A cocktail hat
Empress Michiko wearing cocktail hat

A cocktail hat is a small, extravagant, and typically brimless hat for a woman.[1] It is usually a component of evening wear and is intended as an alternative to a large-brimmed hat.[2] These hats are often decorated with beads, jewels or feathers, as well as a veil or netting.[3] Cocktail hats were most popular between the 1930s and 1960s.[citation needed]

Some fashion historians think that cocktail hats were the precursor to fascinators, hairpieces worn on the side of the head that gained popularity in the 1970s,[4][1] while others argue that fascinators were worn during the day and cocktail hats in the late afternoon or evening. Unlike a fascinator, a cocktail hat has a fully formed and visible base.[citation needed]

Cocktail hats can be of many shapes, ranging from modeled wool or felt or shaped straw to softer, turban-like constructions.[5][6]

See also

Similar women's hats:


  1. ^ a b Brucculieri, Julia (2018-05-02). "Here's Why British Women Wear Such Ridiculous Hats At Weddings". HuffPost. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  2. ^ "Cocktail Hats-Fascinators-Hair Accessories-Headpieces- Vintage Style Files". Bluevelvetvintage.com. 2009-03-24. Archived from the original on 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
  3. ^ "Cocktail Hats". Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  4. ^ "History of fascinator hats". V is for Vintage. August 30, 2012. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  5. ^ "Millinery". www.lasell.edu. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  6. ^ Balenciaga, Cristóbal (1960). "Cocktail Hat". Digital Library. Retrieved 2019-06-18.