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The History of Cloche Hats

The cloche hat was first created in 1908 by a French milliner named Caroline Reboux. The small, bell-shaped hat was aptly named a “cloche” hat, after the French word for “bell.” The 1920s were the heyday of the cloche hat, and the iconic 1920s silhouette was even more snug-fitting than previous versions of the headwear. Cloche hats paired perfectly with the bob hairstyle, which was extremely popular at the time. They were often worn so low over the eyebrows that women had to walk with their chins up and their eyes cast down, a phenomenon that only added to the allure of the look. Over time, embellishment began to play a larger role in cloche hat design. Applique, beads, brooches, and feathers were all popular choices. Women often wore embellished cloche hats for their weddings, and as the craze continued into the 1930s, the hats began to show up on the silver screen as well. In the 1940s and 1950s, the cloche hat fell out of fashion, but it did enjoy a brief return to popularity in the 1960s. While cloche hats have not made a grand comeback, they remain a stylish choice and continue to show up on fashion runways and on the heads of fashion-forward fans of the look today.

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