Nov 29, 2013

Victorian Millinery, an 1890s Version

I just added this chic hat to Past Perfect Vintage. So what makes it special? It's another velvet toque. First it's 1890s, so it's 120 years old. The draping in the velvet is wonderfully done, and extends into a wired "feather" that gives this small hat the vertical line of 1890s millinery. The hairstyles and hats of the mid 1890s emphasized height rather than width. Big width would come later in the era and continue into the Teens. But with the huge sleeves of 1893 - 96,  a really wide hat would have been too much horizontal emphasis at the top of the body. The sleeves created wide shoulders and the bell skirt created a wide hem, so waists, wrists, and heads were neat and small.
Then there is the subtle coloration and variety of  texture. The plush velvet is silk and a subtle sage tone, with 2 taupe real feather wings, and a shiny black silk stain ribbon rosette for punctuationSo many hats that have survive dintact are black, that it's areal treat to see on in a color!

Antique 1890s Victorian Sage Green Velvet Hat with Wings

now available at Past Perfect Vintage


Unknown said...

Love the lines of this hat, but how did the ladies attach such small hats to their heads? I know they used a small elastic to loop around their hair and hat pins but when trying to wear hats like this myself, I am challenged. I hate resorting to bobby pins that end up showing but if I cannot nod my head yes with out the hat going flying, I don't like to wear them. And the wide brimmed ones are even more challenging! Any suggestions???
-Celtic Lass-

Past Perfect Vintage Clothing said...
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Past Perfect Vintage Clothing said...

Celtic Lass, they generally wore their hair high in a bun or roll on top of the head. So 2 longish hat pins would work if placed through the hat and the bun in an X formation. The pins should be long enough to catch the hat on the other side of the bun.So as long as the hair is secure, the hat will be secure.

Unknown said...

Dear PPVC, Alas, I think the long hair in a bun is what helps those hat pins keep the hat on. I use to have waist length hair but now it is short all over making it a challenge. But I will persevere! I think those little metal hair clips the flex to open and close might be worth looking into.
Thanks for your help.
-Celtic Lass-

mamafrog said...

Dear CL--I've seen similar hats on actresses on TV and many times there is an elastic band running behind the head, instead of under the chin, to hold the hat on. I don't think this was original, but probably done by the wardrobe person as a way to help the actress keep the hat in place. This might work for you if the elastic matches your hair as much as possible.