Despite not being such a common sight these days, headwear in women has been part of our civilization for many years. It’s probably the only part of women’s apparel in which the vintage or retro models are more popular than new trends. For this reason, we find it important to tell you about vintage options when it comes to women’s hats and headwear.
We will cover lots of the designs that the ladies have worn over time (although not necessarily in chronological order), specifically the ones that you can still see here and there and in one way or another in today’s world.
Be sure to check out our headwear review to know more about great options available on the internet.
Beret Hats – Chef d’œuvre!
Beret hats have been around for hundreds of years but became a part of women’s fashion culture only until the early XX century.
Originally berets had flat crowns, round edges, they had a characteristic puffy style, and were made with wool. Nowadays, however, there are hundreds of variations of it and are made out of almost every type of fabric.
For these reasons, berets are very versatile hats. They can be combined with endless casual and elegant clothes. The problem is that wearing them properly can be somewhat tricky.
Most girls have long hair; this may be an issue since the hair can get in the way of the beret and prevent it from staying in place (Buns only make it worse).
It is not impossible to wear a beret with long hair, but it limits your options as it will require a stable design that stays in place even with lots of hair in the way.
Berets also require proper positioning. 3/4 up your forehead, slightly off your ears, and (maybe) a little tilted to one side is the way to go. Making sure the beret doesn’t move a lot is essential too.
The good news is that berets are still very popular even in today’s age, with designs for everyone, and vintage ones blending with modern ones really well. It is almost guaranteed you will find a beret that combines with your outfit.
Flapper headband – Simple & Elegant
Another incredibly versatile headwear is the flapper headband.
Headbands were a very common sight across formal events during the early XX century with lots of different styles, among which were wrap headbands, skullcaps, tiaras, feather headbands, etc…
All of these were characteristic accessories of that era’s flappers; for that reason, these are considered flapper headbands and are so diverse in their designs.
Among the different types of headbands, you can find lots with pearls or diamonds on the front and/or the sides. Also, very popular are the headbands with the clipped feather (usually peacock feather) to one side of the head. A combination of these two is also very common.
Some headbands tie on the back with a silk ribbon while others are just placed directly on your head, but either way, you will find that wearing a flapper headband in a modern formal event will definitely stand out and people will generally be pleasantly surprised with it.
Cloche Hats – Another great french hat!
During the same era that the flapper headbands were popular for formal events, the cloche hats were the alternative for casual ones. Cloche hats have been a symbol for vintage clothing since then.
Felt is the preferred fabric for manufacturing the cloche hats, and the design has being modernized a little with the passing of the decades (the bell shape comes in a wider variety of forms and lengths).
Its also very common nowadays to find accessories such as brooches, embroidery, ribbons, feathers, and others attached to them. The unique shape and form of the hat remains.
In the past, cloche hats were preferred by women with short hair for comfort reasons. The design made these ladies look mysterious and feminine. The cloche hat with long hair came after and it irradiates a more modern look.
Women also used ribbons tied to the hat to convey a message. Depending on the way it was tied, the ribbon represented either love for a man despite being single, or that she was married, or that she was looking for a husband.
Despite being not a common sight these days, cloche hats are viewed as very classy and can increase the appeal of lots of outfits.
Pillbox Hats – A.K.A Jackie’s Hat
The pillbox hat is very popular in the mainstream due to iconic women, such as Jackie Kennedy and (more recently) Kate Middleton, being seen constantly wearing them.
It gets its name because of its upright sides circulating a high flat crown, which resembles a pillbox. Also, lots of materials can be used for these hats, among which felt, sinamay, and straw stand out.
Since it is worn mainly by celebrities or other high-status women, the pillbox hat is mainly associated with formal and glamorous clothing, however, many types of pillbox hats are suitable for casual wearing too.
Ribbons and veils are nice complements for this type of hat.
Fedora Hats – Great for women too
The Fedora Hat is unmistakable. It has a classic soft brim and slightly high crown that is sometimes pinched either on the sides or the front.
Originally designed for men at the end of the XIX century, the Fedora hats quickly became popular among women too. Like many other accessories and clothes, the Fedora hat represented the search for equal rights for women.
They were also originally made with felt only, however as years went by, Fedora’s fabrics, colours, and even patterns diversified enormously.
Despite this, lots of fedora hats still maintain that vintage look, and it’s a nice way to add a little twist to any outfit. They are also making a comeback to today’s fashion trends so you won’t look out-of-place wearing one.
Wearing Fedoras comes with numerous perks. They are easy to wear, warm during winter times, they look good with long hair, and they are very elegant among hat choices for women but still can be worn casually.
Dresses, sweaters, coats, and rompers are some of the clothes that go well with them.
Turbans – Endless ways to wear them!
Traditionally very rooted in Asia and Africa, turbans slowly made their way into the fashion industry until they blend really well with non-traditional clothing.
Since turbans are just long cloth, they arguably the most malleable headwear a woman can have.
Some of the ways you can wrap a turban around your head are by tying knots or bulges on top, and you can decide to either cover all your hair or leave some out of it. Explaining all the different types of turban wraps is an endless task.
Here you can find a video explaining some of the most popular ones.
Remember that turbans come in every colour and with countless patterns. You can try turbans for a casual outing or a formal event. The possibilities are endless!
Cartwheel hats – Super classy even today
A widely known hat among the public due to its characteristic shape, the cartwheel hat is a symbol of class and elegance.
The saucer-shaped with no crown design catches the eyes immediately, especially if it is worn traditionally with a slight tilt.
It was widely popular in the first half of the XX century but slowly fade away later on. In modern times you can see royal family members as the main users of this hat.
The hat can be made with a wide variety of materials (mostly felt) and it is only reserved for special occasions. Wearing a cartwheel hat to your work or a night club is, without a doubt, a very bad idea. On the contrary, events such as weddings or important dinners are ideal.
The hat can even be worn on a casual summer day, keep in my you would need a matching dress (or skirt outfit) and maybe some sunglasses.
If you are not afraid of catching everyone’s attention, the cartwheel hat is a great vintage headwear!
Fascinator hats – An incredible design
Our last hat is the popular (again, widely known because of the British royal family) fascinator hat. It is a very elegant hat with an amazing design that stands out even in an elegant environment.
Fascinator hats are very different from other types of hats for two reasons; they are very tinny and you clip them to your head when you wear them.
People also are quick to identify them because of the flashy decorations they have on top. You can see all types of feathers, flowers, and exotic patterns on their top. Bright colours are usually seen too and veils are a nice (although not necessary) addition.
When looking for fascinators you will find an incredibly large catalog of hats available. Shopping for them is like being a kid in a candy store!
If you have a formal event coming up, matching your dress with the right fascinator will, without a doubt, dazzle everyone around you
Hats are remarkable in today’s world!
As I said before, vintage hats are unique because of the fashionable aura they possess even in modern times. They can be combined with the latest outfits or trends and still look amazing.
Another advantage that they have is their unusual sight. People nowadays are so used to seeing ladies without any type of headwear that even the tinniest hat stands out. Remember this the next time you go out; even a casual hat will stand out!
Finally, remember that it’s important to match the colours and style to the rest of the outfit. Do NOT wear a fancy hat when you go out with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt or any combination like that. The hat is meant to be the final touch to an already balanced outfit.
With that being said, I hope you found the information here useful. If you wish to know more about vintage and retro clothing, don’t forget to visit other posts here at Vintage Shape, and don’t forget to comment down below. We love to hear your opinions and/or suggestions!