Collecting Hat Books

Collecting hat books can be useful as well as a rewarding pastime. There are many antique, old and vintage books available on the craft of millinery and how to make hats. There are also plenty of reproduction hat books available for when the original is unavailable or too expensive. New hat books are worth a look too if you are interested in the latest hat fashions orcollections of themed hats.

Books on how to make hats are obviously useful if you make hats and they may offer some vintage ideas and techniques not commonly used today. It can be fun to find and recreate some of the designs you find.

Hat reference books are interesting to collect, particularly if they are specific to an era such as Art Deco or a decade such as the Sixties. They would form a good basis of a reference library to browse through when you need some inspiration.

Worth a look

Fifty Hats that Changed the World

Identifies the top fifty headwear and hats that have had a significant impact on fashion and design today. The book examines the designs that have stood out over time and the influence they have had on the fashion and design industries, ranging from Monomakh’s Cap, a Russian crown from the early fifteenth century, to Franc Fernandez’s 2010 Helmet Headpiece.

The Mode in Hats and Headdress with 198 plates

Hats and headgear have been worn by men and women for both fashion and protection since antiquity. From Egyptian headdresses and plumed turbans to modern homburgs, this stunningly comprehensive survey, organised chronologically, demonstrates the astonishing range of styles. It is a one-of-a-kind resource for stylists and designers because it includes notes on period cosmetics, jewelry, and hairstyles.

High Fashion Hats: 1950-1980

From the 1950s to the 1980s, high fashion hats were characterized by pretty flowers, expert styling, and designs that fit well. Over 700 color photographs and meticulously researched facts about historical events, hairstyles, and hat designers in each decade are included in this comprehensive book. Take a look at the hats that Christian Dior, Sally Victor, Mr. John, Halston, Oleg Cassini, Adolfo, and Oscar de la Renta, among others, created for both their affluent and common customers. A comprehensive glossary of millinery terms is very helpful, and vintage photos of women in the neighborhood proudly sporting their best hats are charming today.


This is the definitive history of hats from bowlers to berets and beyond. “Hats” takes us on a beautifully illustrated journey through class conflict, gendered etiquette, and national allegiances to reveal the complex cultures from which each style emerged, from the extravagant fashion hats of Marie Antoinette’s court to the experimental millinery of Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy. Hats, unlike any other part of a person’s attire, can give the wearer a sense of presence while adhering to a seemingly incomprehensible code of conduct. Which occasions are appropriate for a hat to be worn? When is it polite to remove one’s hat? Why did hats become less popular? arranged in a thematic way around topics like power, villainy, and disguise.

Hats & Caps: Designing Fashion Accessories
Chapeaux et Coiffures | Sombreros y Gorras | Chapéus e Bonés

Hats & Caps provides an insight into the enormous variety of styles and trends in the world of headwear through a highly visual and detailed approach. Any designer looking for ideas should read this book.

Where to buy

The used book market is has many outlets – here’s a few:

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Etsy
  • Gumtree
  • AbeBooks