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The Cloche Hat or simply the cloche is a fitted bell-shaped hat for women that was first created in 1908 by Milliner Caroline Reboux and was especially popular from about 1922 – 1933. During the early twentieth century the popularity and influence of the cloche hat were at its peak. Couture houses joined milliners in manufacturing cloche hats that precisely matched outfits.
These hats even shaped the hairstyles of the time like the Eton crop that was a short slicked down cut, worn because they were ideal to showcase a cloche. Cloches were mainly made from felt and the summer styles from sisal or straw, they were also easily embroidered with jewelled brooches, scarves, and feathers.
The cloche made its second resurgence in the late 1960s when styles featured in Vogue magazine. Then again in 2007 classed as the accessory of the moment due to programmes such as Downton Abbey.
Cloches were also used to send messages, when trimmed with a specific ribbon such as an arrow ribbon or ribbon with a firm knot which signalled a single lady or a married one.