Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Fedora

By Zo-Ee Chee

What do you think of when you see a fedora? I see the Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra, gangsters, film noir; all of which connote masculinity. Ironically, though it started as a women’s hat in the late 19th century, we mostly recognize this hat as a distinctive feature of men’s fashion from the Great Depression Era. Accompanying three-piece suits and maybe even a Tommy gun, the fedora emanated masculine charm and today evokes memories of a specific and visually recognizable period in American history. However, fashion is cyclical and it is now not unusual to see women wearing this iconic hat. Oftentimes, it is not just a stylish accessory but the statement piece of an outfit that upends stereotypical feminity. The fedora is a play on gender identity thus empowering female wearers with a tougher and more masculine edge.

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