One of my goals for 2020 is to complete our glossary of hat shapes. Today we’re looking at the Garbo hat.
History: After a decade of immense popularity during the 1920s, the cloche hat naturally took on other variations, many which included a longer brim. These longer brims were sometimes swept up in front (see Greta Garbo here in a 1931 poster) but more commonly, were left to gently fall around the face. Swedish actress Greta Garbo, who built a film career during the 1920s playing exotic, sophisticated, women of the world, had become an international sensation during the 1930s (moving from silent to speaking films in 1930) and her reputation and immense popularity paired well with this hat style’s mysterious glamour, the two becoming forever linked. Replaced by smaller scale hats in the 1940s and 50s, Garbo hats surged back into the forefront of fashion in the 1970s. Today, they are seen as a chic, less formal take on a wide brimmed picture hat.
Characteristics: A Garbo hat has a rounded, closely fitted crown similar to a cloche, with a low set brim of medium-wide brim. Typically made of felt, the brim falls gently around the wearer’s face, giving it a relaxed, slightly floppy appearance. The waved shape of the brim is intensified when the crown is fitted more tightly on the head.
Royals Associated with this Hat Style: none in particular. The phrase “effortlessly chic” comes to mind describing Garbo hats and their royal wearers.
What do you think of the Garbo hat?
Photos from Mark Renders and Michel Porro via Getty; Didier Lebrun/Photo News S.A./Corbis; Gisela Schober, and Michel Porro, Alain Benainous, and AFP, via Getty; Stella Pictures; Pascal Le Segretain via Getty; Stella Pictures