Hats, August 1800

Fashions of London and Paris, August 1800.

“London Head Dresses.”

Crowns and brims are kept very close to the head at this time. All of the crowns of these hats, even the brimmed hats, are soft, ie made of fabric and not straw or other stiff, structured material. Those with stiffened brims (Nos. 4,6,7, and 9) are actually capotes, the most popular style of bonnet in both London and Paris at this time.

In this early period, artificial flowers were very common on bonnets. Jane Austen writes this to her sister in 1799:

“We have been to the Cheap Shop & very cheap we found it, but there are only flowers made there, no fruit – & as I could get 4 or 5 very pretty sprigs of the former for the same money which would procure only one Orleans plum, in short could get more for three or four Shillings than I could have means of bringing home, I cannot decide on the fruit till I hear from you again.—Besides, I cannot help thinking that it is more natural to have flowers grow out of the head than fruit.”

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“Fig. 1.–Turban of white crape, ornamented with beads and white feathers in front. Bows on the top of the crown and behind.

“Fig. 2.–Cap of single crape, transparent; tied up in a bunch on the top of the crown. Ornamented with a wreath of flowers.

“Fig. 3.–Turban of worked muslin made to form a half handkerchief behind; trimmed with lace. Lilac flower in front.

“Fig. 4.–A bonnet; the front of white chip, edged with pink; full crown of pink crape. Bows and flower.

“Fig. 5.–Turban of striped muslin, ornamented with two rows of beads round the front. White ostrich feather.

“Fig. 6.–A bonnet with white chip front, and green silk crown. Ornamented with flowers and bows.

“Fig. 7.–Bonnet with white chip front and yellow crape crown. Ornamented with crape wreath, and yellow flower in front.

“Fig. 8.–Bonnet of brown satin, covered with black lace. Bows and trimmings of the same.

“Fig. 9.–Bonnet of cambric muslin, trimmed with lilac ribband. Lilac spray in front.

“We are indebted to Miss Barry, of New Bond Street, for the Head Dresses No. 1, 2 & 3.”

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