Why did formal hats go out of style?

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THE HUMBLE BASEBALL CAP HOLDS A SPECIAL PLACE IN HISTORY. IT’S ONE OF TWO HATS CONSIDERED UNIQUELY AMERICAN. SAYS FASHION HISTORIAN DOCTOR JILL CAREY. THE COWBOY HAT IS ONE. AND, OF COURSE, THE BASEBALL CAP IS ANOTHER. CAREY IS PROFESSOR EMERITUS AT LASALLE UNIVERSITY IN NEWTON. SHE ALSO CURATED THE LASALLE FASHION COLLECTION. IT INCLUDES ABOUT 4000 ARTIFACTS, MANY OF THEM HATS. THERE’S NO ONE WEARING THESE RIGHT NOW, BUT YOU CAN ONLY IMAGINE THE PERSONALITY OF THE PERSON THAT WAS WEARING THIS THE TIME PERIOD, WHAT THEY WERE TRYING TO CONVEY ABOUT THEMSELVES. SHE GAVE US A TOUR OF MILLINERY THROUGH THE YEARS FROM AN 1880S BONNET. THERE ARE RHINESTONES WHICH YOU CAN SEE ON THE TOP HERE, WHICH CATCHES THE LIGHT. THIS IS THE CLOCHE FROM THE 1920S, AND THIS WOULD BE WORN BY A FLAPPER. UH, SHORT HAIRCUT, TIGHT CLOCHE. AND YOU COULD DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY TO THE TRENDS OF THE 1960S. THIS IS A PILLBOX. AND THIS WAS PERCHED ON TOP OF THE HEAD. THIS OVER HERE WAS CONSIDERED A BUBBLE HAT. AND THE BUBBLE HAT WAS MODELED AFTER CENTURIES OF DAILY HAT WEARING. WHAT HAPPENED? CAREY SAYS THERE WERE A FEW FACTORS. ONCE THE ENCLOSED AUTOMOBILE WAS ESTABLISHED, PEOPLE WERE NO LONGER WANTED TO WEAR HATS OR BE ENCUMBERED BY HATS. THERE WASN’T ENOUGH ROOM OVER THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD. AND THEN AFTER WORLD WAR TWO, THERE WAS A FEELING OF NOT WANTING TO WEAR SOMETHING ON YOUR HEAD. AND PART OF THAT CAME OUT OF THE WAR. THE WEARING OF MILITARY HELMETS. AND THEN IN THE 1960S, WITH THE YOUTHQUAKE AND THE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT HATS, REALLY GO OUT OF STYLE. AND IN 1967, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SAYS THAT WOMEN NO LONGER HAVE TO COVER THEIR HEADS WHEN THEY’RE INSIDE RELIGIOUS SPACES. AND SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. HATS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. IT’S A WONDERFUL WAY TO UNDERSTA

Why did formal hats go out of style?

Fashion historian says enclosed cars, World War II, and church all played a role

Hats are a great way to study fashion history, says Jill Carey, professor of historic dress (emeritus) at Lasell University in Newton and curator of the Lasell Fashion Collection.”Hats speak for themselves,” Carey says.The Lasell Fashion Collection includes about 4,000 artifacts, many of them hats. Carey says there are a few reasons hats fell out of style as a daily accessory. Enclosed automobiles meant there wasn’t enough room over the top of a person’s head to fit a hat. After World War II, many veterans didn’t want to wear headwear after years in military helmets. In the 1960s, hats were no longer as trendy for young adults, and in 1967, the Catholic Church said women no longer had to cover their heads inside religious spaces.”(Hats are) a wonderful way to understand fashion history,” Carey says, “because hats were universally worn. They were worn by everyone.”

Hats are a great way to study fashion history, says Jill Carey, professor of historic dress (emeritus) at Lasell University in Newton and curator of the Lasell Fashion Collection.

“Hats speak for themselves,” Carey says.

The Lasell Fashion Collection includes about 4,000 artifacts, many of them hats. Carey says there are a few reasons hats fell out of style as a daily accessory. Enclosed automobiles meant there wasn’t enough room over the top of a person’s head to fit a hat. After World War II, many veterans didn’t want to wear headwear after years in military helmets. In the 1960s, hats were no longer as trendy for young adults, and in 1967, the Catholic Church said women no longer had to cover their heads inside religious spaces.

“(Hats are) a wonderful way to understand fashion history,” Carey says, “because hats were universally worn. They were worn by everyone.”

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