The Fashion Statement Of Hats, Care, Cleaning and Sizing
The main purpose of the hat was to cover one’s head to keep in heat and protect it from the elements but they were also worn for more practical purposes such as a woman’s modesty. This may be one of the underlying reasons that hats became such a status symbol through the years. Many considered a woman in a nice hat modest and well respected or, in other words, a ‘good woman’.
By the turn of the 20th century, practically every woman wore a hat and wore them for even the simplest tasks such as retrieving the mail. Most women wore hats that were associated with various activities that they would engage in. Often, women would change hats a number of times throughout the day. The hat was often the first thing that drew attention from an onlooker, therefore, the hat became a huge fashion statement that hardly went unnoticed. The statement that was made with the hat, though often profound, caused many famous hat wearers, such as Princess Diana, to be remembered for their fashionable style.
Hat Care Tips
Do not store your vintage hat in direct sunlight, as this can bleach and fade your hat.
Store your vintage hat in a safe place such as a hat box, or somewhere where it will not be crushed, and free of moisture, dust, and moths.
When handling a vintage hat, always pick up from the brim and not the crown.
Common stains that we do not often think about include make-up and hair sprays, be aware that these chemicals, can stain the inside rims and linings of the hat.
I do not attempt to clean any of my vintage hats. My reason’s are that I feel these delicate and often fragile pieces would be best cleaned by professionals. I do leave the cleaning of my hats up to the buyers to find the best alternative methods.
Steam cleaning has been used with quite a bit of success when cleaning hats, however, if you get too much moisture on a hat, it can loose it’s original shape and may even shrink. I have heard that steam can perk up flowers, ribbons and bows quite nicely, if not gotten too wet. People have used all sorts of steam variations, including holding over hot boiling water from a pan or tea kettle. Stem can also stiffen a veil away from the face.
If you are not familiar with how to find your hat size, please measure your head. The size of your head can differ with the style of the hair as well as with age, and any weight gain or weight loss. You may use a tape measurement to find out the circumference to the closest 1/8th of an inch if you wrap the tape around the widest area of the head, which is just above the ears and eyebrows.