Hats, well we all love them, and we have been wearing them for thousands of years to prove it, if not for safety, to keep warm, oh and certainly for a touch of status perhaps. It’s not really that long ago they became covetable designer objects in their own right. Though the word ‘millinery’ derives from the Italian town of Milan it was, ironically, the French aristocracy in the 18th century, (where ironically quite a few were about to lose their heads) who first took the humble head covering and turned it into a must-have fashion accessory, with the skillful artists at the court of Louis XV they created whimsical fantasies of lace, ribbon and straw.
By the turn of the century, the Edwardians, true masters of excess, had taken the look to extremes and used very rare osprey plumes and commanded outrageous sums of up to £100. Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII, forbade the wearing of rare osprey plumes at court, that sorted them out. Mid 1800's Swiss and Italian straws, together with imitation straws made from paper, cardboard, grass and horsehair were available to women, along with the introduction of velvet and tulle.
Of course men are just as in love with hats as we girls are and the top hat was worn to show that "I am rich" and here was me thinking it was just so they could doff their hats to the ladies!
The style of a cloth cap can be traced back to the 14th century in Britain and parts of Italy, when it was more likely to be called a "bonnet", which term was replaced, except in Scotland, by "cap" before about 1700.Well as I am a Scot it's a bonnet pronounced as bunnet.
When Irish and English immigrants came to the United States, they brought the flat cap with them. This style of cap is also referred to in some parts of the UK as a cheesecutter cap because of its wedge shape.
Well if the Edwardians created whimsical hats what on earth word could we use for today! I could just see me trying to go shopping with an ice cream cone on my head.
For me there is one guy that stands out from the crowd specially when he wore his hats (oh don't forget the poncho) in his many films, and even today I still love him yes it's Clint, an early photo of him here and he still looks good to me today. What say you?