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Men’s hats come in various styles and can be worn on different occasions. For instance, on a formal gala night, the classic fedora is a must-have to elevate your tux. On a casual winter dinner, on the other hand, a beanie would come in handy. 

Another category that commonly differentiates men’s dress hats is the brim size. For those who may not be familiar with the parlance of hats, the brim is the horizontal protrusion at the bottom of a hat that usually serves as protection from sunlight. It is almost always flat, but some brims have slight curvatures to add a visual appeal.

What are the different brim sizes? Read further to get to know more about them:

Wide Brim Hats – 3+”

You have probably seen these hats worn on beaches or anywhere outdoors with an abundance of sunlight. Wide brim hats are designed with brims that measure at least three inches. Their relatively large brim is useful for blocking sunlight from your face, giving maximum protection. 

Because of the main purpose of wide-brim hats, most of them are made of straw or straw-like materials. A lot of Panama hats are also considered as wide brim headwear. They are lightweight and very breathable, allowing them to be worn comfortably during very hot days. Common wide-brimmed straw hats include Gambler Straw Wide-Brim Hat and Brentwood Vented Shantung Straw Wide-Brim Gambler. 

Some fedoras are also designed with brims measuring three inches or wider. These fedoras are worn on formal occasions, though they are not that common since they can be too noticeable and overt. Donning this gives a signal that the person wearing it has a bright and striking personality. If you are looking for fedoras with wide brims, popular options would be Monarch Wide Brim Red Bottom Fedora and Estate Wool Fedora. 

Would wide brim hats fit anyone? Generally, yes, since the size of the brim can obscure any facial features or shape. The more important question is whether it is the appropriate headwear for a specific occasion. 

Large Brim Hats – 2.5 – 2.75″

Next on the list are large brim hats, which have brims spanning between 2.5 and 2.75 inches. Due to their dimensions, they can be more versatile and flexible compared to their wide-brimmed counterparts. That is why multiple headwear types fall under this classification.  

A lot of fedora manufacturers produce these hats with a large brim. Actually, Michael Jackson’s fedora, which is a usual part of his fashion ensemble, has a brim size of two and three-quarters of an inch, classifying it as a large brim hat. 

Aside from the fedoras, several caps can be considered as having large brims. The interesting part, though, is that caps are structurally different compared to fedoras. While fedora hats have brims that line the headwear’s entire circumference, caps only have some sort of a visor. This helps protect your eyes from intense sunlight, and it is also very fashionable. 

Conventional fedoras to look out for are the Stratoliner Milan Straw Fedora and the Markham Pinch Front Wool Felt Fedora. If you are more into caps, you may try the Traffic Ventair Spacecap or the Straw Patterned Legionnaire Cap. 

Medium Brim Hats – 2.25″

These are probably the most common brim size, especially because many people consider them not too wide and not too narrow. Medium Brim Hats are equipped with brims around 2.25 inches in width — a considerably “soft spot.” 

Most headwears that are designed with medium brims are fedoras. One good example is Bruno Capelo’s Francesco Straw Fedora, which comes in 12 colors and designs. The Signature Natural Milan Hemp Fedora by Steven Land is also a crowd favorite among hat connoisseurs. 

Although a less popular option, some military hats are also designed with medium brims. These brims are less stiff compared to those of fedoras, suggesting that military hats should be used more in outdoor activities rather than during formal gatherings inside establishments. 

Small Brim Hats – 2″

If Hollywood stars have a favorite brim size, it has to be the small brim. Why? Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake, among many others, are often seen flaunting their small brim hats

Perhaps it has something to do with the comfort given by the dimension of the brim. At just 2 inches, it gives more chance to display their faces while still providing the protection needed from a hat. 

As expected, fedoras comprise a large portion of this category. However, a couple of Panama hats and bucket hats are also made with this brim size. The go-to choices include Stetson’s Prof Wool Felt Fedora and Steven Land’s Angelo Wool Fedora. Meanwhile, if you want a texture that lacks wool, you may try the Broadway 100% Natural Milan Hemp Fedora by Bruno Capelo. 

Stingy Brim Hats – 1.75″ 

They may have the narrowest brim size among all types in this list, but stingy brim hats pack a punch. With a brim that is only 1.75 inches wide, these hats exude that casual and modern look. 

Fedoras do not monopolize the classification of the headwear that falls on this list. In fact, caps and trilbies are common examples of stingy brim hats. A couple of pork pie hats also have this brim size. 

The thing with stingy brim hats, sadly, is that they must be worn with caution. To put it bluntly, not everyone will look good with this headwear on. Men with larger and rounder faces should go for wider brims. Wearing a stingy brim hat would only make their facial shape more pronounced. 

Picking Your Size

As you’ve seen, you have a wide array of choices when it comes to selecting your headwear in terms of brim size. Yes, there might be rules or guidelines about which type to wear according to the circumstances or appearance. However, don’t let these rules prevent you from picking the size that you want. 

After all, how you wear a hat will greatly impact its visual appeal, regardless of its brim size or style. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is the brim of the hat?

The hat’s brim is known as the horizontal protrusion at the bottom of the hat that helps protect you from sunlight. Most brims are flat, but some of them have slight curvatures to add a visual appeal. The wider the brim size is, the greater the shade it offers for the ears, face, ears and neck. For caps, a brim is also another word for a visor, which is the front cap’s stiff protruding part that shields your eyes from direct sunlight.

What hat brim size should I wear?

For people with average to large body types, it is highly recommended to wear wide brims of 3″ and above. On the other hand, people with smaller body types should consider wearing large brim hats with 2.5″ to 2.75″.

How do I measure my hat size?

To determine your hat size, simply measure your head circumference by wrapping around a measuring tape or a string above your ears and across your eyebrows. Stick your finger under the tape or the string to make sure there’s a little room. You can always go for the next size up if you fall between measurements.

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