1940s Hats History

The 1940s hats continued the popular styles of the 1930s and added berets, beanie hats, headscarves and snood these new elements to the casual headwear. The women’s hats of the 1940s were mainly from different historical periods and came in a variety of styles.

Although 1940s hats were not rationed during war time, as luxury goods, they were taxed at 33 percent. Good materials were scarce, so hat makers were turning to unusual decoration materials and recycling upholstery fabrics. For most civilians, it was very common to go out without wearing a hat, especially at sports, leisure activities and evening parties. Berets, small doll hats and headscarves were simple headgear that can be worn for any occasion.

Many hats from the 1940s were modified from the 1930s, for example, with fewer trims but more masculine styles: flat boaters, upturn sailors, pancake berets, knit turban, toque, fedoras, and bowlers. Instead of an elastic chin strap, 1940s hats were held in place by rubber combs, clips or bobby pins which being attached to the hair.

The 1940s newer small hat styles were chaplets or curvettes, which were decorated with flowers, ribbons, sequins and partial veils without exotic feathers. In 1941, the National Audubon Society and Feathers Industries of America reached an agreement to ban the use of wild bird feathers in women’s hats. Most of the materials were simple, which made of fabric, velvet ribbons and costume jewels with just one feather added to the hat.   

Unlike clothes, hats were not dull in color. There were many colors of hats used in different seasons. Red, orange, pink, green and yellow were the colors of summer. Dark blue, brown, dark green and black were autumn time essentials. The 1940s hats meant to soothe melancholy, cheer broken hearts and bring creative style to otherwise prosaic silhouettes. In difficult times, hats were seen as a morale booster. Here are some hats at that time. Let’s see them together.

A beret is a flat felt hat perched on a narrow band. It can sit flat on the head or at a slight angle. The shape of the beret created many styles of hats. Berets come in many colors, and the most common colors were blue, green, brown and red.

In the late 1940s, people also wore pillbox hats as part of the new look. Pillbox hats were refined and elegant. It was usually unadorned, except perhaps with a gauze mesh on the front to cover the eyes. It can be worn either on top of the head or at an angle, and can be held in place with hatpins. The pillbox hat can be worn with anything from day to night, with a more sophisticated style and more elaborate decor. By the 1950s, it became an icon of the era.

Victorian hats reappeared in the mid-40s and were known as cartwheel hats. It was usually worn in summer. The brim of the hat was large and stiff, the hats were practical and stylish. The width balances the new silhouette of the late 1940s. The 1940s hats had little decoration, with at most a long ribbon and bow tied around the crown.

In conclusion, women’s hats have been developed for many types and styles. Nowadays, hats like a fedora hat, flats hat, bucket hat, baseball cap and other hats have been worn by many fashionable women. Hats have become an accessory for them.

Modern Hat Etiquette

In the past, men were required to remove their hats as soon as they crossed the threshold of a house or public building, while women were to remove their hats if they blocked the view of someone else. At that time, it was a very practical and good rule. Whether you think it’s an outdated rule or not, many people still follow it out of politeness. It is still applied to many kinds of hats, such as baseball caps, bucket hat, beret, fedora and other hats.

As time goes on, the world has become more casual, and even if hats aren’t a problem, there’s nothing wrong with taking them off indoors, especially when you’re in the era when that was the thing to do. Most people accept indoor hat wearing, but some old-fashioned people who still can’t accept the modern hat rules.

The hat was originally designed to keep the head warm, as well as to protect it from the sun and to keep dust out of one’s eyes. A man should take his hat off to prevent dust on the hat from getting on the furniture or floor when he enters a room. Now the hat is not just for practical use, it’s also a fashion statement.

Here are the most important things that men should consider when removing their hats:

When you visit a friend or family member, take off your hat in their home to show respect. Don’t put on your hat until you leave someone’s house. Find a place near the door where you can hang your hat. This will help you remember where the hat is, and you are less likely to lose it.

When in public places, including restaurants, shopping malls, schools, offices, churches, and any other places, it’s fine to wear a hat indoors if necessary. If you’re working outdoors, like at a construction site, or working high above the ground, it is necessary to wear a hat to protect you from the sun and keep the glaring sunlight out of your eyes.  

During the national anthem, you must take off your hat and wait until it is over. This rule applies both indoors and outdoors.

You may wonder if you can put on your hat for some occasions. And the answer is yes. Here are some times and places where you can leave your hat on.  

(1) You can wear a hat when watching a sporting event indoors or outdoors unless your hat is blocking the view, and you have to remove it.

(2) If you are a hat wearer, you can also wear a hat on a train or bus.

(3) When the weather gets cold, you need a hat to keep you warm, but you should remove it when you are indoors.

(4) At a casual gathering, no one cares about the rules, so you can wear a proper hat.

(5) Wear a hat to protect your head when you’re riding a horse on a dusty trail.

These rules of hat etiquette may have become less important, but some people still follow these rules. And the old rules still apply to some formal occasions. Knowing when and where to wear a hat can help bring back some semblance of social etiquettes, which will cross over into other aspects of our lives.