(For Part 1 click here)

The 1920s – A decade of great hat fashions

The Twenties was the era of the hat. Women in particular didn’t leave the house without some type of head covering – and we were quick off the mark to offer a wide range of hats and headbands to these Twenties trendsetters.

In 1925 when Boardmans began, hat styles were still somewhat influenced by the enormous hats of the previous decades. Wide brimmed garden sun hats with round crowns were the thing to wear outside – often trimmed with a wide sash of silk and large artificial flowers.

But when Boardmans was founded, the iconic hat of the Jazz Age, the cloche, was firmly established as a perennial style favourite.


These close-fitting hats were worn low over the eyebrows with slight brims – some curling up, some angled out and others pointing down. Embellishments were usually kept to a minimum – ribbon trims, dainty embroidery, bows, feathers or a simple jewelled hat pin.

As the decade went on, styles changed and side brims came down over one or both ears – allowing for more elaborate embellishment such as intricate embroidery, art deco geometric shapes or jewels.

Cloche Embellished

Interesting, these ribbons were sometimes covert signals for those in the know. Tied like an arrow meant that the woman had given her love to another, a firm knot that she was married and a bow meant that she had some openings on her dance card!

By the end of the decade, however, the style had evolved and the brim was now non-existent.

Coming right up to date and with the sixth series of the massively popular Downton Abbey, we couldn’t help but notice the stunning array of hats worn by the fabulously fashionable ladies and gents on the Yorkshire country estate.

Downton Abbey

The 1920’s style hats are coming back in a big way this Autumn/Winter and the women of Downton Abbey have been showcasing some stunning designs in the latest series.

Twenties trends today

For Boardmans, the style of the Downton ladies has been a key driver in terms of trends development and design.

We’ve worked with many of our clients on hats that will ensure their customers achieve the 1920’s vintage look with the most modern edge.

Downtown Abbey matriarch – Countess of Grantham and Viscountess Downton – Cora Crawley and her daughters’ enviable array of exquisite hats has doubtless inspired our designs and driven the demands of our customers to meet their customers’ style needs.

And although the dramatic, wide brimmed hats worn by the countess – an indication of her wealth and entitlement – haven’t been as quick to catch on, the cloche has been a hugely popular style for us.

Stylish and warm, there’s little wonder of its perennial popularity and why it’s recently been spotted on the super-stylish heads of Victoria Beckham, Cara Delevingne, Mila Klunis and Sarah Jessica Parker.

victoria beckham cloche hat

cara delevingne cloche-hat



To find out more about our product ranges, inspiration and trends boards, click here.

Leave a Reply


Copyright © 2021 Boardmans. All Rights Reserved.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy. Website by Williams&Crosby.