Classic hats: the Trilby

Allon Zloof, founder of London hat maker Tom Smarte, is your guide to choosing a timeless classic to suit your face shape and complement any ensemble – starting with the trilby

Fur felt Trilby, £295  Photo: Hanson Leatherby

Fur felt Trilby, £295 Photo: Hanson Leatherby

The word 'trilby' was coined from a theatre adaptation of George du Maurier’s 1894 novel Trilby, when a hat was worn at the first London production and referred to as the ‘Trilby hat’. It has a slightly narrower brim than a fedora, around 4cm, and is often made with a pinched or teardrop crown.The brim tends to be upturned at the back and sometimes snapped down at the front. A trilby comes in a variety of fabrics including felt, wool, cotton and straw.

Who it suits

If you’re lucky enough to have an oval face, any style of hat would suit you, especially a trilby. The medium brim would add balance to a short face.

How to wear it

A trilby can be either smart or casual – the look you’re after will determine how you wear it.The classic smart way would be the same as the fedora – placed from the front of the head to the back. For a casual look, wear it on the back of your head; placing it from back to front, showing the underside of the brim.The trilby is the perfect accessory for a jeans and t-shirt outfit, layered with a field jacket.

This is a sponsored blog post, created in collaboration with Tom Smarte. For more information on partnerships and joining our directory, please email