Monday, 29 October 2012

Vintage Hair Accessories

On my travels around vintage fairs, I'm often lucky enough to come across a gorgeous vintage hat and accessory stall at each one. Historically hats have been used to represent social status within a community, as  well as a means for protection and simply a fashion statement. From the 16th century on wards, hats became increasingly worn by women and overtime became more flamboyant and extravagant; the term 'milliner' derived from the city Milan, where the best hatmakers in the world were situated. By the 19th century the bonnet dominated women's hat fashion, becoming larger and greater decorated throughout the century and giving rise to alternative styles of hat. During this time both men and women would strive never to been seen in public not wearing a hat as it was used as an indicator of class and wealth; many believed not wearing a hat or shoes indicated a persons poverty.

An example of a Victorian ladies hat

By the 1920s with women feeling more liberated after the World War and gaining the right to vote, many cut their hair short and the style of hat became much smaller and more closely fitted to head, mimicking a helmet. By the 1950s after the Second World War, hats became less practical for the modern day lady who was often now a working woman and fashion was not as much an extravagance as it had been in previous eras. During the 1960s the hat was almost all but wiped out in women's fashion with big hair and wigs becoming the dominant style, with the 1970s reverting back to a natural look the hat didn't really fit into this look. In the 1980s and 2000s there has been a revival in the wearing of hats, but nowhere near as dominant an item of clothing as it was seen historically. 

A typical hat from the 1920s

I still think it is lovely to dress an outfit up with a hat once in a while, and especially at special events such as weddings or watching the horses! My personal favourite style of hat is the pillbox, which I feel compliments most and can be personalised in a variety of ways, other than that I love the over the top Victorian ladies hats. Below are some great milliners, some who I have been lucky enough to meet at various vintage fairs.

Zara Carpenter - Chatham Girl

Dawn Wilson @ Vintage Hart

Fairheads Headwear

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