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Edwardian Ladies' Hat Fashions (ePub)

Where Did You Get That Hat?

P&S History > Clothing & Fashion P&S History > Social History

By Peter Kimpton
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 31.6 MB (.epub)
Illustrations: 150
ISBN: 9781473881310
Published: 30th January 2017


£4.99 Print price £25.00

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Based upon the author’s large personal collection of beautiful fashion postcards from Edwardian times, this book takes the reader on a journey through that era – covering the hat fashions and social changes of the day. Delve further into the carnage that took place around the world, in which unscrupulous and money grabbing individuals from the Northumbrian coast in England to the Everglades in America, would callously slaughter whole colonies of birds (leaving their young to die) purely to provide the millinery trade with ornate feathers to decorate fashionable hats during that era.

The book also takes the reader into the world of millinery sweatshops of poverty stricken New York and describes the conditions and deprivations under which the poorly paid workers, many of them immigrants, worked. You can even learn about the background, history and amazing life of one of the world’s greatest fashion designers, Coco Chanel, as she set out on her lifetime of fashion in Edwardian Paris.

With superb fashion colour plates of the day, together with images of amazingly creative and colourful hat pins from both the UK and America, the author shares the fruits of his 40 years of postcard collecting and the highs and lows of his search for the 'Hats' postcards, as worn by his Edwardian 'girlfriends' from over 100 year ago.

This book, Edwardian Ladies Hat Fashions is not only one of the most interesting fashion books I have ever read, but definitely one of the most beautiful! This pictures are simply stunning, and all the Women are so beautiful!... I definitely rate this book 5/5⭐️, I would rate it 6/5⭐️ if I could! I adore this book, and will definitely treasure it for a very long time! I do believe it may have kickstarted a need to collect some of these beautiful postcards for myself too!

Read the full review here

Dainty Beth

Peter Kimpton, who has previously written on the history of the Christmas cracker, is also a collector of Edwardian postcards. He has amassed a large collection with images of women, whom he affectionately dubs his ‘girlfriends’, wearing the amazing and lavish hats of the early twentieth century. He states in his introduction that, due to the current worldwide interest in Edwardian fashion, he felt that this was a good time to publish a book showcasing his collection. And indeed it is; shedding light on the many postcards that survive from this era — a wonderful yet under-used resource for the study of fashion history.

The Costume Society

Vlog review featured online here.

Lil's Vintage World, YouTube

Serves as a feast for the eyes and food for thought. The plentiful illustrations are large, clear, and fascinating, and the text is informative and entertaining.

Antique Trader, July 2018 – reviewed by Karen Knapstein

Large billowy hats and cascading plumes are some of the eyecatching
features in this assortment of elegant images, as shown in
Edwardian Ladies Hat Fashions: Where Did You Get That Hat?,
by Peter Kimpton.
In the beginning chapters, the reader is treated to the author’s vast
collection of Edwardian era post cards amassed over 40 years, along
with the history behind the craze for large opulent hats and the
feathers which adorned them. There are also colored plates, hat pins,
photos and illustrations of the period, and an exploration of the
societal women, popular designers, and social norms of the times.
However, we are soon made aware of the darker side of the industry,
including the wholesale slaughter of entire bird colonies, species extinction, and the wretched
conditions workers endured in low paying millinery sweat shops.
Edwardian Ladies Hat Fashions explores a unique era in time, the subsequent exploitation of
birds and the natural environment to fulfill a fashion whim, and the eventual conservation efforts
and advocacy by bird protectionists and society’s notables. – editor

Vintage Fashion Guild

As featured in.

Picture Postcard Monthly

I’ve always adored fashion. There’s an extra-special amount of femininity and romance to the Edwardian era and a large part of that is due to the hats and accessories. This book features picture after picture of stunning hats and is a true feast for the eyes.

NetGalley, reviewed by Kari Rothstein

This amazing book is not for students and lovers of fashion, rather it is a celebration of the incredible beauty of the Edwardian ladies who modelled the headgear referred to in the title. People like me, who luxuriate in the sheer beauty and drama of programmes such as Downton Abbey and Mr Selfridge will, I suspect, be less interested in the hats and more interested in the array of beautiful ladies in this amazing collection. A real head-turner of a book!

