Hats are articles of clothing that are worn on the head both for style and for warmth and protection from the elements. Hats also can be worn for religious or ceremonial reasons as well as for safety reasons. Hats have been worn by men and women for centuries, and women's hats come in many different shapes, materials, sizes and fashions.
Women initially wore veils, handkerchiefs, hoods, wimples and caps before it came into fashion for them to wear some of the hats that are in fashion today. The term milliner, which is the term used to refer to the person who creates women's hats, comes from Milan, where the best hats were created. Many milliners were women, as they would frequently not only design the hats, but they'd also choose the trimmings and lace that would be added to them.
Women's hats have changed in style much in the last several centuries. In the 19^th century women's hats began growing in size, and soon bonnets were decorated with ribbons, flowers and other accoutrements. Women began wearing hats of all different styles, and some hats were shaped like flower pots, others featured brims or flat crowns and others hugged women's heads tightly to show off short haircuts. Like many other types of women's fashion, hats have certainly seen quite a bit of change and variety through time.
Throughout their history, hats have been functional, a status symbol and a way to show off personality and fashion. A few types of hats that have been popular for women include cloche hats, a sailor hat, a straw hat, a fedora, a schoolboy cap or a cowboy hat, but there are many, many more. During the `60s as it became more common to shape hair into large, dramatic looks, hats fell a bit out of fashion. But in the last few decades hats have found their way back into women's style, and many different types of hats can be considered to be fashionable today.