women, teens, kids and Hollywood stars!  The fedora was originally made of felt with a grosgrain band.  Modern day fedoras come in many different materials, colors, and band widths making it a versatile and fun accessory! It’s stylish for all ages and we love it when our clients to wear them in portraits!

When you think of the fedora, you may be reminded of gangsters of the 1930s.  Hollywood embraced the fedora and many famous stars donned them in movies including Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain, Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, and in later films where characters such as Freddy Kruger and Indiana Jones wore the famed chapeau.  The fedora often seemed to depict a “tough guy” image or one of stature and importance.

Named after a character called Princess Fedora in a play by Victorien Sardou in Paris in 1882, the fedora quickly became a fashion trend for women here in the United States.  It wasn’t until the 1900s that the fedora became fashionable for men.  The popularity of the fedora began to diminish in the 1950’s with the rise of automobile sales since wearing a hat while driving was sometimes difficult.  When the 1970s rolled around, the fedora was simply a hat worn by “older gentleman” and no longer had relevance in the fashion world.

The fedora did have a bit of a fashion revival with Michael Jackson in the 1980’s but didn’t completely resurface until the 2000s when youths began wearing “retro” fashions.  Today, the fedora is everywhere and Hollywood has embraced it once again.  Worn by stars like Brad Pitt (and his kids), Gwen Stefani, Jessica Alba and many, many others.

For a photographer, the fedora is a fabulous accessory to use in portraits.  It immediately grabs your attention and adds confidence, swagger and sass to any client!

In the photo below, the “little black dress” is kicked up a notch when the fedora is added to the mix.  She is still sophisticated, but has a little edge in this urban setting.

In this next photo, the fabulously patterned fedora gives her a fun, casual swagger and really accents her best feature: her eyes.

Talk about “attitude”!  In these photos, the client’s personality really shows and the fedora is center stage!  Paired with a vest and tie, this outfit mixes menswear with retro for that “cool” factor.

Check out this brother and sister in darling straw fedoras with colorful bands.    We love that the band on the fedora picks up a color from the rest of the outfit, but isn’t “matchy-matchy”.  It provides just the right accent for the portrait.

Don’t forget the “tweens”.  The fedora ads some major attitude and personality to these two.  On the left, we paired her fedora with a scarf for a casual but cool look.  On the right-how great is that eyebrow?  Perfectly framed by this super sleek fedora.

As you can see, the fedora is one of the photographer’s most versatile accessories.  It brings out the client’s personality and adds style to any outfit.  In a nutshell, the fedora is fabulously fun!  Fedoras can be found at Target, Children’s Place, Gymboree and Crazy 8 in kid’s sizes.  For tweens or adults, check out the selections at Forever 21, Claire’s and Gap.


Please visit Michelle & Kim at Michelle Tiek Photography & Design

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