Clothing and Fashion - Elizabethan Hats for Men Elizabethan Hats were an essential part of clothing for men in the 'Peacock Age' and played an important part in the fashion of the day. Hat brims were often turned up and fastened to the crown with a jewelled brooch or other ornament. Hat bands using scarves made of expensive fabric, such as silk, were often used as a form of decoration.
Hats for Men The Elizabethan fashion dictated that the head was adorned with a hat. The Upper Classes used a variety of materials in their hats but it is fascinating to note that in 1571 a law was passed which ordered everyone over the age of six to wear a woollen cap on Sundays and holidays in order to help England's wool trade. The Upper Classes were excused from obeying this law!
The materials that hats were made of were silk, velvet, taffeta and wool
Older men covered their heads with a coif ( commonly referred to as the 'biggin' ) under their hats
The taller the hat the more important the man - lower classes wore woollen flat caps
The Muffin cap - worn by the lower classes in cheap linen ( similar to a cooks hat )
Tall Crown hat worn by the Upper Class - made with expensive fabrics - silk velvet etc
The Flat cap worn by the Upper and Lower Class
The Toque - similar to a flat cap
Hat decorations - All classes and ages wore feathers in their hats. Hats worn by the Upper Class were expensively decorated with jewelled bands (called bilaments), broaches, badges and ribbons
A Fool's Cap featured hornes, eares, ill faces and other such fopperies and were worn by court jesters, or fools
Elizabethan Hats for Men - a comment dating back to 1583! During the Elizabethan era pamphlets were printed and distributed commenting on life in Elizabethan England. A writer of one such pamphlet was a well travelled Londoner called Philip Stubbes. He was believed to have been born c1555 and died c1610. He was well educated and attended both Oxford and Cambridge University. He was also a strict Elizabethan Puritan and held firm views on any social practices which, in his view were, unfitting true Christians. He named his work " The Anatomie of Abuses " in which he strongly criticised many of the fashions and clothing worn during the Elizabethan era. It was entered in the Stationers' Register on 1 March 1583. This pamphlet includes his view and some valuable information about Elizabethan Elizabethan Hats for Men
"Some times they were them sharp on the crowne, pearking up like a sphere, or shafte of a steeple, standing a quarter of a yard above the crowne of their heades; some more, some less, as please the phantasies of their mindes. Othersome be flat and broad on the crowne, like the battlements of a house. Another sort have round crowns, sometimes with one kind of bande, sometime with an other; nowe blacke, nowe white, nowe russet, nowe red, nowe greene, now yellowe, now this, nowe that, never content with one colour or fashion two dayes to an ende. And as the fashions bee rare and straunge, so are the thinges wherof their Hattes be made, diverse also; for some are of silke, some of velvet, some of taffetie ,some of sarcenet, some of wool: and which is more curious, some of a certaine kind of fine haire, far fetched and deare bought, you may be sure; And so common a thinge it is, that everie Serving man, Countrey man, and other, even all in differently, do weare of these hattes . For he is of no account or estimation amongst men, if hee have not a velvet or a taffatie Hatte, and that muste be pincked and cunningly carved of the beste fashion; And good profitable Hattes bee they, for the longer you weare them the fewer holes they have. Besides this, of late there is a new fashion of wearing their Hattes sprung up amongst them, which they father upon the Frenchmen, namely to weare them without bandes;but how unseemlie (I will not say how Assy) a fashion that is, let the wife judge. Notwithstanding, howe ever it bee, if it please them, it shall not displease me. Another sort (as phantasticall as the rest) are content with no kind of Hatt without agreat bunche of feathers of diverse and sundrie colours, peaking on toppe of their heads, not unlyke (I dare not say) Cockscombes, but as sternes of pride andensigns of vanitie; and these fluttering sayles and fethered flags of defiance to vertue (for so they are) are so advaunced in England that every Childe hath them in his hat or cap: many get good living by dying and felling of them, and not a fewe proove themselves more than fooles in wearing of them."
Interesting Facts and Information about Elizabethan Hats for Men Some interesting facts and confirmation of information about Elizabethan Hats for men can be obtained from the words of Philip Stubbes. A first hand impression of the fashions of the Elizabethan era are invaluable - but the Elizabethan style of writing can be hard going! The following information has therefore been taken from the points he made on Hats for men:
The style of hats are referred to ranging from high hats to flat hats
The materials that hats were made of were silk, velvet, taffeta, wool and sarcenet
Sarcenet was a delicate silk fabric
The range of different colors for hats
The fast changing fashions for hats
The prolific use of feathers to decorate the hat - even children had them in their hats!
Elizabethan Elizabethan Hats for Men Additional details, facts and information about Elizabethan Clothing and Fashion can be accessed via the Elizabethan Era Sitemap.
Elizabethan Clothing - Elizabethan Hats for Men
Interesting Facts and information about Clothing & Fashion - Elizabethan Hats for Men
Fashion - Elizabethan Hats for Men
Tall Crown Hat
The Toque Hat
Materials and accessories
Extract from pamphlet by Philip Stubbes regarding Elizabethan Hats for Men dated 1583