Last week I was busy looking at archive photos of Petersfield and the cattle market in particular. I was struck by the huge change over the years, not of the town layout but by the fashion. The fashion for hats! Every single man, woman and child wore one.
A hat was so part of everyday life and part of social society. A hat said a great deal about its owner, their status, profession or political persuasion. The names of hats are as impressive as their style. The Homberg, favoured by Winston Churchill. The Cloche, the Boater, the Fedora, the Top Hat, Flat Cap, the Fascinator and the Panama. How fashion has changed. I will only wear a hat at a wedding Lady’s day at Ascot or a cold winter’s day when walking the dog! However, I will always keep a hat box, as long as it’s vintage.
Hat boxes have had something of a revival. They started to first appear in number during the early 1900s and were made from various materials according to the style of hat or the wealth of the owner. They appear in leather, vellum, metal or canvas. I just love the various shapes you can collect from a box to fit a Top Hat to a Military one to one that has travelled across the high seas.
When I go out to buy a box I look for something different, an unusual shape, a pretty lock, name plate or stickers showing its various
travels. My vintage boxes now have a number of uses in the modern day from a store for gloves and scarves to colouring pencils to stationary and I do have a very special box that even holds ……….a hat !
All the hat boxes pictured in this blog post will be available for purchase at our May sale.