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Cloche Hats: The Bell-shaped Hats for Women were all the Rage in the 1920s and 1930s

Invented by milliner Caroline Reboux in 1908, the cloche hat or simply cloche, is a fitted, bell-shaped hat for women. They were especially popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Its name comes from the French word cloche, which means bell. The cloche hat is usually made of felt to conform to the head and is typically worn low on the forehead so that the brim does not cover the wearer’s eyes. Summer clothes were sometimes made from sisal or straw in the past. Cloches could also be made of beads or lace for evening wear, cocktail attire, dancing, or even bridal wear.

Due to new short hair fashions, older style hats looked old-fashioned. Cloche hats complemented new hairstyles with their helmet-like fit. Cloche crowns follow the natural curve of the head. The trims were simple. A ribbon band trimmed some cloches, while others featured small jewelled brooches. Some were unadorned. Women wore cloche hats just above their eyes to hide their foreheads. Cloche hats skimmed the nape of the neck at the back. Cloches were sometimes worn tilted over the right eye. Cloche hats gave women an air of mystery, but wearing one so low made it difficult to watch where they walked.

Weddings became very popular with cloche hats. Bridal accessories such as these were trimmed with lace or comprised only of veiling. Consequently, women began to hold their heads back when walking, resulting in a new slant in their posture.

In the 1930s, cloche hats continued to be popular, but in modified forms. The sides and back of some had pleated folds, and some dipped over one eye. As hat fashions returned to elaborate designs, veiling or lace trimmings were sometimes added. Cloches faded from fashion in the 1930s and 1940s but were revived in the late 1950s.

Here are some fabulous photos of women wearing Cloche hats from the 1920s.

#1 A woman in Cloche Hat, seated at a soda fountain table, as she pours alcohol from a cane into a cup during Prohibition, 1922

#2 Journalist Mabel Herbert Urner, in cloche hat, standing on pillared stoop of her 1 Gramercy Park house, holding suitcase covered with travel stickers, New York, 1922.

#3 Young woman in a ‘flapper’ dress and cloche hat posing for portrait with hands on hips, 1922

#4 Fashion model wearing a short wrapover coat with fur collar, brimmed cloche hat, straight skirt and carries an umbrella, 1920s

#5 A woman wearing a felt cloche hat and using the telephone, 1922.

#6 A tiered summer coat, with ruffled cuffs and collar, 1922

#7 Fashion models in summer dresses, Fashion models in summer dresses, 1922

Fashion models in summer dresses, Fashion models in summer dresses, 1922

The model on the left wears a spiral patterned dress with large sheer collar, and large brimmed hat. The model on the right wears a plain dress with ruffled collar and waist trim, and cloche hat, August 1921, France.

#8 A young woman modelling a sleeveless, knee length dress with tulle decoration, Hamburg, 1921.

#9 Gladys Ross on a scooter at Le Touquet, France, 1921

#10 Marie Dressler (1869 – 1934) the MGM Hollywood actress, seen here with Polly Moran in Cloche Hat, 1921

#11 Yvonne Valle standing beside French singer and actor Maurice Chevalier as he sits on a chair and smiles. Valle wears a cloche hat with a day dress; Chevalier wears a three-piece pinstriped suit and a straw boater, 1921

#12 Two ladies, wearing fur coats and Cloche Hat, on their way to a hunting meet, standing by their convertible car.

#13 Fashion model wearing fur trimmed wrapover coat, Fashion model wearing a fur trimmed wrapover coat with matching dress, cloche hat and T-bar shoes, 1920,

#14 A woman seated on a divan, she wears a square necked black velvet dress with sheer chiffon sleeves and a black cloche hat, 1920

#15 A young woman fastening her stockings and wearing a loose fitting ‘step-in’ chemise undergarment and a cloche style hat, Paris, 1920.

#16 A half-length portrait of Lois Moran. She wears a white coat and cloche hat, 1920s

#17 Wardrobe mistress adjusting actress Ruth Taylor’s brimmed felt cloche hat, 1920s

#18 A woman modeling a hat fitted with a brooch on the front and a bow on the nape of the neck, 1925

#19 American Actress Fay Marbre in Cloche Hat and a toy dog, 1920

#21 British suffragist, Liberal politician, feminist and internationalist Margaret Corbett Ashby in cloche hat at the first president of the World League for Women’s Rights, 1920

#22 French opera sing, Jacqueline Francell in cloche hat, 1920s

#23 Man and two Women Posing in Bathing Suits, Atlantic City, 1925

#24 French opera sing, Jacqueline Francell in cloche hat, 1920

#25 Miss V M Rushton pulls a bow at the Tunbridge Wells Archery Contest in Kent, 1920

