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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Orienteering - not the sporty kind

As predicted on my post "Hat Hair" I am now fixated on small "New Look" style hats. Soooo predictable me!
The fancy ones are sometimes called a cocktail hat or "Juliet Cap" and these often have wire on the inside so you can manipulate them to clamp onto your head. They are surprisingly easy to wear because they don't get in the way. They look like this:
Now that I am hunting for them on esty and ebay, I see an extraordinary number of them displayed the wrong way around, which makes it hard for shopping! So I thought I might share some basics of hat orienteering.
If any hat has a label on it, then that will go at the back. So for this one, that means that the plainer, flat pleated velvet bit is actually on the front. This makes sense as 50s ladies often had shorter cropped hair dos with lots of lovely height or curls at the front and a Juliet cap would be worn at the crown (towards the back, not the front) of the head to show the hair off. Quite often, but not always, this will mean that the decoration - a bow, feather, or a cluster of flowers, might be at the back of the head or the side, as it would be seen more easily there.
If there is no label, then the grosgrain ribbon that runs around the inside is the best clue. Where it joins or overlaps is the back of the hat. I have only met very few hats with no ribbon at all, in which case, you can experiment and will probably find that it is molded in such away to accomodate the lumpy crown part of your head. When I say lumpy, you know what I mean eh?

There is a bit of chat about hats going on right now so you can also pop over and read about hat pins with Solanah, and more hat hair style ideas with Charlotte. I have a second post (this was getting too long) about keeping them on coming right up too.

Shona x


  1. Love that hat!Velvet mustard,yellow?yes,please!

  2. Thanks so much for that info, I never know.

  3. Fab post, I'm a huge fan of Juliet Caps, such an easily wearable versatile hat.

  4. Those hats are the only type of hat that suits me, they are very cute and yes I agree you do often see them pictured the wrong way round!

  5. I had to have a lady who runs a vintage shop here explain which way to wear hats to me - I always got the labelled ones but was always a little stumped by the ones without labels! Felt a bit silly having to ask her but she's always friendly! I love those little cocktail hats, too. Very cute!
    -Andi x

  6. I'm a big vintage hats, I think I own about 100 hats from the 40's-50's. I also noticed that a lot of people don't know how to wear a hat. It's a good thing on Ebay or Etsy, because most of buyers think it's an awfull hat but if you know how to wear it, it will be a real beauty!!!!
    I have also made a post about 50's hats: http://lostin1950.blogspot.com/2012/01/hats-from-paris.html

  7. Laurence - I agree! It is a good thing for buying!! Your blogpost is lovely with stunning pics - everyone go check that out!

  8. Thanks for the hat tour! I had a suspiscion I'd seen several on ebay upside down. The overlapping ribbon tip is brilliant

  9. So many times I've seen hats displayed backwards, and yet as you say it's not hard to figure out which is the back!

    Thanks for the shout-out!

    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha'penny

  10. Great post, Shona! I have a few hats like that (never heard the term "Juliet Cap" but it makes sense) and I've never understood where they're supposed to sit on the head. Thanks for the info!

  11. I have a ton of caps just like that. The other day I wore one correctly and everyone HATED the way it looked on me, so I turned it around (backwards) and everyone said it looked much better! LOL! One person (the one who gave me the most grief) thought I went home and changed hats! Great post.

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

  12. Your clothes are stunning!
    Wish a poor student like myself could afford all of them - maybe in a few years!

    Lovely blog as well!


  13. I love this post - hats are one of my favourite things and it's great to get some good info on the proper way to wear them!


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