Head and Shoulders Above The Rest

Head and Shoulders Above The Rest

How Women’s Hats and Men’s Ties Completed The Looks of the Times

A Woman’s Style is Set by the Tip of Her Hat

1930’s

  • Following The Crash of 1928, hats reduced in size and decoration. Usually a single brooch on a simple cloche hat was all that was necessary.
  • Through the 30s, the era of the shaped hat arrived, with molded wool  felt that was able to be shaped into something looking like it came out of a Picasso painting.
  • Summer hats were being created from straw with the ability to be covered with fabric to change the look for a variety of outfits.

1940’s

  • In wartime, women’s hats were not rationed but were taxed at a 33% luxury purchase tax rate.
  • Styles remained much the same as in the 30s but took on a slightly more masculine style including the fedora, tricorn, and beret.
  • Rubber combs, clips and bobby pins allow women to take the smaller hats and exaggerate the angle when placed on the head for a sharp look.
  • While clothing may have been drab and more casual, hats remained bright and colorful and often patriotic in color.
  • The iconic pillbox hat was born. It was stiff and round and usually undecorated except for a simple net veil that covered the eyes.

1950’s

  • The “stay-at-home-mom” had a hat for every outfit to add a spot of color with a decidedly more feminine approach to decoration and shape.
  • Fur, felt, feathers and fake versions of each arrived and were presented as works of art on a woman’s head.
  • The age of television was coming into full swing bringing with it simple hats, bows and scarves tied around the head to bring color and comfort.

1960’s

  • Welcome to the days of Jackie Kennedy. The revived pill box hat became the must-have item of every woman’s wardrobe.
  • Moving forward, hat brims became wider as the “floppy hat” was worn at the beach or as a casual addition to an evening at the lounge.
  • Headbands and scarves continued to prove invaluable for the woman on the go.

1970’s

  • The Age of Aquarius brought the role of the hat as a personal fashion statement through form and texture. Cotton, straw, felt and leather all came into play at this time.
  • One iconic look included the newsboy hat with its oversized crown and short ballcap bill.
  • The quintessential favorite took over the screen in “Annie Hall” staring Diane Keaton and Woody Allen.

The Tie Makes The Man

1930’s

  • Horizontal stripes, plaids, small paisley, large dots and art deco motifs that clashed with men’s shirts were popular.
  • Colors focused on earthy greens, yellows, peach and blues early on, followed by bold blues, reds, grey and black later in the decade.
  • The width of ties grew to 3 1/2″ and were shorter to balance the wider suit lapels and oversized shirt collars.
  • Bow ties have gone out of style.

1940’s

  • Silk became scarce during wartime leading to rayon and wool knit being the fabric of the time. Homemade ties appeared everywhere.
  • After WWII, ties became extra wide as rationing became a thing of the past. 5″ became the new norm. The length of the tie changed to end just above the belt line.
  • Geometrics, art deco designs, monograms, western and tropical prints became popular.
  • Hand-painted ties with fishing or hunting themes were on trend.

1950’s

  • Ties slim down to a new norm of 3 1/8″ wide
  • Solid colors became popular as a reflection of clean lines and simplicity.
  • The shape of the tie included more square-end ties.
  • The birth of rock ‘n roll came with ties made of leather and polyester.

1960’s

  • The skinny tie arrives to go with the skinny suit. The Beatles. Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Secret Agent Man.
  • Pink, purple, yellow, and aqua colors make stronger statements.
  • Large geometric shapes, wide stripes, square dots, and mod art are hits, whether they matched or not!

1970’s

  • Crazy patterns abound in this timeframe.
  • It’s all about texture with polyester double knit, wool, and raw silk.
  • Sizes expanded in both width (to 4 1/2″) and length (as the more hip lo-rider pants came into vogue).
  • James Bond brings back the elegance of a bow tie with formal wear while the neckerchief returned for a more “sporty” look.

Many thanks to vintagedancer.com for great information and images. The “stay-at-home-mom” had a hat for every outfit to add a spot of color with a decidedly more feminine approach to decoration and shape.

Head and Shoulders Above The Rest