Fedora from Last Best West

Fedora & Town Hats

In 1882, Victorien Sardou wrote a play called Fedora for the biggest actress of the day, Sarah Bernhardt.

When the play debuted in America, Princess Fedora wore a low-crowned, creased and pinched, small brimmed hat and a fashion trend was born.

By the 1920s and 30s the Fedora was adapted for menswear, and became a crucial part of a mans wardrobe.  It was associated with the tough guy image portrayed by the gangsters, and perpetuated in the films of the day.

We don’t think it is a stretch to say that the classic shape of the fedora crown is the most common crown style seen today. Not only is the fedora a popular hat style, but even smaller brimmed hats can be found using a crown similar to the fedora, as well as several classic cowboy hats styles like our Doc Holiday, Tristan, and the Professor.

You’ve worn the rest – now own the best!

Glenn Ford in, The Big Heat.

Glenn Ford in one of his best roles is dynamite as the crusading detective Dave Bannion, in 1953s classic film noir, The Big Heat.


The Big Heat

A film noir classic from 1953

Fritz Lang’s classic detective movie, The Big Heat, is a not only a film treasure but also a clever and engaging detective movie.

Glenn Ford stars, and look for a young Lee Marvin in one of his early roles as mob toughie, Vince Stone. Here’s some great movie dialogue as Bannion starts nosing around a suspicious murder.

Dave Bannion: You know, I’ve been meetin’ your kind every day for ten years… scared rabbits that never see anything. You wouldn’t stick out your big, fat neck for anybody, would you?

Mr. Atkins: That’s the truth, but it’s my big, fat neck. So now, if you’re through talkin’, I’ll get back to work.

Dave Bannion: I ought to… [Bannion makes a threatening move…]

Mr. Atkins: That won’t change my story. Cops get paid to take risks – I’m not. You see, I’ve got a wife and kids too.


Bogart is Philip Marlow in
The Big Sleep. (1946)

Alan Ladd

Alan Ladd is merciless thug Philip Raven, in This Gun For Hire. (1942)

Robert Mitchum

Robert Mitchum shines as Lt. Duke Halliday in The Big Steal (1949)










Here are a few other famous fedoras from “The Big” detective movies of the 40s.

Like the Bannion fedora from The Big Heat, classic fedoras have a fairly consistent style to them. The crown is generally around 5 inches at its highest, and the snap brim is somewhere between 2 1/4″ and 2 3/4 inches in width. Sometimes wider.

As you can see from the pictures, the front crown pinch can vary, as can the dip of the front of the brim. If you wish different dimensions than those of any of our standard hats, we will confirm them when we confirm your production details once your order comes in.



A classic fedora from the legendary Bogart film, Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Bogart adventure film from 1948

One of our all time favorite films, this hat is a new version of the ratty top that Bogart sports as the living-on-the-edge adventurer, Fred C. Dobbs.

Here’s a little memorable dialogue, as the gold fever eats up Dobbs.

Bob Curtin: Wouldn’t it be better, the way things are, to separate tomorrow, or even tonight?
Fred C. Dobbs: That would suit you fine, wouldn’t it?
Bob Curtin: Why me more than you?
Fred C. Dobbs: So you could fall on me from behind, sneak up and shoot me in the back.
Bob Curtin: All right, I’ll go first.
Fred C. Dobbs: And wait for me on the trail? To ambush me?!


Gene Hackman

Oscar winner, Gene Hackman, as no guff NY Detective, Popeye Dole

Pork Pie

Naturally enough this style of hat got its name from its resemblance to a pork pie.

These small brimmed hats were first seen in the mid 1800s and were a popular British town style hat.

In America they were worn by many soldiers during the American Civil War, and sailors still refer to their white caps as Pork Pies.

Nowadays this style is favored by many musicians, including jazz and blues players, and can sometimes be seen on the heads of stars like Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp. In 1971, Gene Hackman’s portrayal of Pork Pie wearing, tough guy detective, Popeye Doyle got him the best actor Oscar for The French Connection.

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