Five minute history of hats

Hats have been around for a very long time. It’s impossible to say when the first animal skin was pulled over the head as protection against the elements and although this was not a hat in a true sense, it was realised that covering your head could sometimes be an advantage.

HISTORY OF HATS

It was in the 17th Century that women’s headgear begin to emerge in it’s own right and not be influenced by men’s fashions. The word ‘milliner’, a maker of women’s hats was first recorded in 1529 when the term referred to the products for which Milan and the northern Italian regions were well known i.e ribbons, gloves and straws. The haberdashers who imported these highly popular straws were called ‘Milaners’ from which the word was eventually derived.

Bonnet

Bonnet

During the first half of the 19th Century the bonnet dominated women’s fashion, becoming very large with ribbons, flowers and feathers. By the end of the end of the century many other styles were coming into fashion including wide brims with flat crowns, the flower pot and toque.

 

 

Cloche

Cloche

In the early 1900’s most hats were enormous but as fashion changed in the 1920’s so did the hairstyles and the introduction of short hair made the close fitting Cloche hat an ideal choice.

 

 

 

Make do and Mend

Make do and Mend

During the 1930’s and 40’s the tendency was for hats to have higher crowns with small brims then Wartime fell women had to be resourceful with fabrics and adopt the ‘Make do and Mend’ attitude.

 

 

 

Vidal Sassoon

Vidal Sassoon

By the 1950’s the arrival of ready-to-wear clothes was robbing the milliners of their crucial part in the fashion world and in the 60’s the arrival of the beehive and five point hairstyles almost killed millinery completely!

It probably took a good 30 years for hats to become fashionable again. Thankfully the last two decades has been an innovative and diverse period for millinery allowing us ‘Mad Hatters’ to be experimental!

 

And that brings my quick history of hats to a close.

Till next time.

Lots of love

Pea x

 

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