Living

Throwback Thursday: Jaunty spring bonnets (1945)

The 1940s called. They said your new outfit needs more hat.

"Picture a sunny Sunday morning—church bells ringing, daffodils and crocuses poking their heads above ground, and above all, YOU looking and feeling oh-so-happy in your brand-new headgear."

“Picture a sunny Sunday morning—church bells ringing, daffodils and crocuses poking their heads above ground, and above all, YOU looking and feeling oh-so-happy in your brand-new headgear.”

The issue: April 1945

The times: British and Canadian forces liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp; Brantford, Ontario becomes the first Canadian city to fluoridate its water; Radio Canada International launches.

The trend: Spring hats, the subject of Beauty Editor Adele White’s April 1945 fashion roundup. “What every woman knows is the thrill of a new spring bonnet, one that’s flower-bedecked and oh-so-frivolous!” Too right, Adele. Aside from eye-catching floral dresses — and the bold Canadian habit of casting off coats at the first sign of snowmelt — a hat (not a toque, a hat) is still the surest sartorial sign of spring. Said White, “[Hats] are much a part of feminine psychology as the desire to be beautiful and the time-honoured privilege of changing our minds.” Below, a few dainty headpieces with which to adorn your fickle female cranium.

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“This saucy little lid sits lightly on your forehead and doesn’t muss your hair — a wonderful example of topping teamwork.”

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“This charming little puffed-up chartreuse hat brings all the wiles of art and design to enhance the mature good looks of a lady on the yonder side of 40 who wants to combine smartness with a soft and becoming general effect.”