#ADBeauty – 18th Century Hats, Caps, Bonnets, and Accessories

Jasmine wearing her Therese hood, a very simple early 1780s accessory

It is my belief that one can never have too many 18th century accessories. Hats and caps are essential to getting the period look right, plus they all serve their own functions (even if sometimes it’s just *fashion*).

In our new book “The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Beauty,” which I’ve been going on and on about for weeks now, every hairstyle tutorial/chapter also comes with instructions for making at least one, but more often two, accurate pieces of headgear with which to decorate your coiffure.

A good choice for all of the second half of the 18th century, a straw hat lined in silk and trimmed in silk ribbons is a go-to for sunny event days.

Here’s what you’ll learn to make:

  • 1750s “Coeffure de Dentelles” (Lace Head) cap
  • Lace lappets
  • Late 1760s “Proto-Pouf”
  • 1760s-1770s silk-lined and be-ribboned Bergere straw hat
  • 1770s French Night Cap (the mother of all giant caps)
  • 1770s Calash Bonnet (omg it’s huge)
  • 1770s Pouf (read: it’s not the hairstyle)
  • Ostrich Plumes
  • Early 1780s Toque
  • 1780s Therese hood
  • Early 1780s “Bonnet a la Jeannot” cap (my fave)
  • 1780s Black Silk Bonnet
  • Mid-1780s “Bonnet a la Meduse” be-ribboned cap
  • 1780s Gainsborough Straw Hat
  • 1790s Chiffonet

Some of the accessory projects, like the Therese and the Toque, are so quick and easy that you’ll have them done in an afternoon. Others take more time, like the Calash Bonnet and the Proto-Prouf, but they’re all worth spending the effort to make because when event day arrives and you’re wondering what the heck to wear on your head, you’ll be spoiled for choice!

The fashionable black silk bonnet is perfect for the 1780s. Nicole wears hers over her crape’d hair.

Some more perks of headgear include:

  • Hairstyle not really working out? Put on a cap and cover a multitude of sins!
  • Sun in your eyes? Black silk bonnet to the rescue!
  • Coiffure looking a little boring or, dare we say, too short? Add a pouf!
  • Attendees not paying much attention to your presentation? Calash bonnet!
  • Don’t want to talk to anybody? Therese hood!

Now, as always, the accessories we make in each chapter are specifically designed to go with that hairstyle from that set of years. If you want to make something for a different shaped hairstyle, or an earlier or later time frame, you will need to adjust the pattern shapes and sizes. For instance, the Calash and the French Night Cap are very tall, designed to go over very tall hair. They’ll need scaling down and shortening up to work with 1780s hairstyles. Luckily this is very easy to do!

The 1770s calash bonnet is a real showstopper – learn to make one step-by-step!

So there we go! We’ve covered the cosmetics, hairstyles, and accessories in “The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Beauty.” We hope you enjoy our second book!

“The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Beauty”
comes out July 9, 2019 and is available on
and other major booksellers.

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