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Women's hats were increasingly more exuberant during the 1890s. Elaborately decorated bonnets and hats were in fashion, as well as simpler hats for active wear.

Bonnets of the 1890s had very substantial brims and became very difficult to distinguish from hats. Narrow, high hats in dark colors with crushed satin and ostrich tips sat atop women's heads in the 1890s. By the middle of the decade, hats were even more substantial. The hats were perched toward the front of the head and were lavishly trimmed with crushed ribbons. These hats, because of the way they were perched and the fluffed material, were often called "settin' hens." The women in the images below sport a variety of lavish "settin' hens".

1890s Women's Hats: Image courtesy of Joan L. Severa, Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900, 1995

A youthful straw sailor hat was appropriate for active summer attire. The women in the image below wear the straw sailor hat appropriate for their summertime play.

1890s Straw Sailor Hats: Image courtesy of Joan L. Severa

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