*** historical girls' clothing: garment gender connotations bows

Girls' Headwear: Bonnets

girls bonnets
Figure 1.--This trimmed-American cabinet card portrait shows four girls wearing elaborate bonnets. It blooks to have been taken in the 1900s devade. These bonnets were no loonger in style. We are not sure why they are weraing them. Their dresses are quite up to date and stylish. The boys wear stanndard caps. Notice that the younger boy is barefoot.

Bonnets were mostly worn by girls and women. It was a meieval term for headwear worn by men and women. It was a term used for a wide range of headwear types. Gradually it became more associated with female headwear which was the case (by the 18th century). The exception was Scotland. Scottish bonnets are the exceotion, but they hve no relationship to the bonnets worn by girls and women in the 18th and 19th century. Generally speaking the bonnerts on by girls and wonen were done in material and did not have easily destinguishvle brims as they were done in such soft material, although the flounncy material might be considered a type of brim. A major feature associated with bonnets is unlike caps and hats, the forehead was left uncovered, but the back of the head was covered. This probably related to a medieval function of headwear for women -- to modestly cover a woman's hair. This was a European term. The term originated in France and was amony French terms introduced by the Normans. The term in French originally referred to a type of material which was used to produce headwear. modern bonnets were a style worn by fashionable, largely well to-do women. Gradually the term became fashionble and worn by a wider social group (18th century). It was a term widely used for women's headwear in general, a lingusustic twist which continued into the 20th century--such as 'Easter bonnet'. 'Bonnet' became the dominant term used for female hats. But this is thus not useful in assessing the style. What we choose to call a bonnet, is also what we see pioneer women wearing or flounncy headwear worn by mostly elderly women. The style is related to more modern baby bonnets.


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Created: 5:13 AM 10/30/2018
Last updated: 5:13 AM 10/30/2018