Is a hat an accessory or a necessity?
During the middle ages women started wearing hats. This was due to the church believing that a women hair must be covered in order to not distract the opposite sex and also portray her as demure. They where more like bonnets than a modern day hat, you’ll have seen them in old period dramas; but they were also practical in keeping a ladies hair from her face whilst she worked.
The women who made hats as a profession where called ‘Milliners’, originating from the city Milan, where the straw hat came into its own due to their fine straw and skill.
Earliest hats kept the sun away, making the ladies complexions remain fair. As fashions evolved as did the hats, and larger collapsable bonnets where introduced to cover a ladies high hairstyle. As the import and export of goods became easier, new fabrics where introduced such as cotton and lavish ribbons. Soon however, the hats became associated with the upper class.
Fabrics and materials developed and soon the classic bonnet was popular among women, they were easily decorated with silks and lace and could successfully demonstrate a womans position by the style of her bonnet.
When the parasol came into fashion, the practicality of hats where compromised and they became purely decorative. However, this aloud for fashions to become more adventurous and experimental so by the end of the 18th century all kinds of unusual looking hats where available, as women had taken on mens fashions too, including the Boaters and Trilby hats.
In no time the outlandish hats spiralled into huge masterpieces held aboard with large hat pins that doubled as a handy defence weapon against advancing men.
By the 20th century hats where both practical and fashionable, they needn’t shade the face if worn in winter, yet new warmer fabrics meant a winter hat could keep a lady warm swell. Soon hats became acceptable in all their many forms and the wartime saw a huge variety of shapes and sizes, practical and fashionable. Hats where used to brighten up the suppressed wartime fashions, and hat materials where one of few things not rationed during the 40s.
So hats are practical, functional, fashionable, and adaptable accessories that can be anything from a statement of station, to a secret weapon! Find ours here