Cuckoo for Cloche: The History of Your Favorite Hat

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All images via We Heart Vintage

French milliner Caroline Reboux invented the bell-shaped cloche hat in 1908. Traditionally made of felt, cloche hats can be plain or decorated with sequins, embroidery, or feathers, to complement any outfit, from a simple sundress to a starlet’s cocktail gown.

In the 20s, the cloche reached the height of its popularity — the hat was so haute that it even influenced popular hairstyles: The Eton crop — the short, slicked-down style most popular in the 20s — was often requested because it worked so well under a cloche. Variations in the shape of the brim and seam styles were impacted by Art Deco designs, and some beaded and lace variations were even worn as wedding styles.

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Are you longing for some millinery inspiration of your own? Check out these selections, or browse our curated chapeaus!

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3 Comments

  1. Rubina 02/18/2014 at 5:03 pm #

    Love this! It’s so fascinating to find out where our style staples come from.

  2. Vicky 02/20/2014 at 7:10 am #

    I like the idea of bringing back the hat as part of the outfit so you don’t have to take it off to reveal your hat-head which is a real problem for those of us who have very straight limp hair..

  3. Elvira 02/21/2014 at 10:48 am #

    I love cloches so much. Please more 20s style hats in Modcloth

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