The most common kind of bonnet worn today
is a soft headcovering for babies. They
and tie under the chin. They are shaped
similarly to the kind of bonnets women used
to wear, that is they cover the hair and
ears, but not the forehead.
worn by women and girls were generally brimless
head coverings which were secured by tying
under the chin, and which covered no part
of the forehead. They were worn outdoors
or in public places like shops, galleries,
churches, and during visits to acquaintances.
Bonnets were one of the most common types
of headgear worn by women throughout most
of the 19th century.
had a peak it would extend from the entire
front of the bonnet, from the chin over
the forehead and down the other side of
the face. Some styles of bonnets had a large
peak which effectively prevented women from
looking right or left without turning their
heads. Others had a wide peak which was
angled out to frame the face rather than
restrict peripheral vision.
Most women in the 19th century would
have had at least two bonnets
one suitable for summer weather, often made
from straw, and one made from heavier fabric
for winter wear. This is where the tradition
of a Easter bonnet parade originated, when
women would switch from their winter bonnet
to their summer bonnet. Wealthier women
would have many more bonnets, suitable for
Bonnets worn by men and boys are generally
distinguished from hats by being soft and
having no brim - this usage is now rare
(they would normally be called
although the word has been preserved in
the military glengarry bonnet for example.
The chile pepper Scotch Bonnet was named
for its resemblance to a bonnet worn by
men in Scotland (in the past).