Three Vintage Hats and the American Duchess Boutique

Hello historically inspired ladies!  I thought you might be interested in three vintage hats I’ve listed in the new and improved American Duchess Boutique on Etsy.  Here they are (click the photos)):

1950s velvet and satin perching hat with veil and rhinestone brooch, PERFECT condition.  $55

1950s navy blue velvet perching hat, with cut velvet trim and blue veil.  $30

1960s Joseph Magnin shaped straw cloche style hat.  $25

I’ve decided to charge head on into developing The Boutique in terms of adding items that will appeal to “Rococo Girls” like us – vintage teacups and saucers, crafty kits, hats, my own costume pieces and screenprinted t-shirts, vintage clothing, bits and bobs, lovely things I find out on shopping excursion.  I kicked it off today with re-shooting the American Duchess t-shirt collection and updating the Etsy listings, for a more cohesive and professional look.  I photographed the hats at the same time, and will continue to add items as I find them!  Also on the docket are embroidery patterns, embroidered caul and cap kits, eBooks, cockade kits, who knows what else!

And finally, I can’t believe this, but two of my jacket designs that I uploaded to a website called, about 2 weekends ago, are in the top voted spots!  “October Foxhunt” is #1 out of everybody else on the site, and “Raindrops” is #3!  I think this means that the jacket will go into production, be proto-typed, then made “for real,” in all sizes, and sold in Europe.  I am utterly stunned and incredibly excited!  Thank you ALL for your support and your votes and your love!!!
“October Foxhunt” on


  • Courtney

    October 25, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    I voted for all three, and asked my friends to do the same.. if the raincoat goes into production, I'm definitely asking for it as a present for whatever present-giving occasion is closest to production!

  • Zoë Eckman

    October 25, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    Just bought that 1960's straw cloche hat. It was too beautiful to pass up (and I've been looking for a hat like that for a while)! Congrats about the jacket, it shows what a splendid designer you are!

  • Lauren R

    October 25, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    Courtney, thank you so much! I don't know how long it takes once we get into production, and I'm hoping I can post about it on the blog but it may be top secret, lol. I'll keep you guys in the loop as much as I can!

    Zoe, THANK YOU! I'll be packing the little straw baby up today and shipping it out to you. I've absolutely adored this hat for a long time, but just don't ever wear it, so I'm glad it's going to a good home!

  • Lauren Stowell

    October 26, 2010 at 1:02 AM

    Steph – Thank you 🙂 "Rococo Girls" are women who love things of the distant past. This might mean dressing up in historical costumes, learning to dance Vintage Ballroom dances, taking tea in antique teacups, decorating their homes with old-style things like crystal doorknobs, shabby chandeliers, adding little vintage hats, brooches, or just touches to their clothing. It's a love for frivolous aesthetic things of the past, the sorts of things we don't see much anymore because decor and design have changed so much. It doesn't have to necessarily be 18th c. style items – Victorian works just as well – but we are women who like to surround ourselves with old-style (even if they're new) items, clothing, art, etc.

  • estetyka

    October 26, 2010 at 3:03 AM

    Beautiful hats and I am so glad that your designs are at the top! I definitely voted for all three. On another note, for all your costumes, what sources do you reference for the types of closures for your garments?

  • Lauren Stowell

    October 26, 2010 at 3:12 AM

    Estetyka – thanks for the votes!

    References for closures – I typically read the information in museum catalogs and books (such as the Kyoto Costume Institute books, which will have captions about each of the pieces in photographs), and also look at books like Janet Arnold's and Nora Waugh's, which will usually state the method of closure, and sometimes give a detailed description or drawing.

    I find that with historical garments, it's the big four – hooks, laces, buttons, and pins – and often combinations of those. Bodices that appear to close edge-to-edge are usually hooks and eyes, or very exact interior, hidden lacing. Later down the line, with Victorian clothing, you also get snaps, and in the early 1940s we start to see zippers used in clothing.

    Alot of closures were a result of common sense. We think the same these days – lace a corset, button a jacket, hook a doublet, pin a gown + stomacher (okay, maybe we don't think about that last one, haha).

    I hope this has been of some help! If you check out the "Resources" section (click the button to the left in the sidebar, near the top) section, there are many books listed, and the ones in bold are those I've found particularly useful.

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