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Cloche Hats Cloche Hats Cloche Hats

Cloche Hats

The Roaring '20s… the time of Prohibition, speakeasies, women’s rights, flappers, boyish hairstyles, and iconic cloche hats.

Although cloche hats for women soared to popularity in the 1920s as famous French designer Coco Chanel incorporated them into the "garconne" or flapper look in 1923, they were actually created in 1908 by milliner Caroline Reboux. The word “cloche” is French for “bell” due to the hat’s bell shape.

The '20s were a time for women to express themselves and experiment with new styles, rebelling against the norm. For many women, this meant chopping off their long, traditional locks in favor of short, close-cropped hairstyles. Because cloche hats were designed to conform to the head and sit low on the forehead, they were perfectly suited to fit over and accent short hairstyles. And so cloche hats and short hair became a match made in fashion heaven.

After the Roaring '20s, women’s cloche hats experienced a slight decline, but enjoyed a revival in the '60s and '80s. One such example is fashion designer Patrick Kelly's take on traditional cloche hats with an updated, buttoned brim. And as recently as autumn 2007, Elle magazine featured these classic styles, calling them "the haute accessory of the moment."

Cloche hats were traditionally made of felt, making them easier to conform to the head. As they grew in popularity, designers began to branch out from the traditional felt material. Women’s cloche hats were made from straw for summer wear, and lace for more formal events such as cocktail parties and even weddings. They were traditionally accented with embroidery, appliqués and brooches, feathers, bows, and floral accents.
In the days long before social media, MySpace, and Facebook, it was fashionable for women to use ribbons to display their relationship status on cloche hats. A knot symbolized marriage. An arrow-shaped ribbon indicated that a woman was committed to someone, likely being courted. And a ribbon tied in a large, gaudy bow, often in bright, eye-catching colors, broadcast that the wearer was single and ready to mingle!

In keeping with the colorful history of women's cloche hats, we are proud to offer cloche hats for women in materials such as traditional felt fur, wool, straw and Panama straw for spring and summer styles and occasions, as well as synthetic materials.

We carry popular brands like Betmar, Christine A. Moore, Giovannio, Helen Kaminski, and even our own Hats in the Belfry line of women's cloche hats, which includes styles not available anywhere else.

For a more traditional fur felt cloche, check out our Belfry Ember. Or for a one-of-a-kind straw summer cloche, check out the Christine A. Moore Lindsey.

With cloche hats for women available in a variety of colors and materials, and for all seasons, you're sure to find the perfect cloche hat to top off your new outfit or accent your favorite pea coat.

Whether you're looking to cut loose and unleash your inner flapper, emulate your favorite old-fashioned movie star, or are looking for an updated, contemporary take on the classic cloche, we have a wide variety of women's cloche hats to choose from. So you're sure to find the perfect cloche to top off your outfit.