Hats of the 1950s were still worn by most women on daily life. However, the trend towards not wearing hats was increasing, especially for young people who were not advised to wear hats until the age of 20. In the 1950s, hats could be large or small with lower crowns. They were made of straw, wool felt, velvet, lace or satin and were usually decorated with a feather, beads, ribbons, flowers and nylon netting of veils. Women wore different colors of clothes to match different accessories. The hairstyle of the 1950s also changed the shape of the hat to a certain extent, or more precisely, the hat adapted to the change of hairstyles.
In the 1940s, a woman’s hat was used to add variety to her wardrobe, and to cover her unwashed hair. The hats from the 1950s were small and exquisite, exposed women’s freshly new hairstyles, and framed the face painted in makeup. Hats were usually made of stiff fabrics and kept in shape by wire.
Hats were usually worn with other accessories, such as scarves, silk gloves and handbags. For everyday wear, hats often paired with shoes, handbags, gloves, belts and jewels in colors and materials. In 1954, Juliette caps and berets covered more area of the head and leaned back slightly, revealing a new trend of short “Italian” hairstyles. The veil was not used to cover the eyes, but to draw attention of other people. In the middle of 1950s, hats became bigger and more dramatic with lots of decorations.
The shell-shaped cap was the most popular style in America during the early 1950s. They sat upright on top of the head with fashionable hairstyles, such as long hair pulled back into a chignon. Summer straw hats were made of real straw or new synthetic materials like cellophane and crinoline, woven into textured hats, sun hats and bonnets.
The flat hat was one of the hats that dominated the 1950s styles. A round thin hat was completely flat, and a saucer hat had a slight downturned brim. Mushroom hats had deep downturn brims all around. In the early years, people liked to wear small hats like halos. In later years, the hat was widened to accommodate a bigger framing of the face. Decorations can be lace ruffles, furry fur or layers of small feathers.
The 1950s cloche resembled a bucket hat today because its brim sloped down at an angle. Usually people used a simple narrow ribbon band with brooches, pins, jewels or flat bows at one side to decorate the hat.
Pillbox hats have been a popular style of small hats since the 1940s. They were round, only a few inches tall, with straight sides and flat or slightly rounded tops that covered the top of the head. Over time, the depth of the crown increased to 4 or 5 inches tall. Some pillbox hats also had mesh veils, and some fancy versions even had trims, beading or fringe decorating the sides.
All kinds of hats reflect the classic and fashion of the 1950s. Most of the hats in the 1950s have been popular among women until nowadays.