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Cocktail hats

February 22, 2015

It’s no secret that I love hats, who doesn’t? It’s just a shame we longer feel the need to wear Cocktail hats as often as we used to. Hats were de rigueur during the thirties, forties and fifties until they faded from view, as the emphasis on looser less stylised hair became the norm.

Cocktail hats and the Fascinator

The fascinating Fascinator

One of the most popular Cocktail hats, still worn today, is the fascinator. Most often seen at weddings, christening and at the races, the fascinator is an elegant accompaniment to any outfit. The wearer must be careful however, as the fascinator can look as equally ridiculous as it can look attractive, if there are too many embellishments or feathers. One subtle feather can make all the difference, giving a woman an elegant and sophisticated silhouette.


No flat helmet hair

It’s the perfect hat too, because unlike most hats it doesn’t leave you with helmet head or flat hair. It’s lightweight and it can have flowers and beads as well as feathers. The term “fascinator”arrived in “90s, although the hat itself was developed during the late 70s and developed in London, the fashion capital of the world. Sitting at an angle, it sits on the hair gently, defying gravity but giving a feminine yet striking appearance.

A worthy ancestry

It can be traced back to the beginning of the century, and the first fascinator has a fine and distinguished evolution, from feathered hairbands and single feathers attached the head of a well-heeled Edwardian lady, to feathered and jewelled headdresses of the twenties.

The thirties

The thirties saw the arrival of cocktail hats and their first and closest precursor to the fascinator.Elsa Schiaparelli gave us some eccentric and fun versions of her own, with shoe and lobster shapes giving a new twist to the cocktail hat.

Pillbox or cocktail hats

Cocktail hats and brimless pillbox hat are the only hats that can compete with the fascinator. A simple patch of lace or netting from the pillbox or cocktail hat gives an air of mystery and allure to the wearer.


Looking for vintage cocktail hats?

Searching for vintage hats has to be one of the most satisfying way of shopping there is and looking for an eye catching cocktail hat or pillbox shape, is so much better than any copies, or retro versions.

The cocktail hat

The cocktail hat is an especially valuable find, and I’m not just talking its fiscal value. It can have value as an item that carries longevity. If it’s been taken care of by its previous owner, it can give value for money and years of wear to the new owner.


The shapes, colours and materials used is always a source of fascination and often more imaginative than today’s fascinator hats. Is it a piece of artwork or is it a hat?


Wear one in the same colour as your hair and make it feel like the hat’s practically grown from the roots of your own hair. A beautiful sparkling creation that belongs exactly where you placed it.

Let’s bring Cocktail hats into style again

Hats can be brought back into the fashion world, especially cocktail hats. Wear it to the wine bar and the night club as well as the wedding and the christening. They need a rebirth and only you can bring it to life again as it deserves.


Lily Elsie wearing facinator headress

suzy parker-cocktail

schiaparelli-shoe-hat 1937

model Helen Bennet -looking elegant,1938

rochelle hudson-

Myrna Loy