A Vintage Hat for the Holidays


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images-62 images-64 A disgraceful act to venture out of the house without a hat or even gloves. One record tells of a young lady venturing out to post a letter without her hat and gloves and being severely reprimanded for not being appropriately dressed. The post box was situated a few yards from her front garden gate. TMJS 24 Vintage Hat



Etiquette and formality have played their part in hat wearing.  At the turn of the 20th century in 1900, both men and women changed their hats dependant on their activity, but for many ladies of some social standing it would be several times a day.

   For hats, bearing in mind that hair was often pinned up, the popular style of hat wear were bonnets and fascinators, something you could pin on to your victory roll. Berets were also popular during the war.

    The snood – made popular by Vivien Leigh, would also create a nice 1940s war look effect to finish off your hairstyle. Just wearing a simple black beret with rolled hair can really give you that 1940s look.

 

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Plumassiers

Running parallel to these hat making arts were feather workshops or more correctly workshops called plumassiers where feathers were dyed and made into arrangements from boas to aigrettes to tufts and sprays for both the worlds of fashion and interiors.  Plumes have always been a status symbol and sign of economic stability.

Fortunes were paid by rich individuals for exotic feathered hats.  Gorgeous feathered hats could command as much as £100 in the early Edwardian era.  The Edwardians were masters in the art of excess and the flamboyant hats of the era are a clear example of this.

At one point whole stuffed birds were used to decorate hats, but as the new more enlightened century emerged, protests were voiced.  In America the Audubon society expressed concern and in England the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) campaigned for ecological understanding.

Eventually plumage pleas were heard and Queen Alexandra forbad the wearing of rare osprey feathers at court so that the osprey bird was not plundered for feathers.  For a few years magazines quietly ignored making reference to feathers on hats as women continued to wear them.  But soon the use of other rare bird feathers was banned and thereafter only farmed feathers could be used and only from specific birds.


For A Gentleman

Fun Hat 1940’s

A fashion report in Los Angeles Times from 1895 called the use of mendiant the “newest trimming” for hats, and noted that hats were “tipped far over the eyes”. The Chicago Tribune reported on fruit ribbons, along with feathers, flowers, and frills, as trim for Easter hats. A report on artificial fruit used on hats was in a 1918 edition of the New York Times. Fruit and vegetable trim on “gay hats” featured in the first millinery show of the season at New York’s Saks Fifth Avenue in 1941, and overshadowed flowers. Mendicant is a traditional French confection usually prepared during the Christmas season, and composed of a chocolate disk studded with nuts and dried fruits representing the four mendicant or monastic orders of the Dominicans, Augustinians, Franciscans and Carmelites, where the color of the nuts and dried fruits is used refer to the color of monastic robes. Tradition dictates that raisins are used for the Dominicans, hazelnut for the Augustins, dried fig for Franciscans and almond for Carmelite. Lil Picard, a millinery designer for the custom-made department of Bloomingdale’s, sought inspiration from nature for her hats and while on vacation “listening to the birds, gazing through the lacy outlines of foliage and watching the ripening fruits, she dreamed of trimmings.”