What is National Hat Day?
Get out your favorite hat (we know, sometimes it can be really hard to decide) and celebrate National Hat Day this January 15! Hats have been worn as uniforms, fashion accessories, and protective gear. And did you know that they date all the way back to before 3,300 BCE? That’s right, that’s older than both your parents combined!
History of National Hat Day
Though there aren’t any official records of hats before 3,000 BCE, it is believed that they were commonplace long before that. The 30,000 year old Venus of Willendorf figurine may depict a woman wearing a woven hat. One of the earliest known confirmed hats was worn by a bronze-aged man nicknamed Otzi, whose body was found frozen in a mountain between Austria and Italy, where he had been since around 3250 BCE. He was discovered wearing a bearskin cap with a chinstrap made of several hides stitched together, resembling a Russian fur hat.
In the Middle Ages, hats were a marker of social status and used to single out certain groups. The 1215 Fourth Council of the Lateran required that all Jewish people identify themselves by wearing the “Judenhat”, marking themselves as targets for anti-Semitism. On the other hand, hats for women ranged from simple scarves to elaborate hennin, and acted as a symbol of social status. Structured hats for women similar to those of male courtiers began to be worn in the late 16th century. In the first half of the 19th century, women wore bonnets that gradually became larger, decorated with ribbons, flowers, feathers, and gauze trims. By the end of the century, many other styles were introduced, such as hats with wide brims and flat crowns, the flower pot and the toque. In the middle of the 1920s, when women began to cut their hair short, they chose hats that hugged their head like a helmet. These were the cloche hats, whose low brim made it so women had to walk with their chins up, creating an air of independence and self-reliance