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Women's Hats: Fun or Fundamental?

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American women have historically loved hats; but that love comes and goes between the issue of balancing common sense and fashion sense. Baseball caps, cowboy hats, and winter wool have become wardrobe staples, but except for special occasions we have lost sight of the hats that were, and what they were called. Their shapes actually each had a name.


A little history: Hats for more than any reason beside the absolute necessity of protecting one’s head, didn’t roll in until the Middle Ages when the Catholic church demanded that women cover their hair as part of their religion.


Women shopkeepers rose to the challenge, creating a new industry, making or providing the needed head covers. After a few centuries, those simple hat makers became milliners, named after Milan, Italy, where the very best straw hats were made. Hat makers graduated to the grander term milliner by understanding the opportunity to put more than a head scarf on their wealthy clientele. The milliners of the distant past w…