Through the ages hats for women have been both a necessity (to keep warm) and a mere fun accessory. Milliners (mostly women) have been creating hats and bonnets with style and flare for centuries. But, did you know that the term "milliner" originated in Milan, Italy, where many of the finest straw hats and hat forms were made during the 1700s?
Recently I met a young woman working as a receptionist but designing hats on the side. It was her dream to become a milliner of note. She moved to Toronto where there was more opportunity to realize her dream. On a trip to New York (wearing one of her own creations) she was spotted by a newspaper reporter who ran a story about her . . . the rest is history. She now has her own business and is catering to women of all ranks in life. People love her hats and it is obvious that hats have NOT gone out of fashion. Here is her website www.tierretaylor.com and take a look at those gorgeous hats.
The woman protagonist in my upcoming novel Providence probably wore many hats from the1840s to the year 2000. Even in the orphanage where she grew up she would have worn a cap. When she worked in service as a maid, it would have been a small white lace arrangement. Later when she was the chatelaine of a large house, her hats would have ranged from smart to ornate, many with feathers to adorn them.
It is good to know that hats are still in fashion today.