M970.26.23 | Hat
This straw hat was probably worn in the mid-1920s, in summer. Like the cloche hat fashionable in this period, it is very deep and the edges come down quite far, below the eyebrows. Unlike the narrow brim of a cloche, however, its brim is rather wide in front and on the sides, but short turned up in the back.
From 1920 to 1930, the most popular materials for hats were straw, felt, silk and horsehair. Hats were often trimmed with silk appliqués, fruits, costume jewellery or even, as here, flowers embroidered with ribbons.
At the time, it was also possible to buy a similar hat, plain, and trim it yourself. For example, in its 1927 spring-summer catalogue, Eaton's department store featured a choice of hat trims, including floral motifs and ribbons.
Hats used to be handmade by specialized craftswomen called milliners. At the turn of the 20th century, some department stores, like Eaton's, had their own workshops for ready-to-wear or custom-made hats. At the same time, other companies supplied department stores with industrially produced finished hats.