Loading Spinner

Women's Hats

For centuries, a woman was not considered fully dressed unless she wore a hat, and there was a time when no self-respecting lady ventured outside the home with her head bare. As that is no longer the case, the evolution of women's hats coincides with both fashion evolution and social change.

At the turn of the twentieth century, bird feathers were frequently featured in ornamental hats before a protest movement gave rise to the Audubon Society. In the Roaring Twenties, cloches were de rigueur for women who appreciated the deep, close fit that kept them in place while on the dance floor. The '30s Surrealist movement's obsession with geometrical forms heavily influenced hat styles as well

By the '40s, silk-veiled chapeaus gained favor as ideal pairings for fishnet stockings. The arrival of the '50s brought much smaller hats like those styled after Jacqueline Kennedy's fashionable pill-box hat, which were universally worn with A-line dresses. And as the feminist movement, and beehive hairstyle, rose in the '60s, millinery faded as women ditched their headgear.

In the minds of many, the hat is an afterthought in the world of style, but for connoisseurs, a well-made hat still sits atop the list of must-have accessories. Modern-day hatmaker offerings and auctions featuring vintage women's hats satisfy their predilection for stylish headwear.


Quick Facts

  • French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's signature two-cornered hat, mirroring the bicorn style worn by women through the Edwardian era, sold at auction in 2014 for $2.4 million
  • The high conical hat worn by the Wicked Witch of the West character in "The Wizard of Oz" sold at a Profiles in History auction in 2010 for $200,000
  • In June 2015, a black velvet hat by Montaldo's that belonged to Marilyn Monroe sold at a Julien's auction for $3,520

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

BURBERRYS Vtg Luxury Khaki Bucket Hat
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
BURBERRYS Vtg Luxury Khaki Bucket Hat
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $30- $100
$609 Bids
Burberry Style Nova Check Bucket Hat
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Burberry Style Nova Check Bucket Hat
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $20- $40
$503 Bids
Basque hat for the Italian Red Cross
Oct 06, 2:00 PM CEST
Basque hat for the Italian Red Cross
by Bertolami Fine Art
Est: €0- €0
€101 Bid
bp parity badge
CHANEL - Tweed Boucle Bucket Hat - Pearls / Maroon / CC Logo - Size 57
Oct 06, 11:15 AM EDT
CHANEL - Tweed Boucle Bucket Hat - Pearls / Maroon / CC Logo - Size 57
by BougieHabit
Est: $404- $1,011
$3001 Bid
CLEO ROMAGNOLI LOT OF 5 HATS 80s / 90s
Oct 06, 2:00 PM CEST
CLEO ROMAGNOLI LOT OF 5 HATS 80s / 90s
by Bertolami Fine Art
Est: €0- €0
€100 Bids
Two Felt Tricorn Hats
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CDT
Two Felt Tricorn Hats
by Link Auction Galleries
Est: $50- $100
$250 Bids
Two Molded Felt Tricorn Hats
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CDT
Two Molded Felt Tricorn Hats
by Link Auction Galleries
Est: $75- $125
$250 Bids
ALESSANDRA BOCCI SCARPELLINI STRAW HAT
Oct 12, 12:00 PM EDT
ALESSANDRA BOCCI SCARPELLINI STRAW HAT
by Converse Auctions
Est: $10- $20
$100 Bids
Group of Designer Hats, 19thC Wedding Hat
Oct 08, 10:00 AM EDT
Group of Designer Hats, 19thC Wedding Hat
by Kaminski Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
bp parity badge
GUCCI Hut, Gr. L (58).
Oct 08, 3:00 PM CEST
GUCCI Hut, Gr. L (58).
by Auktionshaus Eppli
Est: €0- €0
€1300 Bids
Ceremonial Bicorne Hat in Case.
Oct 15, 10:30 AM PDT
Ceremonial Bicorne Hat in Case.
by Turner Auctions + Appraisals
Est: $100- $200
$800 Bids
2 vilten dameshoeden gedecoreerd met o.a. rose struisvogelveren, inclusief 2 houten standaards, circ
Oct 06, 7:00 PM CEST
2 vilten dameshoeden gedecoreerd met o.a. rose struisvogelveren, inclusief 2 houten standaards, circ
by Veilinghuis Van Spengen
Est: €50- €100
€500 Bids
VINTAGE MINK HAT & WHITE GLOVES
Oct 12, 12:00 PM EDT
VINTAGE MINK HAT & WHITE GLOVES
by Converse Auctions
Est: $20- $40
$100 Bids
bp parity badge
CHANEL - Quilted Fantasy Tweed CC Boater Hat - Black, White
Oct 06, 11:15 AM EDT
CHANEL - Quilted Fantasy Tweed CC Boater Hat - Black, White
by BougieHabit
Est: $539- $1,349
$4500 Bids
bp parity badge
CHANEL - 19C 2019 Cruise Iconic Tweed and Sequin Beret Hat - CC Logo - Size S
Oct 06, 11:15 AM EDT
CHANEL - 19C 2019 Cruise Iconic Tweed and Sequin Beret Hat - CC Logo - Size S
by BougieHabit
Est: $458- $1,146
$3500 Bids
bp parity badge
CHANEL - Vintage Orange Cloth Yarn Bucket Hat - Fringe Detail - 57 / S
Oct 06, 11:15 AM EDT
CHANEL - Vintage Orange Cloth Yarn Bucket Hat - Fringe Detail - 57 / S
by BougieHabit
Est: $323- $809
$2500 Bids
Vintage Purple & Silver Tinsel Hat, with Christmas Decorations
Oct 10, 11:00 AM EDT
Vintage Purple & Silver Tinsel Hat, with Christmas Decorations
by Denise Ryan Auction Co.
Est: $25- $500
$100 Bids
1870s Lady's Mourning Bonnet w Hat Box
Oct 22, 10:00 AM CDT
1870s Lady's Mourning Bonnet w Hat Box
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids
Lot of 12 Ladies Hats 1959-1965
Oct 22, 10:00 AM CDT
Lot of 12 Ladies Hats 1959-1965
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids
20 1960s Hats
Oct 22, 10:00 AM CDT
20 1960s Hats
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids
Lot of 13 Ladies Hats 1940's, 50's, 60's
Oct 22, 10:00 AM CDT
Lot of 13 Ladies Hats 1940's, 50's, 60's
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids
5 Rare 1930s Hats
Oct 22, 10:00 AM CDT
5 Rare 1930s Hats
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $150- $200
$800 Bids
8 1930s - 40s Bright Red Hats
Oct 22, 10:00 AM CDT
8 1930s - 40s Bright Red Hats
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $150- $200
$800 Bids
Lot of 21 1950'6-60's Hats
Oct 22, 10:00 AM CDT
Lot of 21 1950'6-60's Hats
by Donley Auction Services
Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Women's Hats


Donley Auction Services

Donley Auction Services

Auktionshaus Eppli

Auktionshaus Eppli

BougieHabit

BougieHabit

Converse Auctions

Converse Auctions