Books Monthly

This book is great for anyone interested in historical fashion, its effects on the natural world, postcards, or changing communication. It certainly peaked my interest.

Read the full review here.

Goodreads, Michelle McMenamin

'The book is a rare treat, the pictures are stunning, but be prepared to be shocked by what was happening in the world of birds and millinery in the early 1900s.'

Norwich Evening News

A charming colourful collection of all styles of hats that stylish Edwardian ladies were wearing.
Shame that these over the top fashions went out of style. The world would be a better, brighter place!


NetGalley reviewed, reviewed by Eileen Hall

Click here to read the full review

NetGalley review, reviewed by Andrea joki

'The story is compelling and the photographs stunning.'

'Rather than just a frothy offering with pretty pictures, [the book] tells a real story, an important one.'

Let's Talk

I love fashion and so I was drawn to this book. I also didn't really know much about hat fashion, or what the hat style was for Edwardian ladies - but I do now!

This is just such a charming book, with lovely reproductions of the postcards the author has collected through at times the derision of other postcard collectors.

I had no idea that those hat feathers had caused so much of a stir - where they came from or how they had been sourced. It really was fascinating to read how such a fashion had far reaching effects. I loved also reading about the Palaces that were built around the Ostrich feather trade and seeing them in all their glory.

My favourite pictures are those taken by Edward Linley Sambourne - who took photographs that were not posed, so you get a true glimpse of the people of the time in an informal way. I love social history and these photos were just the best part of the book for me.

I also never knew that hatpins came with so many stylish adornments, nor that they had to restrict the length of them! The most poignant part of the book is a postcard written by a man to his sister whilst on active service in December 1916 - again another slice of real social history.

This really is a gem of a book and one to dip into again and again. I'm giving it four out of five stars.

My thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy of this book to review. I read my copy on my Kindle Fire - you really need to see all those beautiful illustrations in colour.

NetGalley, reviewed by Lynn Brown

This is an excellent book for people interested in Edwardian fashion.

NetGalley, reviewed by Lisa Sanderson

This is certainly a useful title for those interested in Edwardian fashions and writers setting novels in the period.

NetGalley, reviewed by Rosemarie Cawkwell

This is an impressive book. I was expecting a collection of hat pictures. This has the hat pictures, but it has so much fascinating history as well. Some of it is sort of tough to read, but I learned so much that I never expected. I would love to see more books by this author.

NetGalley, reviewed by Allison Dollar

Oh my gosh what a fun book. I always wondered about those big hats and now I know! I liked the inclusion of history of postcards and fashion. When I think about the birds that were sacrificed for fashion, I am repulsed. Hopefully the mass killing of animals for trade and profit will one day cease.

The illustrations and photos are absolutely delightful and certainly add to the narrative. An excellent volume to add to an historical fashion collection.

NetGalley, reviewed by Virginia Holsten

I love hats! Reading this gave me a lot of greatly appreciated background knowledge on them. The photographs/postcards were a nice touch.

NetGalley, reviewed by Marylou K

Read in a trice and over much too soon; I demand a sequel! Edwardian Ladies Hat Fashion is filled to the brim with colourised postcards and candid photos, tales of the opulence of feather barons, scarcity of birds, and stories about the Edwardian court. I had hoped for a little more research and information about hat design(s), materials (more than just feathers) and construction.

NetGalley, reviewed by Kristine Fisher

This is an interesting and informative book on hat fashion of the Edwardian era (Britian). The book is well researched and does focus on the environmental issues connected with the subject. This is a refreshing look into history that looks at both the positive and the negative.

NetGalley review, reviewed by Kristin Davison

About Peter Kimpton

Peter Kimpton spent twenty-three years working with confectionery manufacturer John Mackintosh (subsequently Rowntree Mackintosh), twelve of which as UK Design Studio Manager and also spent several years working as a freelance design consultant.
He is the worlds only Christmas Cracker historian and has given lectures and written widely on the subject of Christmas Crackers in the press and media. For nearly forty years he has been a collector of beautiful hand tinted early twentieth century Photographic Glamour postcards. He lives in Norwich.

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