Tudor Hats were an essential part of clothing for men and women in the 'Peacock Age' of the Tudors and played an important part in the fashion of the times. The rich Tudors used a variety of costly materials in their hats but it is fascinating to note that in 1571 a law was passed which ordered everyone over the age of six to wear a woollen cap on Sundays and on holidays in order to help England's wool trade. Needless to say royalty and the nobility were excused from obeying this law. Another interesting fact is the taller the hat the more important the man - poor men wore woollen flat caps.
Tudor Hats for Women
The fashions of the Tudors dictated that the head and hair of women was adorned with a hat, veil, coif or caul. The style of the head covering, or Tudor hats, dictated the hairstyle of women. Many of the hats were highly elaborate and costly and adorned with feathers, pearls, glass jewels, spangles, gold thread, embroidery and lace. The following list details the different Tudor hats and head coverings for women.
Tudor Hats for Women - The Coif
The Coif - The coif was commonly referred to as the 'biggin' and was worn by all children and poorer Tudor women and nuns. The material of the coif was plain white linen and consisted of a close fitting cap tied under the chin. Coifs were often worn by rich Tudor women to keep hair in place under more elaborate hats.
Hats for Women - The French Hood
The French hood was introduced from the French court by Anne Boleyn, the mother of Elizabeth I. A half moon, or crescent, style band or brim sloping away from the face. The edges of the French Hood were often adorned with pearls or glass jewels, called bilaments, and a veil covered the back of the hair.
Hats for Women - The Atifet
The Atifet was similar to the French hood style of hat but with a heart shaped crescent - favoured in white by Mary Queen of Scots. Lace trimmnigs were added as decoration to the Atifet.
Tudor Hats for Women - The Caul
The Caul was the equivalent to the Tudors hair net! A Caul covered the hair at the back of the head and was made of fabric, or fabric covered by netted cord which was sometimes adorned with spangles.
Hats for Women - The Pillbox Hat
The Pillbox style of hat - often had a veil attached to the back
Tudor Hats for Men
The Elizabethan fashion dictated that the head was adorned with a hat. Hat brims were often turned up and fastened to the crown with a jewelled brooch or other ornament, as seen in the above picture of King Henry VIII. Hat bands using scarves made of expensive fabric, such as silk, were often used as a form of decoration. The materials used to make Tudor hats for men consisted of silk, velvet, taffeta and wool. All classes and ages wore feathers in their hats. Hats worn by rich Tudor men were expensively decorated with jewelled bands (called bilaments), brooches, badges and ribbons.
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