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Friday, February 17, 2017

Women's Hats and Accesories in Colonial Times

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

In Colonial America, well-dressed women had a variety of accessories.


Head-coverings: One of the main accessories was the hat. No decent woman would be seen in public unless her hair was up and she had some kind of head covering. Later in American history, women's hats become elaborate, but colonial hats were simple. Colonial women wore three types of head coverings.





Caps: Caps were practical colonial head wear worn by women and children. Caps kept hair clean so it didn't have to be washed as often, and it covered the hair so women didn't have to worry about styling their hair. The cap was made of linen, cotton, or lace and had lace or ruffles sewn on the edge for decoration. If a woman went out in public, she would wear a hat on top of her cap.


Mob Caps: Mob caps became popular in the 1730s and were worn in some form into the next century. A mob cap had a puffed crown placed high on the back of the head, a deep flat border surrounding the face, and side pieces carried down like short lappets, which could be left loose, pinned, or tied under the chin. The flat border usually was frilled or had lace.

 Hats: Every colonial woman had a hat to protect her head out in the sun. It was also considered improper not to wear a hat in public even if she had a cap on her head. The fancier hats were very shallow, and had a flat crown and a wide brim. Most hats were usually made out of chips and straw and would sometimes be covered with cloth.

Riding Hats: Women's riding hats were often made out of felt and would be made similar to a man's riding hat.

Mitts: Mitts were elbow length fingerless gloves worn summer and winter. Winter mitts were made out of wool or heavier fabric. Summer mitts were usually made out of cotton. They were usually embroidered for decoration.


Muffs: Muffs were used to keep the hands warm during the winter and were made out of fur, cloth, or feathers, and were usually padded.

Shoes: Shoes were made of silk fabrics, worsteds, or leathers. Sometimes they would have a small heel. They would fasten by buckles, clasps, or ties.


Sleeve Ruffles: Sleeve ruffles, either plain or lace, were attached to the end of a woman's sleeves. This protected the ruffles for when the woman went out in public so they wouldn't be damaged in daily housework and chores. Some ruffles had lace on the edge.

Pockets: Colonial pockets were two pouches strung on a waistband, and tied around the waist, and worn inside the petticoat. They were not sewn into the dress. Skirts and petticoats were sewn with side slits to access the pockets. Although some women carried handbags, most would keep their valuables in in pockets.



Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and was a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest. Her novellas Resurrection of Hope and A Christmas Promise are available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Cap - Most of the time women wore a simple cap made of linen or cotton. The cap was easy to manage and kept the woman's hair from getting dirty. Caps were sometimes very simple, but could also be dressed up with lace. Women wearing colonial era hats Three styles of hats (the cap is shown in the middle) Photo by Ducksters Hat - Women almost always wore hats when they were outside in order to protect their skin from the sun. Hats could be made of straw, silk, or felt and may be decorated with various items such as ribbons, flowers, and feathers. Mob cap - A mob cap was a larger version of the cap that covered the hair and had frilly edges that surrounded the face. It was sometimes called a "bonnet."

Read more at: http://www.ducksters.com/history/colonial_america/womens_clothing.php
This text is Copyright © Ducksters. Do not use without permission.
Cap - Most of the time women wore a simple cap made of linen or cotton. The cap was easy to manage and kept the woman's hair from getting dirty. Caps were sometimes very simple, but could also be dressed up with lace. Women wearing colonial era hats Three styles of hats (the cap is shown in the middle) Photo by Ducksters Hat - Women almost always wore hats when they were outside in order to protect their skin from the sun. Hats could be made of straw, silk, or felt and may be decorated with various items such as ribbons, flowers, and feathers. Mob cap - A mob cap was a larger version of the cap that covered the hair and had frilly edges that surrounded the face. It was sometimes called a "bonnet."

Read more at: http://www.ducksters.com/history/colonial_america/womens_clothing.php
This text is Copyright © Ducksters. Do not use without permission.

5 comments:

  1. Great article! Neat that it happened to be scheduled right before my article on Colonial ladies' HAIR! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very interesting. In 2005, when I was going through chemotherapy, two lovely older ladies in my church, gave me 2 caps similar to the white ones shown in your photos. The caps helped while sleeping because my hair was coming out. Thank you for sharing about the hats. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How sweet of them Melissa.
      Blessings, Tina

      Delete
  3. Thank you for your very interesting post, Tamera!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post TAMERA! I find the placements of the women's "pockets"-pouches interesting. It certainly saved time not having to sew pockets in all the skirts, just the one set and tie them around their waist under the petticoats.
    Blessings, Tina

    ReplyDelete

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