It’s no secret, we’d be nowhere without our accessories. For decades, women have accessorised, attaching a brooch here, popping on some pearls there, and buckling up a belt around their waists. But there is one accessory, perhaps, that has changed its face more than any: the hat. Emily O’Brien talks us through the most iconic headwear from the Twenties through to the Eighties.

1920s –  The era that brought us flappers, Coco, and cloche hats – the iconic headgear of the Twenties.  Beautiful bell contoured and carefully crafted in different designs throughout the era, the cloche hat is the epitome of flapper sophistication, showcasing the highly stylish masculine Eton crop.  Worn properly, these hats were pulled over the eye, making the wearer hold one’s head high and enhance one’s posture.

1930s doll hat

1930s – The Thirties take a more feminine turn from the previous decade. Curves were back and soon replaced the boyish lines of the Twenties.  Hats follow this change too with neat headwear with feminine finishes, much like the doll hat.  Fabulous high-crowned hats arising in the middle of the decade were often worn at a tilted angle, offering a flirtatious and playful quality.

1940s military style hat

1940s – Ten years on and how things have changed.  Well, sort of.  Hats become a little smaller, particularly at the rim, sitting comfortably on the crown and largely took inspiration from the military.  Delightful feathers, corsages, netting and veils adorned these hats providing a gorgeous feminine finish that oozes sophistication.

audrey hepburn 50s headscarf

1950s – As we approach the Fifties, let’s take a brief diversion from hats and address the decade’s ultimate accessory for hair: the scarf.  Headscarves were all the rage in the Fifties, a practical and stylish solution to keeping those perfectly primed curls in place.  This look is oh-so-glamorous in such an effortlessly chic way.

jackieo 60s pillbox

1960s – Back-combed beehives aside, pillbox hats are the signature styling of the Sixties.  Stylish, small and rounded, the pillbox hat sits centred on the crown for subtle sophistication.  We just love Jackie O’s pillbox styling, and adore her even more for making this hat a must-have for Sixties sirens.

1970s floppy straw hat

1970s – We’ve reached Seventies bohemia.  Maxidresses, honey blonde locks, tonnes of lipgloss and the hottest hippy accessory: the floppy straw hat.  Things have got bigger and better, and the floppy straw hat with a wonderfully wide brim is the epitome of relaxed Seventies chic.

1980s veilled pillbox hat

1980s – The Eighties, a somewhat controversial year for fashion, but hey, there are some real gems among the shoulder pads and leg warmers if you rummage hard enough – the veiled pillbox hat being one of them.  Inspired by styles from previous decades, this hat is prim and proper, placing itself perfectly on the side of the head.  Net veiling embellishments that fall over the forehead and eye set the Eighties pillbox aside from the Sixties version, making this hat hugely popular for the power dresser.

3 Responses

  1. Emma

    I just wonder if there’s even going to be a defining hat for the Nineties and Noughties? Other than maybe those floppy velvet hats from the early Nineties…