Hats and Hair

By Maureen A. Taylor

Last week the focus was work hats for men. This week it’s all about the ladies.

When I go photo shopping, I love to find more than one image of the same person. I have two images of this woman—one in a hat and one without her hat and jacket. They show the relationship between hairstyles and hat trends. The shape and style of women’s hats were influenced by the current hair and vice versa.

woman in hat.jpg
There is something intriguing about hats from the 1880s. They can feature high crowns, small brims and lots of trim. In this case it’s a plush fabric decorated with feathers and botanical elements. It’s not unusual to see stuffed birds on them as well. Women raised these birds at home to sell them to the hat industry for stuffing.

In the second image, the same woman has taken off her hat and sits for the photographer without her jacket as well.
woman no hat.jpg

She wears the same drop earrings and ruffled collar so it’s likely she posed for both on the same day. Her frizzy bangs stuck out from under her front brimmed hat.

Both images were taken by Alman, a photographer with studios in New York and Newport. The affluent families of New York City built mansions in the city by the sea, in Rhode Island so it makes business sense for Alman to maintain his customers in both locations.

If you want to learn more about hats or hairstyles from different periods check out my Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats, 1840-1900 or Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles, 1840-1900. There is a special offer this month in Family Tree Shop. Enter HAT10 as a coupon code for 10 percent off the Bonnets and Hats title.

It’s also part of the Family Tree Shop deal of the month: Spend $30 on these select products and receive a free Family Tree Problem Solver book download!

Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album