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October 18, 2023

45 Elegant Portrait Photos of Women Wearing Hats in the Late 19th Century

Hats have played a significant role in women’s fashion for a really long period of time, but experts say that they were most popular from the 18th century to the first half of the 20th century. The size of the hat has fluctuated a lot during this time period, determining how women’s hair was cut and styled. However, hairstyles have influenced the hat choice as well.

Bonnets were the number one women’s headwear choice from the 1830s because this is when women liked big hair with many loops and knots. The Victorian bonnets had large crowns and were often trimmed with frills, feathers, artificial flowers, ribbons, lace, or some kind of fruit or vegetable. It’s interesting to mention that wide-brimmed bonnets were worn by both town and countryside women.

Local milliners were countryside women’s favorite source of information when it came to the newest bonnet designs from Boston and New York, but they also drew inspiration from ladies’ magazines. This means that the bonnet was loved and used by women of all classes.

Here below is a set of elegant photos from vintage ladies that shows what hat styles for women looked like in the late 19th century.


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