#26 Future Queen Consort to King George VI, Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon in cloche hat, 1920

#27 American film star Marion Davies modelling a cloche hat and a long jacket, 1920

#28 A smiling Marion Davies igns a cheque on Sid Grauman’s shoulder for tickets to ‘The Broadway Melody’, 1920

#29 A couple relaxing on a boat during film production, 1920

#30 Miss Zeala Inder in cloche hat on the Cannes tennis courts, France, 1920

#31 Ethel Lawrence christening the Radio Bull Dog at a ceremony on the roof of the Hotel Astor in New York City, with a christening radio device made by a radio engineer. G Clayton Irwin, 1920

#32 Elizabeth, Queen of the Belgians (1876 – 1965) in cloche hat, wife of King Albert, accompanied by soldiers, 1920

#33 John Gilbert ( 1895 – 1936) the actor and Ina Claire ( 1892 – 1985) the actress, on their wedding day, 1920

#34 Women standing by a convertible car, wearing fur lined coats and cloche hats, 1920

#35 Manja Tzatschewa in a cloche hat and a fur coat, 1919

#36 ELizabeth Taylor, in a popular cloche model in pale grey linen with a pleated side dip, 1920

ELizabeth Taylor, in a popular cloche model in pale grey linen with a pleated side dip, 1920

The headfitting crown is studded with pearl beads and banded with white pique with a fluff of pale grey veiling, tied to one side. Created by Casper Davis.

#37 Model wearing leopard skin coat with fox trim and a felt cloche hat with leather brim, 1920s

#38 Two women in spring coats, both with cloche hats and handbags, 1924

#39 A wrapover dress with pleated skirt, belted on the hips, and cloche hats, 1924

#40 A long-sleeved collarless boat-necked tunic dress worn with a deep crowned cloche hat, 1924

#41 A seven-eights straight coat with a small brimmed cloche hat and a suit with waist length v-necked jacket and long scarf, 1924

#42 Dress with tassels and embroidery and a cloche hat decorated with an over-sized ribbon, 1924

#43 A model wearing a printed coat with a fur stole and a fashionable cloche hat, designed by Drecoll, 1924

#44 V-necked suit by Felix Dupouy. Check jacket has dropped waist worn over a plain skirt. Hat is a small brimmed cloche, small pouch shaped handbag is carried over the wrist, 1924

#45 Vincent Astor, the great-grandson of financial and fur trader John Jacob Astor who perished on the Titanic, 1924

#46 A model wearing a dress with a lace stream resembling a tie across its breast and cloche hat, 1924

#47 Sir Robert Jardine (left), Mrs Charles Glover and Captain Hog on the first day of the Waterloo Cup hare coursing event at Altcar, near Liverpool, 13th March 1924.

#48 A short embroidered jacket with cloth covered buttons worn over a plain skirt. A cloche hat is worn with a decoration of long ribbons hanging down under the brim, 1924

#49 February 1924: Fur coat with fur trim and embroidered cloche hat, 1924

#50 A young woman modelling a floral print top and a cloche hat, Hamburg, 1924.

#51 Two elegantly dressed women, one in a cloche hat the other in a wide brimmed hat, and two smartly dressed children all sitting in car outside a large gardened house, 1924.

#52 Young, smartly dressed child (girl), wearing caped coat and cloche type hat, sitting on blankets outdoors having a picnic, 1924.

#53 Fashion at the races, in Auteuil. Striped skirt ensemble, long top trimmed with buttons. Paris, 1925

#54 Two models wearing dresses produced by Jacquet and cloche hat, 1924

#55 Two dresses, decorated with panels of detailed embroidery, 1924

#56 A long sleeveless overdress of lace and a drop-waisted long sleeved tunic dress with lace inserts worn with a cloche hat, 1924

#57 Simple, loose waisted short-sleeved dress worn with a loosely knotted scarf. A hat is cloche shaped with a large bow on the front, 1924

#58 A rust and cream plaid velour coat from Paris, set to be the season’s rage for sports and country wear, 1924

#59 Hazel Nason demonstrates a pocket on the cuff of her jacket, which can be used to hold money, a handkerchief or a powder compact, 1924

#60 A model dressed in Norman Hartnell evening coat and cloche hat, 1924

#62 American silent star Alice Terry , the screen name of Alice Taafe, drives to the studio where she will be working on the MGM film ‘The Great Divide’, 1924

#63 Mrs G W Vanderbilt and her daughter Cornelia, driving a Fordson tractor, 1920s

#64 An ankle length coat designed by Jean Patou, buttoning at the side, with a leather collar and leather trim, 1923

#65 Tiered ankle length dress in watered silk, with an embroidered rose at the hip, 1923

#66 The model wears a wrap over coat with a low-waisted embroidered and tasselled belt, with a fur stole and a cloche hat decorated with a velvet bow, 1923

#67 A matching Astrakhan fur jacket and calf length skirt by designer Louise Boulanger, 1923

#68 Two women in fur-trimmed wrap over coats, ankle length skirts, and cloche hats, 1923

#69 Crepe wrap around coat with geometric designs, 1923

#70 Former Liberal prime minister Herbert Henry Asquith and his daughter Lady Violet Bonham-Carter attend the Mulholland-Harcourt wedding, October 1923.

