Interesting facts from the history of the hat (Vintage Time Machine)

The history of the existence of hats dates back more than one millennium. Hats were initially used to cover and protect the head from the weather and disaster, but they also had a special meaning. Hats symbolized the status and social power of the owner. It was even believed that hats were endowed with magical properties. But the most interesting period in the history of the origin of the hat began in medieval Europe. Then prototypes of models appeared that still exist today.
The origin of the wide-brimmed hat and the role of France
The hat has long served as a kind of “Business Card”. It showed which class the hat owner belonged to. Therefore, straw models protected from the sun and meant that the owner was a farmer / peasant or a poor person from an urban area. Rich and noble people did not give up a luxurious, intricately decorated hat made of wool and silk. Moreover, female models were initially much more modest and simple. Men’s hat models were of better quality because they were lined with fabric on the inside.
France played a huge role in the history of hats at royal courts during the 16th and 17th centuries. Back then, luxury and glamor were a cult, and even the term “Versailles dictation” appeared. Fashion, adopted at the royal court of Louis XIV, spread rapidly throughout Europe. The history of wide-brimmed hats / rims developed according to their own script. Luxurious wide perimeter models made of lace and satin were decorated with wreaths of flowers, spacious feathers, colors and even themed compositions. The wreath of such a hat could be crowned with a miniature model of a sailboat, a “fruit basket” or a composition that mimics a flock of exotic birds. The peculiar imagination in making hats of the designers of that time did not charge much. Hats would cost only a vase with fresh flowers – the most modern option at the French royal court. The course of fashion was determined by the French kings. They were approving of fashion jewelry for making hats and hat models. Large brooches of emeralds, diamonds or rubies, changed depending on the mood of the kings.But at the beginning of the XVIII. century, fashion has made a completely unexpected turn. The ladies began to wear very high wigs, for which they even shaved their heads. The couples are luxuriously decorated with flowers, feathers and jewels. And hats went into the shadows for a while and were forgotten.French Queen Marie-Antoinette contributed to the history of fashion at the turn of the century. The wig has become an object from the past. Intricate hairstyles on your own hair required new styles of headgear. Fashion hats of that period could reach a meter in diameter. Ribbons, feathers and lace were used to decorate hats. Fashion historians warn that one of the most interesting facts in the history of hats refers to this period – now it should be called installation. Henry XVIII created a “living” decoration. A special mechanism was sewn into the hat models so that butterflies or birds decorated the hats of that time.

History of hats in Russia
The arrival of the new century has changed many things. The era of Rococo elegance is gone. At the same time, completely new styles became fashionable. French fashion has expanded its boundaries. The beginning of the 19th century and the 20th century are considered to be the beginning of the history of hats in Russia. European fashion including women’s hats is trying to penetrate the state of Emperor Peter the Great in the early 20th century. Men, especially in military uniform, adapt perfectly to the new fashion of wearing hats. Female hat models appeared almost two centuries later.
The history of women’s hats in Russia dates back only three hundred years. This is explained by the difference in cultures and mentalities. Russian women, like Europeans, do not leave their homes with their heads uncovered. But even the nobles paid homage to the traditional national lavish headgear, which any French queen could envy. By class definition, these models of hats could only be worn by noble ladies. The fleur of the aristocracy and the sophistication of these models have been preserved to this day.
Queen of England hats and “cloche” style

The history of the women’s hat was quite adventurous. The most modern models that do not lose their importance today – are the so-called “Royal Ascot” – the most famous hats in the world of racing, which are attended by ladies with the most demanding hats on their heads. This race lasts 5 days. Every day out of a total of five days of the event – the ladies come in a new hat. This event may be an opportunity for fashion designers to get new ideas for their creations. The Queen of Britain or the British Queen gives Elizabeth II a conservative note to hats – she never appears without a hat or cap on her head. The Queen of England by the way has a personal museum of these hats. The Queen of England is an undisputed trendsetter in this fashion trend. Despite the fact that she is almost a hundred years old, so few people can wear hats so elegantly and naturally.At the beginning of the last century became popular black hats in the form of long cups so-called cylinder hats.Today these types of hats do not give up easily their positions in the fashion world. The voluminous and delicate crown of the hat and the very narrow brim give it a flawless chocolate style that is needed today.

History of the cylinder-shaped hat
Hats-cylinders entered the history of women’s fashion through the popular Marlene Dietrich during the 30s of the last century. These models were exclusively male before the appearance of Marlene Dietrich. Very high crown and narrow brim – such a model has always been analogous.Marlene taught the most amazing women in the world to wear pants and wear black oblong hats (top hats). The style is certainly complex – it requires an ideal body figure but also special character traits of the person who uses this type of hat. It was Marlene who introduced the concept of “elegance” in modern trends. The cylinder was initially a male model. He talked about the status of its owner. It appeared in England in the mid-19th century as a hallmark of rich and successful men.
As time went on, various hairstyles appeared that revealed the head more. Wearing a hat was more of an additional accessory than a mandatory accessory that has been present in past centuries. The emergence of other more practical models has contributed to more complicated creations remaining for people whose job is exclusively fashion. Hats are a must-have today for royal families and their female members. Hats are mandatory at ceremonies. In fact, such models are called “fascinators”. Today we can see many extravagant creations worn at certain fashion events. They have more of a function of presenting the creativity of a fashion designer than a reflection of fashion and current events.

The World of Hat Museum Riga-The only museum of traditional headware in the world. It contains exhibits from all over the world, including hats, bonnets, headbands, each of them having its own exciting story. The museum holds various events including children’s birthday parties, wedding and corporate celebrations, master classes and lectures. It is highly recommend this small museum and it`s marvellous collection. Over 400 authentic hats and masks are provided with information to give you background and you can spend there more an hour. It`s really exciting!
Furthermore the museum is situated on the famous Riga`s Art Noveau district, so if you go to “The World of Hat” you’ll see very nice architecture too.

Address:Vilandes 7-12, Riga 1010 Latvia, Museum of ethnic hats and headdresses located in Riga, Latvia (Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours)

Hat Museum Portland Oregon ( )

Hat Museum Germany (German Hut Museum Lindenberg, Hat Museum in Nuremberg)

Krefelder Straße 32
70376 Stuttgart | Germany
T. +49 711 5000 77 0

Hat Museum Luton

Hat Museum France (Cap Moderne, Hat Museum, Museum of Millinery) (Learn the full process of hat manufacturing and stroll the large exhibitions of hats of different epoques. Located in Lyon, France).

Hats Museum Sydney ( ,

Hat Museum Stockport (

Photographer Robbie Reynolds.

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