Dating from 1884, this advertisement describes various types of hat and hood available to British women in the late-19th century. While the inclusion of a riding hat might suggest this advert was aimed at the upper classes, the fact that these hats are available by mail order and not tailored to a specific individual’s head indicates that the manufacturers were advertising to the aspiring middle class.
Headwear was considered essential for middle-to-upper class women in the Victorian period. Indoors, women would wear a frilled and ribboned cap, with streams from each side that could be tied under the chin. Outdoors, silk bonnets were preferred.