Evolution of Women’s Hats From the 1700 to 1800s

Woman Wearing a Bergère Hat, Courtesy of Wikipedia
Woman Wearing a Bergère Hat, Courtesy of Wikipedia

There were remarkable transformations in hat styles from the 1700s to the 1800s. The hat changed to match empires, dynasties, and ages, but it did not take on a fashionable turn until the mid 1700s. It was at that time that women made popular the shepherdess hat, a wide-brimmed, shallow-crowned straw hats, known as a bergère. They were usually stiff crowned hats, made from straw, and tied under the chin. These hats had been worn since the early 1700s but took on a fashionable bent between the 1750s and 1760s. Rising hairstyles soon caused many of these hats to tilt forward to accommodate the ever rising hairstyles. As hairstyles became larger and larger, hats styles became smaller and smaller until they were discarded altogether for time. However, extremely large hats were soon introduced and sometimes completely covered the high coiffures. It was also around this time that the word “bonnet” began to take on the its modern connotation and began to describe a variety of new hats. Continue reading