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What is a Peach Basket Hat?

Here's a closer look at the peach basket hat where you'll learn about its history, what it looks like, and how it is welcomed and embraced during its time and up to this time.

Woman wearing a black vintage peach basket hat embellished with rhinestone and pearls.
Source: Etsy
  • The peach basket hat was first introduced in 1908; it looks similar to a fruit country basket.
  • This hat did not become very popular due to its large size and bold features that many did not find flattering.
  • In the 1930s, it was reintroduced with a more modest design, making it more attractive and fashionable.

The Peach Basket was introduced many years ago; its crazy, bold features make it unpopular. This hat was also given other names, such as fruit bowl, washbowl, or skyscraper. It is still seen today but only by specific individuals and in certain settings.

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What is a Peach Basket Hat?

The peach basket hat is also known as the fruit basket hat; it is a millinery design that looks similar to a country basket used to carry fruit. This hat is made from straw or a material with a similar texture and look. It is typically decorated with ribbons and flowers; some designs even have veils or fabric draped over the hat.

This hat was introduced into the fashion world in 1908 and, due to its bold design and decorations, caused some controversy over the year. In the 1930s and 1950s, more modest designs of this hat were made. This hat is still known today due to its first crazy design and introduction into society.

Many people’s opinions and reactions to the hat’s design are why it is the reason it becomes popular, not necessarily to wear but due to its bold look.

The History of the Peach Basket Hat

Peach basket hat on a mannequin with pink faux flowers.
Source: Etsy

The name peach basket for this has was commonly used in the United States in 1908, whereas in Europe, it was called a fruit basket hat. This was typically an upturned basket-looking hat decorated with flowers. A popular British magazine known as the Guardian published an article about these oversized hats having a variety of designs, one looking similar to the Roundhead headgear hat.

Many of these hats were described to have been decorated with a variety of flowers, bird motifs, and fruit. The Vogue magazine published an article in 1907 stating that the future of hat designs would be large and a statement in the fashion world.

Photography became increasingly popular during this time; this was where individuals were exposed to other cultures and countries. This is how the millinery design for the Peach Basket Hat got its inspiration, specifically from the Congo women’s traditional clothing.

This hat was launched as the new seasons looked in 1908, but it was not welcomed and embraced like the designers would have hoped. This had been ridiculed on many different platforms, such as the Los Angeles Herald newspaper who stated it looked like an airplane-styled headgear.

The milliners who designed and marketed this had did not receive many sales and realized that they had to be careful when introducing bold fashion creations into society. Even husbands avoided going to the store to purchase this hat with their wives.

It also received many other names mocking its design, such as washbasin or inverted bowl shape. One good story came from wearing this hat; a girl who got into a car accident was saved by her peach basket hat as it protected her from getting injured as she was thrown through her windscreen.

Could the Peach Basket be Saved?

Mannequin wearing a burnt orange peach basket hat adorned with a ribbon.
Source: Etsy

In the 1930s, the peach basket hat was reintroduced into society but with a few modifications, which were loved by many. These new designs were more modest and elegant in their style. One of the designs was a rough purple straw hat with a grosgrain ribbon and a bouquet of violets.

Another was a peach basket hat with a navy brim made of straw and a tall tapering crown made from leghorn straw and decorated with flowers and a veil. This hat also popped up in the fashion world in the 1950s with another modified design. The hat had a simplified design; it had a straw frame typically draped with a soft fabric.

This new look looked less like a basket as the straw was not visible and more like a modernized hat. The shape of this hat was still not extremely popular, although it was worn as a sun hat or rain hat by many.

The Peach Basket Hat is not very popular today; you don’t see many people wearing it as a fashionable piece in the general public or among celebrities. A commonplace that it has been seen is among the royal family, specifically by Queen Elizabeth, Princess Katherine, Princess Maria, Duchess of Kent, Princess Mabel, and Princess Margriet. Princess Margriet was seen wearing this hat in the 1950s and the 21st century.

This had is mostly worn in the spring and summer months; they are generally made with a soft fabric similar to chiffon, the material is typically layered on to form a pretty textured look. These summer hats are typically a light color such as white, beige, or pink. They are decorated with a flower or ribbon for a more feminine look.

Although this is usually a spring or summer look, it can also be worn in the winter months; these hats are typically made with a thicker winter material. They are decorated with a ribbon and usually are a darker color such as grey or black. There are a few different Peach Basket hat designs seen today.

This hat typically has a flat crown with its sides that come out at an angle like an upside-down flower pot. Some of the hat styles have a narrower brim, whereas others have a wider brim; many people believe the wider brimmed hats look more flattering.

There are some that sit very low on one face making it harder to see; this is not always desired compared to ones that fit properly without covering some of your eyes. There are various fabrics, colors, and decorative flowers or ribbons used to make these hats.