Hats added the final touch of 1950s glamour to a woman or girl’s outfit, particularly in the early fifties. Last year’s dress or suit could be updated easily with a new hat or a fresh ornament such as flowers, an autumnal bunch of acorns and leaves, or a bunch of cherries.
Corsage made of fruits. Similar items were used to trim hats
Balenciaga had first shown the pillbox and it became the hat of the fifties and later the hat of the sixties when it was greatly favoured by Jackie Kennedy. The pillbox often had veiling attached as shown in the header.
Neat pillbox style hat image left is courtesy of anothertimevintageapparel
In the mid fifties glorious hat styles covered less in plumage and more in floral blooms appeared. Some designs consisted solely of bomb like shapes covered with flower petals, almost like a more full blown version of the swimming cap above. Later hats consisted of folds of tulle, organza, nets or swirls of georgette.
Other simple hats included neat beret varieties and also knitted beret hats with tassels or pom-pom.
The jester 4 cornered beret hat was made of felt and velvet and available in a riot of glorious colours and was priced at one guinea or 21 shillings.
The head hugging Baker Boy beret was in a fabric called suedeen and jersey for 22/-.
Generally hats began to lose favour in the fifties as they were unsuitable for the new hairstyles. Women spent more time at the hair salon and the last thing they wanted to do was spoil their latest hairdo with a hat. Fashionable hairstyles began with simple ponytails and ended the decade with complex beehive arrangements.
Milliners could have designed hats more suitable for the new fuller bouffant hairstyles, but they failed to see the possibilities and designs continued as before and they lost the market for hats eventually.