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"Hope for Charity"-Fashion/Accessories-Part 3

Updated: 6 days ago

Today in The Life and Times of Hope for Charity series, we will look at ladies' hats! Last time we learned a bit about parasols, chatelaines, and gloves. Hope for Charity, my debut novel is set in England in the Georgian Era of the 18th century. If you are new, welcome! If you'd like to start at the beginning of this series click here.


Hats were an essential part of every eighteenth-century woman's wardrobe. Although 21st-century women may wear hats occasionally, some more than others, it is usually the exception rather than the rule, and the types of hats worn are quite a bit different than our predecessors. Our skin would probably thank us if we wore them more when outdoors, but that is another topic.

Hats were handmade by milliners. Hatmaking was a respectable, creative, and skilled occupation in a time when jobs for women were generally limited to factory or domestic work. Milliners created hats for the elite as well as the middle class. Rose Bertin (1744–1813) was the first internationally known milliner who worked out of Le Grande Moghul in Paris, making hats for the nobility and upper class. Paris remained the arbiter of fashion. Wealthy women and milliners traveled to Paris to learn about the latest styles and decorative elements.

Popular styles of Headwear in the Georgian Era:

Mob Caps

I found the video below to be an interesting description and explanation of mob caps.

"In the 18th Century we see our caps, often referred to as mob caps see their hay-day. These mostly linen caps were worn indoors, and also worn under hats and bonnets. The caps were almost always constructed of linen because the cotton gin was not invented until 1794, meaning that cotton was incredibly cost prohibitive. The mob cap is a round, gathered or pleated cloth bonnet consisting of a caul to cover the hair, a frilled or ruffled brim, and (often) a ribbon band, worn by married women in the Georgian period, when they it called a 'bonnet'."


Calash Bonnet
The calash bonnet was a piece of tailoring brilliance born out of the desire that so many Western women in the 1700s had to wear their hair as large as possible. As the hair styles grew, hats became more difficult to wear, yet it was important to cover the head for modesty reasons, and also to protect the magnificent hair constructions from weather.

Black Market Bonnet
The market bonnet is versatile 18th-century headwear. Black is by far the most common color for market bonnets, many of which were silk.

The Poke Bonnet and the Coal Shuttle Bonnet, which many of us picture when thinking of bonnets, came along later in the 1700s than my stories are set. The Calash bonnet stayed in style through the early 1800s but women wore bonnets throughout the 19th century.

Poke Bonnet

Coal Scuttle Bonnet

Straw Hats

Straw hats were fashionable for women of all social classes, from very plain for the lower class to ones highly decorated for the elite throughout the Georgian era with many being imported, mainly from Italy and Germany, but Bedfordshire became the major manufacturer for straw hat making in England.

Straw hats came in various styles and could be as plain or ostentatious as the wearer wished. (The two at the bottom are my personal favorites. What about you?)

The Bergére Hat

A bergere is a low crowned, wide-brimmed hat, usually of straw, but sometimes made of other materials covered in silk.  Bergere hats first appeared in the 1730s, and were popular in various forms throughout the 18th century.

Below are several Bergére hats, some made of straw and some not. Bergére hats differed from other hats, because of their low crowns and wide brims.

This time, I like the top left and the third row right, although I had a harder time choosing my favorite Bergére hat. Do you have a favorite or two?


Researching hats in the 18th century has been fun and I can't help but think of my characters and how I could dress some of them up in a few of these hats with matching dresses, shoes, fans, jewelry . . . Eh hem, I better end this so I can get to work.

I'm glad you came and joined me for another fun blog about The Life and Times of Hope for Charity. Next time we plan to look at women's shoes! If you don't want to miss it and other updates, make sure you are subscribed!


FYI . . . My second guest blog for MomQ is out right now for March! It is geared toward moms with kids still at home. However, if you are past this stage of life, maybe you'll want to share it with a mother who might enjoy it or be encouraged by it. Check it out here.





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2 comentarios

Loved the hat edition! My favorite hat at about 18 years old was a straw shaped western and had beautiful flowers on the brim in rose and beige colors!

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Your hat sounds fabulous! 😍

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