#71 The woman on the right wears a variation of the classic sailor suit, with the waistline sitting on the hips, topped with a cloche hat, 1923

#72 Pin striped suit with a slim skirt. Cloche hat has a rolled back brim with a decorative hat pin. Jewellery is a short single strand bead necklace, 1923

#73 A barman serves drinks to a couple of women at the soda fountain on board the Cunard liner Aquitania, 1920s

#74 Drop-waisted ankle length dress in multi-patterned material with three-quarter sleeves and elbow length gloves. Worn with a cloche hat decorated with a bow. One-bar shoes, 1923

#75 A model wearing a dress with a lace lined collar and cuffs and a pair of ornametal gloves, 1923

#76 Low waisted, ankle length dress with black silk tie around the collar, 1923

#77 A group of women resting by a pavilion at Cowes Regatta, an annual maritime event held off the Isle of Wight, 1923

#78 Ankle length dress by the couturier Charles Frederick Worth, decorated with an intricately beaded yoke and cuffs. The model is also wearing leather gloves with a patterned inlay and cloche hat, 1923

#79 The model wears a fur trimmed coat which buttons at the side and cloche hat, 1923

#80 A tailored three quarter length jacket trimmed with fur on lapels and cuffs is worn over an ankle-length skirt. A cloche hat completes the ensemble, 1923

#81 Dress and fur trimmed coat worn with a cloche hat and plain court shoes and a suit with front fasteninghigh waisted skirt, worn with a fox fur, a large-brimmed hat, 1923

#83 Corinne Griffith in cloche hat standing beside ‘The Divine Lady of the Air’, the plane which will fly her to an air parade, 1923

#84 Lady Cynthia Elinor Beatrix Spencer, the second daughter of the 3rd Duke of Abercorn, who married the 7th Earl Spencer in 1919. She is with Lady Annaly, at the Pytchley Hounds meet at Althorp Park, 1923

#85 Virginia Valli the screen name of Virginia McSweeney, the American silent screen heroine who retired in 1932 to marry Charles Farrell, 1923

#86 Future Queen Consort to King George VI, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, at her childhood home Glamis Castle in Angus, 1923

#87 Velvet coat with fur trim around the cuffs, collar and hemline, and a felt cloche hat, illustrating the latest Parisian fashion, 1925

#88 A model wearing a single breasted winter coat and a tailor made cloche hat designed in Paris, 1925

#89 The latest fashions on public display, including fur coat and a knee length tunic coat with a single button at the neck, typical of the early 1920s.

#90 Jeanne Lanlin models a hip-length silk tunic with tie neck, covering a knitted, ribbed skirt, and cloche hat, 1925

#91 Long waisted dress with lace inserts at hem and neck and as cuffs on long loose sleeves. A cloche hat, one-bar shoes and a double string of pearls completes an outfit designed by Callot, 1925

#92 Long waisted dress with a tie on the hips, v-necked with a deep satin edge to the skirt. Accessories are a cloche hat, ropes of beads and several bracelets worn over long sleeves, 1925

#93 Tennis players Ruth de Udy, Locha de Udy, Dorothy Power and Betty Kaye in Cannes, France., 1925

#94 Female competitors checking their scores as they stand before a target during the Southern Counties Archery meeting, held at the Nevill Cricket Ground in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, 1925

#95 A Lee Parry in cloche hat, the German film actress of the silent era who made 48 films in two decades, 1925.

#96 Fashion model wearing a drop-waisted dress with matching jacket, cloche hat, and Mary Jane shoes, 1925

#97 Anne Catherine Tredick Wendell, Countess of Carnarvon, 1925

#98 A young woman modelling a cloche hat with a decoration featuring an acorn design, 1925.

#100 American screenwriter and novelist Lenore J. Coffee, 1925.

#101 A woman in a winter outfit of fur-trimmed coat and boots with spats, 1925.

