Women’s Millinery 1800s

Millinery Fashions for 1881

Millinery fashions for 1881 were based on varying materials and styles depending on the season. For instance, straw was the popular springtime material for hats, and, in general, hats were large, whereas bonnets were small and worn close to the head. This close-fitting bonnet shape was still in vogue when summer started, and hats for…

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Hat Fashions for September 1880

Flower bonnets were all the rage in 1880, but a handsome feather was also “fashionable and stylish, and when gracefully and tastefully arranged, … always becoming.” Yet, feathers were not particularly cheap. The nineteenth century fashion magazine, The Delineator, noted:

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Spring Bonnets 1878

The most popular spring bonnets in 1878 were the “French chip, soft English straws, and … rough fancy braids with a piping of velvet between the rows of braid.” They were popular because they were supposedly of exceptional quality and much more durable than bonnets of former seasons. White and black bonnets were equally fashionable,…

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Popular Millinery and Millinery Ornament Terms for the 1890s

aigrette—a French word used to denote the plume or feathery tuft on top of a bird’s head. “Hence the term came to…designate the long, delicate…feathers which being stuck upright in a lady’s headdress…[gave] a majestic appearance to the person.” The word also came to be associated with jeweled ornaments shaped as feathers and worn on…

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Hat Fashions for October 1897

The hat was considered one of the most important items of a woman’s toilette. One twentieth century writer noted its importance stating: “When a clever woman chooses a hat, she is careful that the shadows it casts on her face are becoming to her. Every hat throws it own set of shadows, and I doubt…

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Hat Fashions for September 1898

Fashionable hats for September 1898 were “variable and whimsical” They also included toques, carriage hats, and leghorns. One of the latest fashions for millinery in 1898 was the forward tilting hat with a drooped effect over the eyes. Trimmings at this time were often “elaborate, and the long spangled quill and spangled wing [vied] ……

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Hat Fashions for August 1898

Victorian women wore hats year round and summer hats of 1898 were “well-dressed in a wealth of blooms that, if reproduced by the florist, would ensure his fortune.” Roses, violets, poppies, and other brilliant colored flowers were popular for the season and often placed high in the back, graduating to nothing in the front. Transparent…

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Hat Fashions for October 1896

Towering crowns, either pointed, square, or well-concealed were once again “modish” in 1896, and as height was an essential for the fall season of 1896, crownless or low crown hats were made high with trimming. Brims remained broad and frequently “cast a shadow over the eyes.” Plumage was as important as ever and hats often…

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Hat Fashions for December 1896

In the winter of 1896, medium and high crowned hats prevailed with large hats being particularly in vogue. Flowers and foliage were seen on nearly all winter hats no matter what size and were also associated with fur. Birds and feathers were also another important millinery decoration at this time. The Delineator, a well-known fashion…

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Bonnets and Hats of 1870

There was not necessarily a notable difference between bonnets and hats in 1870. This was partially due to coiffures. The hair was generally pulled back and piled high, which caused bonnets to be smaller and to look similar to hats, except for the ribbons tied under their chin. By fall, however, milliners attempted to increase…

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