The Evolution Of Hats From Form To Fashion

May 15, 2018 by Kornum Burnham

Stylish milliner Louise Green once said, “sporting a hat is like with a baby or a puppy; everybody ceases to coo and chat about it.”

There’s something about hats which inexplicably attracts us. It is this open invitation to re-invent ourselves and recreate our appearance with a very simple fashion accessory. People are able to conceal balding, frizzy hair or a poor dye job beneath the folds of a beautiful hat. They can use the colours of the fabric to bring their eyes out, fit their outfit or call attention to the structure of their face. Lastly, through their choice of clothing apparel fashion, they can show their personal taste.

Straw hats became popular from 1880 to 1920 as the perfect piece of apparel to keep the hot sun off the face. The stiff, brimmed straw hat was ideal for women and men who spent a whole lot of time trekking, taking road trips in uncovered cars through the countryside, picnicking and playing tennis. One variety was known as “the boater,” that was seen as the ideal addition to a striped blazer or flannel trouser outfit. Nowadays they can be worn with western apparel, dress suits and leisure wear.

Women have a variety of hat designs available to them. At first, women wore headgear to combine with men, concealing their true identity so they could have equal chances with men. But once discovered, hats have been viewed as a very lovely addition to a strong woman. Editor of Harpers Bazaar, Jeannine Larmouth, pointed out: “A hat is a shameless flatterer, calling attention to an escaping curl, a tawny braid, a sprinkling of freckles over a pert nose, directing the eye on what’s special about a face. Its curves emphasize a shining pair of eyes, a lofty forehead; its profound brim accentuates the light tint of a cheek, generates a feeling of prettiness, suggests a puzzle that awakens curiosity from the onlooker.”

Baseball caps are another hat style. They first gained popularity in 1860, when the Brooklyn Excelsiors walked onto the field donning them 11 years following the NY Knickerbockers wore the first baseball uniform. The “Brooklyn-style cap” had become exceedingly popular with baseball teams and fans from 1900. “ scala collection hats is an iconic emblem in baseball and style,” explains John DeWaal, VP of global marketing for Buffalo, New York based New Era Hats. “Folks have a affinity for baseball, and a part of that relationship is the baseball cap.