#102 American actress Eleanor Boardman in cloche hat, wife of director King Vidor wearing a fur-trimmed outfit for her role in the silent film ‘Proud Flesh’, directed by Vidor for MGM, 1925

#103 A model wearing a pleated summer dress and cloche hat whilst leaning on a car, 1925

#104 A Parisian woman wearing a dress with a low slung belt and cloche hat, 1925

#105 A woman wearing a cloche hat designed by Cyris Slymore and a fur collar, 1925

#106 A model stands in the rain, wearing a linen tunic coat with buttoned panel at hip height, and a cloche hat with small brim, 1925

#107 A simple wrapover coat with leopard skin trim, 1925

#108 Lace dress with a sash knotted at the hips and a scalloped hem, with matching tunic and a straw cloche hat, set off by a pair of elbow length gloves, 1925

#109 Black drop waist dress with embroidered pocket detail (left), white silk dress with ruffled front and sash belt tied on the hips, 1925

#110 Long-waisted dressworn with an aymmetrical cloche hat and plain court shoes. Ropes of beads complete the outfit, 1925

#111 Tunic dress and a cloche hat with a small upturned brim. Dress has very short sleeves and is worn with short gloves, 1925

#112 Dress with pleated panels worn with a coat and fox fur and a small brimmed cloche-hat, 1925.

#113 An elegant outfit designed by Lenief. A slim dress has a half-belt back at the back and long sleeves. It is worn with a cloche hat, fox furs and one-bar shoes, 1925

#114 Two racegoers wearing long-waisted patterned dresses with panels One has two-tone one-bar shoes and her cloche hat has a wide turned-down brim at left-hand side, 1925

#115 Cap sleeved v-necked jumper worn with a pleated skirt, knitted cloche hat and t-bar high-heeled shoes. Accessories include a white fox fur,short single-strand pearl necklace, and drop earrings, 1925

#116 Jumper suit with contrasting trim worn with a cloche hat with turned back brim, 1925

#117 A slim coat, softly fitted at waist with a box pleated skirt and cloche hat, 1925

#118 Fur trimmed wrap over coats designed by Heim, worn with cloche hats and one-bar court shoes, 1925

#119 Two outfits designed by Jenny. One is a light coat with wide fur trim at hem cuffs and collar worn with a cloche hat with a small brim, a double rope of beads and an anklet chain, 1925

#120 Three day time outfits worn with cloche-hats, shoes are high-heeled one-bar, t-bar and high vamp court, 1925

#121 British actress, Agnes Glynn wearing an ornamental cloche hat and a boa, 1925

#122 Bold geometric prints on this dress are relieved by panels of black around the cuffs, collar and skirt, 1925

#123 An elegant evening dress with a tapering uneven hemline and sleeves. A fur stole and hat with an array of long white feathers complete the look, 1925

#124 Austrian actress and dancer Tilly Losch in cloche hat, 1925

#125 Models wearing coats and jackets with fur trim, and cloche hat, 1925

#126 Two women modelling fashionable outfits for Ascot, 1925

#127 Jean Hersholt, the Danish character actor in Hollywood who was largely responsible for the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital in Calabasas, 1925

#128 Bebe Daniels the stage name of Virginia Daniels, the American leading lady of the silent screen who made her film debut at seven years of age in cloche hat, 1925

#129 Helen, Crown Princess of Romania in cloche hat, wife of King Carol II. She was born Helen Oldenburg, daughter of King Constantine of Greece, 1925

#131 A novelty hat with musical notes embroidered on, created for a famous operatic star, 1925

#132 A flapper woman wearing a dress, coat, and cloche hat, 1925

#133 A woman sits in an automobile while talking on the telephone from a phone service stand at the Hotel Constance in Pasadena, California. She is wearing a cloche hat and a fur-trimmed coat, 1925

#134 Autographed studio portrait of American actor Clara Bow wearing a cloche hat and a bobbed hairstyle while holding her hand to her face and pursing her lips, 1925

#135 American film actor and producer Gloria Swanson sits with her knees crossed and her back to the camera as she looks over her shoulder. She wears white gloves, a cloche hat with a leopard print bow, and a matching scarf, 1926

#136 A Drecoll winter coat worn with a belt and with large buttons fastened from the neck to the hemline, 1920s

#137 Walking frocks’ decorated with thick sporty stripes and rich oriental patterns and fastened with buttons full-length and cloche hat, 1920s

#138 French women in cloche hats attend a car mechanics class run by Ms Versiguy, 1920s

#139 Fire-patterned knitted loose dress and seven-eights coat worn with a cloche hat, 1926

#140 A brocade coat trimmed with lamb designed by Drecoll, worn with plain high-cut court shoes and a cloche hat with a brim, 1924

#141 A matching tunic dress and skirt with very simple lines, a fur stole and cloche hat complete the outfit, 1924

#142 A model wearing a printed silk coat, with a model wearing a fur-lined coat and decorative hat, 1924

#143 Captain Weldon Champneys with his wife at Deauville, Normandy, France, 26th August 1924.

