Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Felicity's Summer Outfit: Part 1~History of the Bergere hat

Hey hey hey!
       Spring is here and summer is right around the corner! I have decided that I will focus my buying around the season and since it is getting warm I am focusing around Felicity's Spring (birthday) and Summer collections, that way I am more organized and don't get crazy with buying... thus far its been hard passing up good deals but it will be better this way!
       Anyways I recently bought Felicity's Summer Gown which is one of my favorites! I got it for around $52 (shipping included) and it came with a copy of the book Welcome To Felicity's World, which I already owned so I sold that for $12 so really I got it for around $40. I am pretty happy with that because it can be a very pricey outfit, usually never under $50.
       I love everything about this outfit. The pure white gown makes me want to wear it and run through a field of flowers or something. The blue sash around the waist is just the perfect amount of color and the perfect touch to make it look so elegant. The shoes are great! I love that they chose to make a shoe for this outfit that goes with the bright and elegant theme it has, but by far the best thing about this dress is that hat. I love the hat so much. So I decided that this hat is the focus of this post. I will be posting a 2nd part to this to focus on the brocade shoes, another very beautiful peice of wardrobe history.
       This particular style of hat first appeared around the 1730s and is called a Bergere. In french this means "shepherdess." Sometimes this hat is also called a "milkmaid hat." And then there are some that believe that it was named after Madame Bergeret who was painted in a 1766 painting by Francois Boucher, holding this style of hat. This isn't the only painting that features this style though, there are many many more because of its popularity in the 18th century. The Bergere style held its fame even past the 18th century, there are forms of this hat worn late into the 19th century as well. A good example is when a character from the Charles Dickens novel Barnaby Rudge, named Dolly Varden, inspired this style to come back once again. The fad inspired some popular songs too.
Have you seen my little girl? She doesn’t wear a bonnet.

She’s got a monstrous flip-flop hat with cherry ribbons on it.
She dresses in bed furniture just like a flower garden

A blowin’ and a growin’ and they call it Dolly Varden.

More modern examples of the more extravagant Gainsborough hat
        Another form of this hat is a "Gainsborough" or "picture" hat. This style tends to be a more larger, fancy and more extravagant hat. It was popular with socialites like Marie Antoinette and the Duchess of Devonshire in the 18th century. Then pretty much has kept its reputation since then. The hat has made appearances in movies like the 1941 film Toppers Return, the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffanys and the pictured My Fair Lady. This hat is still worn often by the woman of the royal family in Wales (pictured Dutchess Kate Middleton). Also the official hat of the Kentucky Derby.

        In the 18th century, it was not ladylike to leave the house without wearing some sort of headwear and back then... it wasn't attractive to have a tan, nor was it attractive to have freckles so having a hat like the bergere was a necessity during the summer. So what is the proper way to wear this hat? Well through my research I found that there are many ways to wear this... The most popular way is with the ribbons tied around the back of the head. This way typically has the brims folded down.

But sometimes the brims were left straight...

Another way is with the back brim folded up.

And tied under the chin...

Just like I have chosen with Felicity during her photo shoot today!

I hope you guys have enjoyed this as much as I did. It was so fun looking up pictures of all the different beautiful hats, all unique in their own way. And it was so fun taking pictures of Felicity in this outfit, she is stunning in this gown. Be sure to follow this blog so you won't miss any future posts and come back next week and I will have part two of this! 

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  1. Thank you for this post. I have recently bought a plain hat like this from Thimbles & Acorns, but have been unsure how to trim it or exactly how it should be worn.

    1. It is good to hear this post has been helpful! In my opinion, for the dolls it is easier to wear under the chin. :)