Is a hat a frivolous accessory or a necessity? When looking into its history it quickly becomes apparent that it has been both.
Headwear for women began in earnest during the Middle Ages when the church decreed that their hair must be covered.During the 18th century, milliners took the hat-making art out of the home and established the millinery profession. Today, a ‘milliner’ defines a person associated with the profession of hat making. In the 18th century however, a milliner was more of a stylist. Traditionally a woman’s occupation, the milliner not only created hats or bonnets to go with costumes but also chose the laces, trims and accessories to complete an ensemble. The term ‘milliner’ comes from the Italian city of Milan, where in the 1700’s, the finest straws were braided and the best quality hat forms were made.