A repurposed vintage straw hat

What once was a men’s hat is now a lady’s 1880s summer hat!

This gorgeous vintage men’s straw hat has been sitting around my studio for years just waiting to become something beautiful! I knew I wanted this hat to become something 1880s-ish but never had the occasion to make something from this period.

1880s natural form summer hat

When Historic Rugby asked me to come to their site for a presentation on late Victorian era fashion, I knew my chance had finally come!

I used a combination of ready make ribbon, strips of silk, and vintage velvet flowers to trim this hat

This hat was designed to be worn with an early 1880s natural form summer dress in the palest mint green with vintage hand knotted lace. The gown was to be accented with a peachy- pink sash so I chose to highlight that color palette in the ensemble’s accomplaying hat.

I made the round button at the front of the hat from jewelry pieces I have here in the studio

The beautiful aged patina of this “once” men’s topper is now a delicate and feminine 1880s summer hat. I think it needs some cream feathers. What do you think?

For more information on how to commission a hat for yourself, feel free to reach out to us or visit our millinery catalog to see what we currently have in stock!

About Susan

My interest in historical costume began at a very early age. I knew by age 5 I wanted to be a designer. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to turn my passion into a full time business. You can find my costumes onstage in NYC, on the big screen, and in museums around the globe.