Watch any Jane Austen movie and one will see a plethora of straw hats, most minimally decorated or not decorated at all beyond the securing chin ties. We are familiar with the common shapes but based on the period fashion plates, straw hats came in a vast array of shapes. Visit my Pinterest for numerous boards containing fashion plates and extant examples from the period to see what I mean: www.pinterest.com/sharonlathan62
This hat is another consignment shop find that I could not resist despite not being precisely “Regency” in design. Full-around, wide brim hats were popular up to the latter decades of the 18th century, so surely worn during the Regency Era by older ladies or those who were not fashion-obsessed. The straw construction is of thin threads delicately woven into a unique gossamer mesh that filters the sun and is extremely light. The finished bonnet (including adornments and fabric) is 6.5 ounces.
I covered the crown with a gorgeous, ornate golden-beige fabric, edging around the band with a Grecian-patterned gold ribbon. The front of the crown is decorated with a plume of feathers, a bow matching the ribbon, and a lovely multi-green bead broach.
Around the outer edge I covered the wire with a tri-layer of burnt-orange bias tape, the gold fabric, and ecru lace. The inside of the crown is fully lined with off-white cotton fabric.
The hat’s brim is sturdily constructed but easily manipulated to assume whatever shape the wearer desires. Measurements front-brim-to-back-brim are 19” and from side-brim-to-side-brim are 15”.