Obsolete Fashion: All Good in the Snood?

19th century painting by Adolph von Menzel, and women factory workers in 1942, building a practice bomb shell

Left: 19th-century painting by Adolph von Menzel. Right: Factory workers in 1942, building a practice bomb shell

A snood was a netted, tatted, knitted, or crocheted hairnet used to enclose hair at the back of the head, close to the nape. Though the term “snood” was used in the Middle Ages to refer to a wide variety of net or cloth head coverings, it wasn’t until the 1860s in Europe that the snood as we know it became all the rage (in America, the same item was referred to as a hairnet). Since elastic was not yet invented, this item was held in place with pins, and often matched the wearer’s hair color.

In 1935, Elsa Schiaparelli introduced a Victorian revival in the form of a snood, which quickly became a method of keeping hair free from machinery in Britain during WWII. Although hats weren’t rationed during the war, snoods were favored to demonstrate commitment to the war effort. These “modern” snoods were often crocheted, and easy to copy from the abundance of patterns in magazines.

What do you think, dear readers? Are snoods a good way to deal with a bad hair day? To make a fashion statement? Cast your vote, and/or leave a comment below!

<br /> <a href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/2974383/” mce_href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/2974383/”>To snood or not to snood?</a><br/><br /> <span style=”font:9px;” mce_style=”font:9px;”>(<a href=”http://www.polldaddy.com” mce_href=”http://www.polldaddy.com”>polls</a>)</span><br />

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  1. Melissa 03/29/2010 at 4:42 pm #

    These pictures really aren’t the best representation of snoods. I used to wear one for renaissance fairs and I loved it! The only problem I had was keeping it from slipping off my head. I never seemed to have enough bobby pins!

  2. Katie 03/29/2010 at 4:46 pm #

    I don’t have any real snoods, per se, but my go-to bad hair day option is a big, loose beret that I wear back far on my head with my hair tucked in. Very snood-esque.

  3. mandi 03/29/2010 at 5:11 pm #

    there is only one kind of snood for me….

  4. Susie 03/29/2010 at 5:14 pm #

    Snoods remind me of the most frightening professor I’ve ever had-my drama professor. She wore one every day and apparently owned over one hundred, in multiple different colors. No thank you! D:

  5. Victoria / Justice Pirate 03/29/2010 at 6:21 pm #

    I do hair tutorials on youtube and have loads of snood ideas, but unfortunately I don’t own one! I want to!!! All the ones I ever find are far too much money!! BRING THE SNOOD BACK!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Sophie 03/29/2010 at 8:44 pm #

    Where’s the snood love?! As a person who lives under a wild mane (being, my hair) I would love to be able to stuff my unruly locks into a snood once in a while! Bring ’em back!

  7. Kristin 03/30/2010 at 12:13 am #

    I work as a nurse, so I have to keep my hair back and off my face. I had a barette that was like a snood–it had a net that kept the ponytail inside.

  8. Sydney 03/30/2010 at 1:06 am #

    I love my snoods!

  9. Jessica 03/30/2010 at 1:23 am #

    I love snoods! There are some great patterns online to crochet your own, if you are crafty.

  10. Stephanie 03/30/2010 at 10:57 am #

    They make me think of crotchety, old, gross lunch ladies. D:

  11. Mousevox Vintage 03/30/2010 at 12:59 pm #

    Bring it back! This is something that can be re-created in such a modern way that could prove to be really amazing.

  12. Katie 03/30/2010 at 7:13 pm #


  13. Robin 04/02/2010 at 9:16 am #

    LOVE snoods! I crochet them using an original 1942 pattern. They are awesome to wear when it’s 90 degrees outside or if you want to look vintage-cool.

  14. Eden 04/03/2010 at 5:14 pm #

    awesome! totally vintage…you can always use then on a bad hairday etc. :3

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