A History of Hats, Part 2

Hat Hire Ireland


Hang on to your hats, literally, because we are serving up the second instalment of our brief history lesson on what you probably didn’t know about hats through time.

Who were plumassiers?

In the 1920s, plumassiers began operating parallel to those in the hatmaking arts. They specialised in fantastic feather dyeing and arrangement into plumes – picture brilliant boas, sprays, tufts, and more.  

Plumes have long been a status of financial stability, and so rich individuals lapped up these exotic headpieces for very generous sums of money. Even in the early Edwardian era, these millinery masterpieces were fetching up to £100. 

Eventually, the hype gradually wore down with animal rights please gained momentum and plumassiers were banned from harvesting feathers from a number of birds.

You can leave your hat on – at all times

In the world of hat-wearing, etiquette has certainly played its part. At the turn of the century in 1900, men and women alike would be expected to change their hats dependent on the activity they were engaging in. This meant that many members of various social standings were changing their headwear several times a day.

It was seen as a disgraceful act to fathom journeying out of your house without a hat (and gloves). In fact, there is a record of a young lady who had the audacity to venture to the post box a few yards from her house without gloves or a hat. She was rather harshly reprimanded for lack of appropriate dress.

The day the hats started disappearing

In 1914, at the commencement of the Great War which lasted until 1918, fashion took a bit of a turn, influenced by the need for more practical and utilitarian apparel. With women now undertaking the roles once reserved for men, they were ditching the housemaid, cook, and seamstress attire. In addition, women began participating in sports and required freedom of movement.

By the time World War II came in 1939, hat etiquette was broken down. Hats were seen as less practical as when rushing to air raid shelters, stopping to ensure you had your hat on just didn’t seem like a priority. When hats were worn around this time, they were practical and generally homemade – knitted hoods, berets, and the like.

Hat Hire Ireland

Be sure to leave the house wearing the appropriate dress

Okay, so we promise you won’t be reprimanded for not wearing one of our hats, although you will certainly look great in one. If you have an exciting event coming up, or are just feeling a little like treating yourself, that’s where we come in.

At Jennifer’s Hat Emporium,  we pride ourselves on offering the friendliest hat hire Ireland has ever known. We offer handy online consultations where you can receive expert advice right from the comfort of your favourite armchair. 

If popping into the studio suits you better, that’s great, we would love to see you. Be sure to schedule your visit so we can be ready to show you our extensive range of hats for hire and for sale.

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