Life Magazine 1940s Hat Styles

Today’s post is some fashion eye candy from an article about dinner hats from Life Magazine, November 1948.   There are some marvelous 1940s hat styles starting with this fabulous cover shot.

Vintage 1940s hats

This off-the-shoulder number is by Christian Dior and is appropriately named “Abandon”.    The cocktail hat is by Hattie Carnegie.

The model is Georgia Hamilton, who Life Magzine describes as 23, married, a professional model, mother of a year-old-son, an ardent golfer, and would-be actress. Whew!  That kind of breaks the stereotype of stay-at-home housewives.    

After doing some research, Madge discovered that Georgia was one of Eileen Ford’s first models and this cover was her big break in modeling.  After a successful career, three more kids, and a divorce she reinvented herself as a home builder in the Hamptons. Georgia passed away in 1995.

Life magazine hat styles

The article notes that the keystone to fashion this season is the hat.  Oh, if it were still so.  This one by Sally Victor is white satin with ostrich feathers which give it that “come hither look”. Note the lace stockings in the small photo on the left as well as those divine Delman shoes with the rhinestone straps.

1940s hat styles

Madge has a thing for peplum dresses.  They are so of the era. This one by Cecil Chapman has her drooling on the keyboard.

Life notes the black satin cloche hat, also with glycerined feathers, but doesn’t mention the designer. The double-strand pearl and rhinestone choker is a nice touch.

Cecil Chapman was that rare woman designer. Headquartered in New York City from the 1940s to the 1960s. Chapman was known for glamorous cocktail and party dresses and for working with celebrity clients including television and movie actresses.   Reportedly she was Marilyn Monroe’s favorite designer.

1940s hat styles - vintage cartwheel hat

A fabulous cartwheel hat with strapless dress and stole from Bergdorf Goodman.  Lovely, but the rose looks like it might be a bit over the top.  I know you are thinking the hat is over the top.   Not Madge.  

Cartwheel hats are a favorite style of Madge and are oh so glamourous.

Hattie Carnegie hat

And for the finale, this fabulous black fox-trimmed velvet hat from Hattie Carnegie.  Madge just loves the description on this one.  “Designed especially for restaurant wear”.  What in Sam Hill does that mean?  Maybe it’s a snug fit so your hat doesn’t fall into your soup.

So that’s todays’ fashion report on 1940s hat size.  See you soon.

Photos copyright © 2022  MadgesHatbox Vintage.  We are a proud member of Got VintageCheck out their website.

Comment Below


  1. Oh, la, la. We know you loose alot of heat from your head, so a full fur hat was sure to keep you warm in a drafty restaurant when the rest of you was only partially clothed. They really did mean bare shoulders. Thanks, Madge. This was a fun read.

  2. Oh Madge..I also look back and yearn for that time when hats were an important element in every lady’s fashion wardrobe. Thanks for another glimpse into the past.

  3. What more could you ask for than a Christian Dior / Hatte Carnegie Combo! Love them all but that’s definitely my favorite. Love this post and sharing again to the Reference community:)

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.