There’s a reason everyone knows about cloche hats.
Inseparable from the iconic image of a stylish woman from the 1920s (such as Coco Chanel, pictured above) these little helmet hats represent a turning point in not only fashion, but women’s, history.
Named for their shape with the French word for “bell”, cloche hats were an essential style item for 1920s “flappers”.
“Flappers” were women who were known to break conventions of the day, either just by having more money and independence, liberal party-going lifestyles, or simply devilish displays of wit. Their look was about throwing out the corset and welcoming in the cigarette.
Before cloche hats became the most popular hat of their era, most high society ladies wore wide-brimmed, extravagant Edwardian hats, fitting to the quiet, regalness expected of women in good standing at that time.
Try running down a busy city street with one of these wide-brimmed hats….. not happening.
That’s why it was such a big deal when cloche hats hit the scene. Because women were establishing themselves in the new, big cities of North America with a totally fresh, modern attitude– right on the heels of women’s suffrage in the United States in 1920.
The design of the cloche was itself controversial in that women who wore them literally had to turn up their chins and peer over their noses just to see out under the tiny brims. This snooty regard sent a message that women have opinions of their own, and don’t you forget it!
Here at MONIKOVA we are inspired by the cloche hat, and what it meant in it’s time. The decision to say, I'm having sex before I get married! And I'm voting too! That determined and independent attitude that represented a huge shift in how North American women view themselves.
Think about that the next time you peer over your nose to take a selfie…. or read a book..... maybe the cloche hat helped get you there!
Learn more about the history of 1920s hats here, and see lots of images for everyday fashion inspiration!
Or read this article to find out if you embody the qualities of a true, modern day flapper.