From the times of antiquity until the 1970’s hats were an integral part of a person’s wardrobe. While they originated with the utilitarian purpose of protecting the person from the elements, hats soon evolved into a fashion statement and an indicator of a person’s social status.I have always loved hats and mourn their passing from modern fashion. For my fellow hat lovers, here is a visual overview of the history of hats!
GREEK AND ROMAN HEADWEAR
HATS IN THE RENAISSANCE THRU 17TH CENTURY
THE 18TH CENTURY – Women’s hats grow to epic proportions!
THE REGENCY ERA
VICTORIAN AND EDWARDIAN HATS
HISTORICAL HAT TRIVIA
THE STRAW HAT – ~ 3200 BC – One of the first pictorial depictions of a hat appears in a Thebes tomb. A painting on the wall shows a man wearing a coolie straw hat.
THE FIRST FELT HAT – 818 AD – When St. Clement filled his sandals with carded wool to protect his feet, moisture and pressure from walking compressed the fibers into a crude yet comfortable felt that came to be used for hats. Hatters in Ireland celebrate him as the Patron Saint of Felt Hat Makers.
THE FIRST MILLINER – 1529 AD – The word milliner, meaning a maker of hats, was first recorded in reference 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 ‘Millaners’.
THE FIRST TOP HAT – 1797 – John Hetherington stirs a riot in the streets and earns himself a £500 fine for wearing a top hat whose great height and shine incited terror and panic.
THE FIRST COWBOY HAT – 1865 – John B. Stetson begins selling his “Boss of the Plains” hat, the same style he originally fashioned around a campfire while on a trip out West.
THE FIRST DERBY HAT – 1875 AD – The first annual Kentucky Derby marks the largest hat fashion event in America.
My Own Millinery Adventures!
I have recently begun making hats to go with my historical costumes, here are some of my own creations to date! (if you enjoy my historical costuming, you can follow my creations at https://www.facebook.com/Renaissance2Regency/ )