Hat Types: The Calot

Calot | Royal Hats

After our recent looks at the brimless turban and pillbox hats, today we look at the calot.

History: The calot (which means ‘cap’ in French) design harks back to a popular hat in the 16th century known as the ‘Juliet cap’. 500 years ago, Juliet caps were usually an open-work woven cap, often decorated with pearls, beads or jewels. The calot style came back into fashion in the 1920s and again in the 1970s, when it then became de rigueur with bohemian brides. While calots have mostly been worn with evening gowns or wedding dresses, they are also occasionally worn by royals as a daytime hat.

Characteristics: A close-fitting cap that sits off the face with no visor or brim. A calot is distinguished by its rounded crown that follows the contour of the wearer’s head.

Royals Associated with this Hat Style: The iconic Princess Grace of Monaco on her wedding day. It is a go-to shape or Queen Silvia and Queen Máxima has embraced the shape in recent years as well.

Royal Calots:

Viscountess Linley, June 22, 1995 | The Royal Hats Blog  Crown Princess Victoria, July 2, 2011 | The Royal Hats Blog

Viscountess Linley, June 22, 1995; Princess Máxima in Fabienne Delvigne, Nov, 2, 2011;
  Crown Princess Victoria, July 2, 2011; Duchess of Cambridge in Jane Taylor, Sept, 16, 2012

Queen Máxima , Feb 9, 2017 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Sep 16, 2014 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Máxima in Fabienne Delvigne, Feb 9, 2017; Crown Princess Mary in Susanne Juul, Oct 6, 2015
Queen Máxima on Sep 16, 2014

Lady Diana Spencer, June 13, 1981 | The Royal Hats Blog  Queen Silvia, October 31, 2016 | Royal Hats Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Dec. 10, 2012 | The Royal Hats Blog

 Lady Diana Spencer in John Boyd, June 13, 1981; Crown Princess Mary, Sept. 13, 2014
Queen Silvia, October 31, 2016
Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Dec. 10, 2012 

While the calots are great for royal walkabouts or events when a royal face needs to be clearly visible, I sometimes find this style of hat falls a little flat. Like the pillbox, I think placement is key- it works when it is not too far back (from the hats above, I think Máxima and Mary got it just right). What do you think of the calot hat?

Photos from Tim Graham via Getty; Dutch Photo Press; Andreas Rentz via Zimbio; Samir Hussein via Getty;  Marco Prosch via Getty; Splash News/Splash News/CorbisMark Cuthbert via Getty; Rex Features; Bauer GriffinJonathan Nikstrand via Getty; Scanpix

15 thoughts on “Hat Types: The Calot

  1. Pingback: Crazy And Not So Crazy Craft Patterns VIII | Second Hand Roses

  2. I just want to say that I like the cap on CP Mett-Marit, even though it looks more like a snood from the angle of the picture. She looks very elegant in that hat and coat; I don’t know whether it would have improved the look to move up her hat to a more correct position on her head.

  3. I love this style. With the exception of Lady Armstrong-Jones (which I think is just too big) these are lovely and very ladylike. I much prefer this style to almost any percher hat or fascinator.

  4. Another informative post. I appreciate how much care you take to show such a diverse variety of hats within this genre. Well done.

  5. I also think that when you wear a hat without a brim, your hair needs to be professionally styled. Victoria and Claire have nice hats here but they are ruined by their messy hairstyles.

  6. I dislike it very much when it appears to be falling off the back of the head, but when worn with right placement-such as Mary and Maxima, I like it very much.

  7. Just the words “juliet cap” send me into ecstasies 😀 I like pretty much all of these except Serena’s & Diana’s, both of which would be greatly improved by removing the netting.

  8. Some of these hats look like they are going to fall off they are worn so far back. I think I prefer hats with brims and pillboxes.

  9. I wore a Juliet Cap when I was married in 1973! I had no idea how trendy I was! I agree that they should not be too far back on the head.

  10. A very interesting survey. And an interesting hat shape. I think its size and placement definitely give it a less formal feel than most other proper hat shapes. I’m not sure that I think they always need to be placed in a similar fashion, though; I think they create different effects depending on how they are worn. For example, I think placed as Maxima and Mary have them, they are visible from the front and perhaps more suitable for making a formal impression of hat-wearing. On the other hand, Victoria’s worn at the back turns it into more of a hair embellishment than a hat, and is perhaps more suitable for a dressy dress (which I guess was worn for an evening do?) And sometimes they just add to the in-the-round effect – for example the one on Catherine, I suspect you could hardly see from the front, but I think it looks superb from the side.

  11. This confirms that Queen Maxima’s hats of question really are turbans. The hat above looks so small and streamlined compared to her turbans.

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