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How did this distinctive hat come about?


While Cloth Cloche cap is a defining fashion icon of the 1920’s, this stretch of time is only the height of its popularity. It’s history stretches back to the turn of the century when it was first created- 1908 to be exact. The design was invented by French milliner Caroline Reboux: a small bell-shaped hat that was easy to form, and simple enough that it could be embellished and styled in a number of ways. The accessory was aptly named, as “cloche,” the French word for bell.

Typically, Cloth Cloche Hat were made of felt, sisal or straw, and worn plain to show off the shape of a hat that was very well made. In the early years, Reboux herself would custom-design a hat specifically for a customer. She would make the hat by taking a length of felt, placing it on the customer’s head and shaping it right there. Reboux’s cloches were the antithesis of hats that had came before- these featured wide brims with embellishments piled on.

How did this distinctive hat come about?