Black Fedoras Becoming Trendy


hatsThe Borsalino hat, a wide-brimmed black felt fedora commonly worn by bnei Torah  has now gotten trendy amongst hipster folks, the NY Times reports. Kids in Williamsburg are wearing them with skinny jeans and sneakers, and a hip-hop artist Theophilus London (who is decidedly not Jewish) wears it in his spring ad campaign. When the Times asked him about it, he answered:

“This one is from the Jewish store,” Mr. London said, motioning toward southern Williamsburg, where the Jews still outnumber the hipsters… “I liked the shape of it.”

Since then, it’s become a part of his urban uniform.

The Times is eager to probe the religious undertones of such sartorial choices, interviewing several academic experts about the hat’s symbolic meaning in Jewish culture. After all, the blending of religion and fashion is always ripe for overanalysis. But one interviewee takes the wind out of everyone’s sails by pointing out that everyone’s wearing these hats for an entirely different reason altogether: M

“I don’t think the yeshiva boys or the hipsters get their black hats from any kind of religious background,” said Maya Balakirsky Katz, who teaches art history at Touro College and is the author of “The Visual Culture of Chabad.” “It’s all from ‘Mad Men.’ In the ’50s, when the actual Mad Men were wearing Borsalinos, yeshiva students who were living in Manhattan said ‘Oh, this is how to acculturate.’ And that style is back in fashion again.”

We happen to think it’s more likely that folks are wearing wide-brimmed hats because, in this gross rainy weather, you want to wear the closest thing to an umbrella on your head.

{NY Mag/ Newscenter}


  1. Mad Men is a popular cable show about ad agency execs from the ’50’s.
    Fact is, yeshiva guys were wearing Borsalinos at the turn of the century, in grey and white. Look at pix of the time and you’ll agree the guys were in a sartorial world of their own: classy suits and swanky hats. I love the look. Some in the Torah world even wore white and grey hats.

  2. what is the point of this article? to help us feel good that the goyim wanna were what we were… thats pretty sad…..

  3. shouldn’t be looked at too seriously the trend might last a few years then become obsolete again. Its the same thing with below the knee skirts that are now more in fashion and other looks that are comming back to fashion.

  4. I don’t really care why hip goyim want to wear borsalinos, but I am curious why we wear them. Any explanations?

  5. Doesent this make it a goyish clothing now. We might have to change hats if it realy becomes a common thing amongst them

  6. I heard that the reason is to be mavil ourselves from goyim also remember klal yisroel didnt change their dress in mitzrayim same here.