Even more floral hats

European and American styles of the 19th century perennially employed floral embellishment as the perfect addition to the wide assortment of bonnet and hat styles a woman could wear. During the 20th century, floral hats blossomed in the Oughts, the early Teens, the late Thirties, the Fifties through the early Sixties. The majority of the examples seen in this exhibition come from the flowering of millinery during the years following World War II through 1962. European dress may be what is narrowly viewed as fashion, but the use of floral headgear is not limited by geography. Many Pacific Island peoples have traditions of botanical costume and hair embellishment. Central and South American peoples have sported floral crowns and garlands.


Floral Hat

Synthetic lace; silk flowers
Gift of Alice K. Miller and Philip Klauber
Flowers: Rose

The name “pagoda” was given to hats with steeply sloped brims evocative of the roof line of pagoda architecture. This example of stiffened black lace is embellished with full-blown white roses.


Floral Hat

Label: “Betty Hindle Millinery/San Diego”
Straw: plaited and stitched; cloth flowers; nylon netting
Gift of Virginia L. Grady
Flowers: Pink rose, lilac

San Diego city directories list a milliner Elizabeth S. Hindle from 1933-39 then a Betty Hindle from 1944-1948 and again in 1952. The form of the hat pitches the floral decorated top forward, similar to the photograph from Vogue 1945.


Floral Hat

Late 1950s
Silk flowers, chenille pipe cleaners
SDH 95.104.3 Gift of Ann Jones Flowers: Poppies


Floral Hat

Label: “Wanda of San Diego/original”
Wool crepe, silk flower
Gift of Betty Quale
Flowers: Rose

Wanda McCullough was a San Diego milliner who trained in Europe. Her hat business was located at 3024 5th Avenue. She is listed as a milliner in 1952 and subsequently as 5th Avenue Millinery Supplies from 1953 through 1969/70. The design and execution of the hat are impeccable. The simplicity of form is complemented by the massing of luscious silk roses – a fine combination of the talents of the artificial flower maker and the milliner.


Floral Hat

Label: “Julius Garfinkle & Co./Washington Paris”
Straw: plaited, stitched
Gift of Mrs. Frances Richard Sutton
Flowers: Peony or scabious?, forget-me-not

This hat, similar to the Schiaparelli hat illustrated in Vogue 1938, was purchased at the Washington D.C. department store Julius Garfinkle. When donating the hat to the Historical Society the owner said that this was one of her favorites – she wore it with a black suit also purchased at Garfinkel’s.


floral hat

Label: “Leslie James/Trademark” and “Whitsitt’s/La Jolla”
Synthetic straw; silk flowers
Gift of Ann Russell Verhoye
Flowers: Plumeria?

This hat came from the shop of the famous San Diego milliner, Mabel Whitsitt. According to the donor, the hat was purchased by Mrs. Ruth Russell to be a table centerpiece, possibly for a Women’s University Club function. It was later worn, as makeup in the hatband indicates.

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