History of Women's Hats

Published: 27th October 2009
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Women throughout the ages have been encouraged to cover their heads, for what started as religious reasons, utilitarian purposes, and also to be fashionable; this last reason is especially prevalent in the last 100 years or so.


The Olden Days


Women were prompted to always keep their heads covered with veils, hoods, kerchiefs, and wimples. If the reasons were religious, as they often were in those days, it was to show their modesty, and to protect them from the sin of vanity. Also, hair was seen as a sexual stimulant for men, so it was a way to protect themselves from inappropriate advances. This is still practiced in some religions today.


The 18th Century


During the 18th century, more and more structured hats began appearing. But even though they were structured, their function was more utilitarian and practical than fashionable. Straw hats were used by women who helped on the farm to protect them from the sun, and bonnets were worn during travel and outings to protect their hair from wind and dirt.


The 19th Century


Though in the beginning of the 19th century, bonnets were still commonplace, they were becoming more extravagant and fashionable with adornments such as flower embroidery and lace, ribbons and feathers. However, towards the end of the century very wide brimmed hats were the fashion, adorned with huge feathers, enormous flowers, and gauze veils.


The 20th Century


In the 20's the wide-brimmed fad calmed down. Since trendy women's hairstyles were extremely short in the 20's, they cut down the hats to match. Veils were still occasionally used, but they were placed upon the close-fitting and very small "helmet" hats that fitted as closely to the head as a yarmulke. In the later 20th century, especially after feminism took hold in the 70's, women began to wear whatever hats they chose. Which brings us to now.


The 21st Century


Now women can wear everything from a baseball cap to a bandana to a cowboy hat to a beanie to a ponytail hat, which is a beanie with a hole in the back for your ponytail to go through. Hats are now used by women for fashion, utility, or just plain, good old-fashioned fun.








PeekaBoos Hats is a company that sells the very trendy ponytail hat. They keep your head warm and don't mess up your hair-in fact, they showcase it! Amanda Yanik, the author of this article, is a freelance writer.








Now women can wear everything from a baseball cap to a bandana to a cowboy hat to a beanie to a ponytail hat, which is a beanie with a hole in the back for your ponytail to go through. Hats are now used by women for fashion, utility, or just plain, good old-fashioned fun.

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