I know I seem to be posting a lot of fedoras right now, but this is dictated by what I find. I’ll try to post more varied stuff!
So much of vintage menswear dating is guesswork. Unlike for women – where a garment can often be pinned down to a season of a specific year – fashions for men in general change so slowly that we’re reduced to trimmings and linings most of the time in trying to date the stuff, and even then it’s really just guessing.
Fedoras/trilbys are the most difficult menswear items to date accurately, in my opinion. Styles changed from season to season, but the range of styles is miniscule, dictated by flattering proportions of brim and crown. Fashionable styles therefore were recycled identically within maybe only a year. With American hats that often had named styles, it’s often possible to pin down earliest possible dates. But British hats tend to have generic labels. If the hatter had a Royal Warrant it can be possible to pin down earliest and latest dates. But this is rare, and the potential time periods tend to be long (Edward VIII being the exception).
This hat is an anomaly. It’s a very beautiful, lightweight trilby made by Glyn and Co. of Old Bond Street and sold by the famous Berteil of Paris. At first glance the low crown and narrow brim would suggest a 1960s date, as it did to me. On closer inspection, the postcode “W” is a clue to an earlier date (this has been W1 for a very long time). And under the sweatband is a date label! The best dating clue possible. This hat was made in 1939. Maybe a sporting hat, given its proportions, or just the stylish hat for the 1939 Summer season?