Hats Worn by Suffragettes: 5 Interesting Facts

A suffragette was a member of women’s organizations in the late-18th and early 20th centuries. These individuals fought for women’s right to vote and used their outfits, banners, and voice to bring about a major change. Hats were worn as a statement of many different things for the suffragettes. They used them as displays of power and symbols. 

Here are 5 intriguing facts about the hats that suffragettes wore:

  1. Laws were passed surrounding suffragettes’ hats.
  2. The suffragettes used their fashion, including their hats, to look elegant.
  3. The hats served as center pieces to the cause’s colors.   
  4. The suffragettes also wore fancy hats to show their femininity. 
  5. The suffragettes used their clothes and hats to empower themselves and others.

The suffragettes may be widely known; however, many do not know that their hats had many meanings and controversy surrounding them. Below are many surprising facts regarding the hats worn by suffragettes. 

1: Laws were passed surrounding suffragettes’ hats  

In 1908 there was a law put into effect that stated that women could not wear hat pins longer than 9 inches. They were afraid that those pins could be used as weapons. Due to this, the hats that suffragettes wore could only be so big. 

drawing depicting suffragettes marching

2: The suffragettes used their fashion, including their hats, to look elegant.

The suffragettes had a slogan, “a suffragist should always look elegant.” This translated throughout their work and what they wore. Wearing elegant clothing and sharing the slogan worked to attract more women to their cause. Their hats were always elegant, and they were adorned with ribbons, feathers, rosettes and even fox fur. 

Since many opposers of the suffragettes just believed that the women in the suffragette movement acted mannish or were hysteric, they strived to be as lady-like and elegant as possible. 

3: The hats served as center pieces to the cause’s colors.   

A hat would be a very easy way to display the causes colors: green, purple, and white. The hats could be decorated with ribbons or roses in these colors. Green stood for hope, white stood for purity, and purple stood for freedom and dignity. American woman ended up replacing green with gold to pay homage to the use of the sunflower in the 1867 suffrage referendum campaign. 

4: The suffragettes also wore fancy hats to show their femininity.  

Since many opposers of the suffragettes just believed that the women in the suffragette movement acted mannish or were hysteric, they strived to be as lady-like and elegant as possible. 

5: The suffragettes used their clothes and hats to empower themselves and others. 

Many of the hats were over the top and had wide brims. The women wanted to make a statement and did everything they could to gain attention. 

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