Vintage circa 1939 or 1940 navy straw toy or doll hat in a sailor shape features a self-band with perky bow and pompom-like fringed accent in front. The chenille-dotted navy veil is gathered into an upright tuft in back, to further accentuate the hat’s saucy tilt. Lined in black rayon satin, the hat has an elastic back strap to secure it to the head.
Toy hats came into vogue in the late 1930s, impossibly chic on one hand, the source of amusement to some on the other, and remained fashionable into the early 40s. An article in the fall of 1938 advised that that the latest style word from Paris was to: “Pile your hair up on the crown of your head, even for daytime wear. Rouge an ear tip. Tilt a diminutive toy hat over one orchid-shadowed eye...”. But two years later the vogue still seemed an extreme one to some observers; hence the quip in a 1940 column that “the toy hat style may be revived, according to a fashion item. This time... they’ll be so small that a woman when fully dressed will be bareheaded.”
The style of lining in the hat points to it dating from the earlier end of the spectrum. The inner circumference of the crown is 15” and the diameter across the bottom of the hat is 9”; crown height is 2.75”.
Very good condition, with the hat clean and crisp and the lining intact but several breaks in the veil (which displays very nicely nonetheless); in addition, the elastic band is a bit stretched out.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild