A trilby hat (or simply trilby, originally Trilby hat) is a soft
feltmen's hatwith a narrow brim, a deeply indented crown, and a pinch at the front. Traditionally it was made from rabbit hairfelt, but is now sometimes made from other materials, including tweed and wool. Trilbies are softer than Homburgs, and have a flexible brim instead of a curved one. They are similar to fedoras, which have a wider brim and are mainly an American hat. The hat's name derives from a play based on George du Maurier's 1894 novel "Trilby", and one was worn in the first Londonproduction of the stage adaptation.
It was widely worn from the late 1920s onwards, initially as a casual sporting hat, such as for wearing to horse races. By the end of
World War II, it had largely supplanted other hats such as Homburgs and bowlers for wear with a suit or smart casual, although it never replaced flat caps. It continued to be commonly worn this way until hats stopped being everyday wear for men in about the 1960s.
Ever since, the trilby has been a symbol of chic elegance and class, and has been associated with
jazz, skaand soul musicians. It has been popular among the rude boy, mod, skinheadand 2 Tonesubcultures. In the UK, trilbies have also become popular within the indie rockand emoscenes.
William Norman Ewerhad the nickname "Trilby" because he was known to wear the hat. The trilby was also often worn by Inspector Clouseau, the character portrayed by Peter Sellersin the " Pink Panther" film series. The 1950s radio program " The Goon Show" made frequent references to the hat, such as a description of the character Eccles, in which he is seen wearing a metal trilby. The trilby is widely worn amongst Orthodox Jews - especially Rabbis and yeshivastudents.
* [http://www.hathistory.org/dress/felt.html History of hats, including the trilby]
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