Did your mother ever dress you in a special outfit for Easter? Did it come with an adorable Easter Bonnet? I was wondering where the tradition come from? So after some research, I got the scoop.
It all started many, many moons ago, when people would wear flowers in their hair to celebrate the return of spring. Okay, sounds plausible. Fast forward a few centuries and the ritual evolved into Christians celebrating Easter and wearing head coverings at church. So far so good, although I still hadn’t made the link to bonnets. Apparently, at the end of the Civil War, women (and children) were allowed to come out of mourning clothes on Easter Sunday and wear colorful outfits with coordinating Easter bonnets – at least for the day. This was known as the Sunday of Joy celebration. Since the fashion at the time was for women to wear a bonnet, the two words became linked. Then in the 1870s, New York City created the Easter Parade. Perhaps a few Southerners came north, kind of a reverse carpetbagger, or perhaps The North didn’t want to be outdone. In all fairness, I did read one explanation that the parade was simply a formalization of the tradition of carrying flowers to church on Easter Sunday and parading in one’s finery for others to admire. Whatever the origins, the Easter Parade continues to this day, even if it’s more of a casual meander along 5th avenue than an actual parade.
If you’re planning on wearing a special outfit for Easter, why not think about an Easter bonnet for yourself and your daughters? While there aren’t as many places to shop for Easter hats (or bonnets) as in the past, you can find a beautiful Easter bonnet if you look around. Many department stores still have a hat department. If you’re interested in something a little indulgent (couldn’t resist), you’ll want to check out these masterful milliners. If you’re on the East Coast, two amazing hat shops are Anya Caliendo in Babylon, NY and Suzanne in The City. Both offer couture hats on a made-to-order basis and have some ready-made hats available for immediate purchase. On the West Coast there’s Deanna Gibbons in San Francisco. What if you have your heart set on a pink cowboy hat? Talk to Denise at Tilli Bespoke Hats.
Do you have any fond memories of wearing a hat? Tell us about it in the comment section below.