Journal of Undergraduate Research


headwear in the 1950s, hats, fashion history


Fine Arts and Communications


Theatre and Media Arts


With the end of World War II came a drastic change in fashion. Gone were the stiff shoulders and narrow silhouettes and in came the New Look of 1947, designed by Christian Dior. This look emphasized soft curves, narrow waists, and large wide skirts—a far cry from wartime fashions where fabric was rationed and such skirts were seen as a luxury that few could afford. With this change of fashion came a change in hats. While wartime hats were still widely worn, many new hats came onto the scene. This decade became the culmination of different hat styles from the large to the small, the formal to the casual, and the simple to the extravagant. They were a necessity, for a woman wouldn’t be seen out of the house without her hat and gloves. More than that, the hat became the exclamation point to a woman’s ensemble, each with a unique style.