In earlier times ladies wore a hat all the time – a simple cap indoors, and something more elaborate to go out. Customs changed and ladies only put on a hat to go out, then even later only wore a hat for special occasions – going to church or a wedding or a funeral. Living in a country town in Victoria in the fifties I would always have worn a hat to go to church, but once I moved to Melbourne no hat was considered necessary, and I still remember the hunt around the cupboards to find me a hat to wear to church, in the late fifties when I visited the home of my husband to be for the first time, as in that small town it was still the custom. I think the customs must have persevered much longer in England as ladies were most definitely expected to wear hats to our son’s wedding in 1993. Today of course, so conscious of the damage done by the sun, we plonk hats on or heads to go outdoors for an entirely different reason. There is a wide variety of styles in the hats worn by the ladies in the family albums. I have included some of them here in roughly chronological order as many of them have no date.
Jane (Teague) Purcell (1794-1867)
Martha (Sellek) Radford (1800-1867)
Eliza (Radford) Latham (1828- 1892)
Caroline (Penny) Nicholls (1838-1894) added this hat to her outfit from the selection
Moving now perhaps to the early 20th Century
Selina (Barnes) Boyd) (1851-1925)
Getting much more extravagant in style.I’m aware that a lot of these hats were not their own, but available in the studio for the photographic session
Selina’s daughter Isabel Dowler (1883-1970) also chose a large style for this photo. To me it looks like she has a wedding cake perched on the top of her head!
In New Zealand this is what Donald Boyd’s wife chose to wear. The family in Australia did not know her name, she may have been Fanny Jane Cowley.
More large hats – Lottie Craine (1881-1961) and her niece Mrs Adeline (McIntyre) Teese (1890-1961) perhaps at a funeral? although one gent is wearing a flower in his lapel so perhaps it was a wedding.
Mary Ann (Sandford) Blackley (1859-1939)
Moving in to the first half of the 20th Century the hats develop smaller brims
but shortly after her own wedding in the 1930’s Florence had gone for something larger to attend a wedding
Others were wearing their hats tilted forward as shown by Susie (Penny) Wright and her sister Carrie (Penny) Hobbs
or perched on the back of the head and carry some floral decoration. Looks as though they were going to a very important family wedding.
Grace Cowan, Marjorie Crow, Jess Trudinger and Laura Lloyd daughters of Isabella McLean and Jack Cowan
or a jaunty boater as worn by Lucy May (Penny) McKenzie (1890-1969)
or on the slant Vera Fricke going to the local agricultural show in 1940
Mother and daughter 1948 (and the dress was made of Viyella)
Moving to the 1960‘s the hats are getting smaller
These styles seen at a wedding in 1960
And as I said 100 years now to round out the theme our daughter chose this jaunty number in red on her Wedding Day in 1992, leaving the Reception.
This was a free choice of subject week and I’m very keen to see what others have written and I hope you are too. You can check them out in the link below.