Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Return of the Hat

A hundred years ago, no lady was considered properly dressed without a hat.

In 1914, the Hudson Evening Register published "Fashion Notes" as part of a regular feature called Of Interest to Women. More often than not, these notes had to do with hats.

Hats pretty much fell out of favor in the United States during the second half of the 20th century, even for the most decorous occasions. Nancy Reagan, for example, was the last First Lady to wear a hat at her husband's swearing in.

Of course, the women of the British royal family continued to have an affinity for hats. Princess Diana has been credited with making them popular with a younger generation, and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is carrying on the tradition.

Here in Hudson and Columbia County, hats are making a comeback. In Hudson, of course, we have Behida Dolic Millinery at 715 Warren Street, with its wonderfully vintage sign and its display window currently filled with remarkably broad brimmed straw hats. Chatham is soon to have a millinery shop of its own: Victoria Dinardo Millinery. The shop is located at 14 Main Street, and a celebration to mark its opening is happening on Saturday, August 9, from 4 to 8 p.m.
Addendum: A reader pointed out that Hillary Clinton wore a hat at her husband's first swearing it, and she's absolutely right. How could I have forgotten this?


  1. Jackie Kennedy wore a hat at JFK's inauguration.

    1. Well, yes, she did, as did every other First Lady before Nancy Reagan, but there hasn't been a First Lady since Nancy Reagan, including, I was surprised to discover, Barbara Bush, who has worn a hat.

  2. Oops - my careless reading of a careful historian!

  3. JFK was the last prez to wear a hat (a top hat) to the inauguration.

    American women ditched hats by the mid 60s. Vatican II was of no help since upper and upper middle class Catholic women lost the mantilla by 1971 or so.

  4. Actually. Hillary Clinton wore a hat to 1993 inauguration, one she would probably like to forget. It was round brimmed, the same dark blue as her suit, and not at all flattering