#144 Low waisted long sleeved tunic dress with petal edge to hems, designed by Premet. Worn with a small brimmed cloche hat, 1924

#145 Miss Duncan in cloche hat, arriving at the trial of Patrick Mahon, 1924

#146 A woman wears a plain long waisted seven eighths coat worn with a cloche hat and a fur scarf. Her male friend puts away some large banknotes, 1924

#147 Two formally dressed women walking through Regent’s Park, London on their way to Lady Beatty’s tennis and garden party at Hanover Lodge in the park, 1924

#148 A cape worn with a cloche hat and court shoes and a tailored suit of plain material suit with contrasting skirt, a fox fur and a cloche hat with a brim, 1924

#149 Long-sleeved tunic dress with a boat neck and matching scarf, skirt and top are decorated with contrasting cloth buttons . A hat is a deep crowned straw cloche decorated with leaves, 1924

#150 A tunic dress with embroidery round the edge of the tunic, high cut court shoes and a deep crowned cloche hat complete an outfit designed by Marie-Alys, 1924

#151 A model wearing a Parisian fashion dress with a belt as a feature over a double skirt and cloche hat, 1924

#152 Single-flounce tunic dress with gathers over the hip worn with a small-brimmed cloche hat and drop earrings, 1926

#153 ummer outfit designed by Nicole Groult. A matching dress and three-quarter coat have flower embroidery round hems and on pocket. Outfit is completed with a cloche hat and lace-up court shoes, 1926

#154 Two women modelling fashionable outfits and cloche hats, 1926

#155 Folded cloche hat worn with a loose coat over a pleated skirt and v-necked blouse, 1926

#156 linor Fair, the Hollywood actress, with her wire haired terrier dog ‘Rollo’. Elinor appeared in ‘My Friend From India’, 1926

#157 woman with the latest fashion accessory, a chameleon, 1926

#158 Swedish film star Greta Garbo in cloche hat at the wheel of an automobile, 1925

#159 A model wearing a silk day dress with a traditional cloche hat, 1925

#160 A stripy wraparound coat with fur trim, straight from the fashionable town of Deauville in northern France, 1925

#161 A woman wearing a dress made in Deauville at a garden party, 1925

#162 The model wears a fur trimmed coat with cloche hat decorated with a small plume of feathers at the brim. She carries a small clutchbag fringed with tassels, 1925

#163 Patterned coat with black trim around the hem and cuffs, 1925

#164 Two models wearing fashionable white outfits and cloche hats, inspired by sports designs during a day at the races, 1925

#165 Fur-trimmed coat over a linen low-waisted, calf length dress, adorned with applique ribbons of metallic material, 1925

#166 Quilted satin knee length coat with over-sized fur trim around the cuffs and collar, 1925

#167 Tunic dress edged with embroidery worn under a coat edged with a heavy band of fur. Outfit designed by Lucien Lelong. Worn with a small cloche hat and shoes with a decorated vamp, 1925

#168 Matching skirt and tunic jacket, with a lace-trimmed collar, and cloche hats, designed by Paul Poiret, 1925

#169 Long-sleeved spotted dress, boat neckline and dropped waist with pleats over the hips. Cloche hat with turned back brim, white stockings and one-bar shoes, 1925

#170 Models outside the fashion exhibition at Holland Park in London wearing comtemporary dropped waist dresses and styles of 25 years ago, 1925

#172 A model wearing a coat with a large fur collar and cuffs and a close fitting cloche hat, 1925

#173 The Daly sisters in the paddock at Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey, 26th May 1925.

#174 Actress Lois Wilson, Head and Shoulders Publicity Portrait wearing Cloche Hat, 1920’s.

#175 Striped coat with wide collar. Cloche hat, clutch bag, gauntlets and high vamp court shoes complete an outfit designed by Jane Laffitte, 1925

#176 A woman wearing an innovative frock coat with a matching cloche hat, 1925

#177 Low waisted calf length dress with buttoning side panels along one side. Coat with fur collar, and cloche hat with fur pom-pom, 1925

#178 Spring Outfits with long waisted dresses with front pleats worn with matching loose coats, cloche hats and fox furs, 1925

#179 A model wearing a day dress with a design inspired by maritime clothing in a racing pavilion, 1925

#180 Tunic with matching suit, cloche hat, and jacket, 1925

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