Cloche Hat - Design


Cloche hats were usually made of felt so that they conformed to the head, and were typically designed to be worn low on the forehead, with the wearer's eyes only slightly below the brim. In later years, a summer cloche might be made from sisal or straw. Cloches could also be made of beads or lace for evening wear, for cocktails, dancing or even for bridal wear.

The contemporaneous Art Deco style often impacted the outline of the brim or the style of seams. While commonly worn plain, allowing the cut and shape of a well-made hat to take precedence, a cloche could be decorated with appliqu├ęs, embroidery, jeweled brooches, scarves, fans of feathers, or similar accents. By the end of the 1920s, it became fashionable to turn the brims on cloche hats upwards. This style remained prevalent until the cloche hat became obsolete around 1933 or '34.

Often, different styles of ribbons affixed to the hats indicated different messages about the wearer. Several popular messages included: An arrow-like ribbon which indicated a girl was single but had already given her heart to someone, a firm knot which signaled marriage or a flamboyant bow which indicated the wearer was single and interested in mingling.

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    If I commit suicide, it will not be to destroy myself but to put myself back together again. Suicide will be for me only one means of violently reconquering myself, of brutally invading my being, of anticipating the unpredictable approaches of God. By suicide, I reintroduce my design in nature, I shall for the first time give things the shape of my will.
    Antonin Artaud (1896–1948)

    Nowadays the host does not admit you to his hearth, but has got the mason to build one for yourself somewhere in his alley, and hospitality is the art of keeping you at the greatest distance. There is as much secrecy about the cooking as if he had a design to poison you.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life ... for fear that I should get some of his good done to me,—some of its virus mingled with my blood.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)