Wholesale hats for spring this year provide a mix of traditional as well as creatively fresh designs and shapes. Super widebrims are back with even more dramatic brims in casual as well as dressy styles. Fedoras continue to grow in popularity, but cowboy hats remain the king in casual headwear. Dress hats take new shapes and trims for exciting designs that will galvanize the attention of church ladies as well as women searching for the exceptional in derby hats.
NEW EXCITEMENT IN DRESS HATS
Starting with dress hats, let’s look at untrimmed hats first. When the untrimmed hat body has exciting new shapes, it’s much easier for the milliner to deliver creative designs that will turn heads. This year is a bonanza for new shapes, but first let’s talk about the return of a hot item from last year—the super widebrim with a 5 ½ inch brim. A traditional shape with rounded crown and 5 ½ inch brim with some bounce uses polypropylene to capture a Milan straw look in dressy headwear. The brims alternate narrow bands of polypropylene with horsehair for a stunning look and the added width in the brim gives a fabulous feeling of derby day hats or exceptional elegance desired for an outdoor wedding. Add to this a wide choice of colors and you also have headwear that is exceptional for bridesmaids.
The new shapes in untrimmed hats include a lampshade style inspired by hats from the early 1960s. High crowns expand out as they go up and the 4 ½ inch brim rolls down. The hats have color choices and construction is polypropylene, which delivers a fine sewn-and-braid straw appearance.
Reaching back further in millinery history, two new toques reinvent popular shapes from the 1950s. Toques made a big splash in hat fashion during the 1950s. They were close fitting brimless hats, often with tall crowns. The style developed into the bubble toque in the 1960s, which had less height and bubbled out. Soft materials were the choice medium for most toques in the mid 20th century, but today’s revival of toques in untrimmed hats uses polypropylene for a more rigid construction with the appearance of fine weaved straw.
Two toques bring fresh shapes to untrimmed hats this spring. One has a high crown and no brim (typical of a toque) and the other is a bubble toque with a diagonal dropping ridge that blocked into the design. Imagine the fabulous designs a milliner can deliver with these shapes! The untrimmed hats went on line in the last 10 days and hat designers are scooping them up quickly.
Trimmed hats in polypropylene are also turning heads with new styles. Higher crowns that angle, modified cavaliers, and lavish trim contribute to the excitement. Cavaliers that first entered ladies hat fashion in 1920 when the novel, The Three Musketeers, came out, made such an impression that milliners to this day are reinterpreting the design with its sassy brim dipping on one side and flipping up on the other. This season’s version combines the brim with a high crown that angles down to lavish decoration with satin bow on one side.
Another favorite for spring is a tall crown in polypropylene that has a squared crown angling to one side. The hat uses a short downturned brim and different decorations to achieve very different looks.
Part II will follow shortly covering casual hats that are making an impact this spring.