A funny name for a hat isn’t it?
Well, for a brief period of time in around 1907, the most popular and stylish thing in the fashion world was the Merry Widow hat.
Some explanation is in order.
From the Beginning of the 1900’s, Women’s Hats grew in variety and became quite interesting. As styles began to change and women’s dresses became sleeker and closer fitting, hats began to get larger and larger, both in width and height.
In the year 1907, a play was produced in London by the name of The Merry Widow, and Lady Duff Gordon created a hat for “Sonia” the leading lady. The hat created is known for posterity as the “Merry Widow Hat”. This was one women’s head covering that really did cover.
This hat was an incredible 3 feet wide and 18 inches tall with plenty of feathers and ribbons to boot. Quickly they became all the rage and women rushed to buy them.
Sadly however, the style was short lived. London Theater goers complained that the hats were too big and obstructing their view, so theaters banned them contributing to their short shelf-life, so by the end of WW1 the Merry Widow hat was all but extinct.
However, they did leave us a great name!