Colonial Hats

During the Revolution, extremes of rich and plain attire in women's dress were most marked. In the large cities, especially in those occupied from time to time by the British, balls, dinners, dances, and parties kept fashion uppermost in the thoughts of the ladies; while throughout the country districts the majority of women dressed as plainly as possible, wearing domestic materials and curtailing expenses wherever possible in order to send help to their men who were fighting.  Fashion in hats was never more varied than it was during the eighties and to the middle of the nineties. Hats of all sizes and materials, from small hats, caps, and close shapes to large enveloping bonnets and great broad-brimmed hats. One finds hats of straw, beaver, felt, silk, and gauze. Through the introduction of a black lace called "grenadine" from Chantilly, a great stimulus was given to millinery during the years from 1775 to the close of the century.