This hat serves as a lesson that not every piece of historical clothing fits the rules of what defines an era. These photos were sent to me by Mary Jane of Poppy’s Vintage Clothing because she thought I’d love the label.
And she was so right! Even though this was not a hat for golf, Parkside was using the image of a golfing woman in what was a popular way to promote products in the 1920s. Susan at Witness2Fashion wrote a post several months ago about how the image of a golfing woman was commonly used in the 1920s as a symbol of the modern woman.
Which leads us to the problem of dating this hat. The style of the hat seems to be very early 1930s, but the label and the way the hat is constructed on the inside seem to say 1920s.
Until the 1930s, hats were generally fully lined. The label was usually a large woven piece that matched the rest of the lining. Such is the case in this hat. As the cloche began to shrink in the early 1930s, hats were generally not lined, and had a small woven ribbon label sew in.
The image of the woman golfer also looks to be 1920s. She is wearing a cloche and knickers.
This hat is sort of a cloche, but the back looks to be a bit short. It is possible that it was meant to be worn more on the back of the head, as the last 1920s brought about a slow trend toward showing a bit of the forehead.
I looked in all my sources to see if there were any hats like this one shown for the mid 1920s or later, but I pretty much did not find any examples. As the 1920s came to a close, hats were almost helmet-like, with tiny or no brims at all. This helmet cloche did not disappear on the stroke of midnight on January 1, 1930. Even in 1931 it was still occasionally seen in fashion magazines.
So when exactly was this hat made? I’m not enough of a hat expert to say, but my best guess is late 1920s or early 30s. I’d like to hear your thoughts.