Advertisement for Henry Heath's ladies' hats



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.

Full title
International Health Exhibition. (Machinery in motion - Western Arcade & Gallery 1197). See the hat makers & hat machinery at work.
estimated 1884 , London
Advertisement / Ephemera / Illustration / Image
Held by
British Library
Usage terms
Public Domain
Evan. 4229

Related articles

Mrs Beeton and the art of household management

Article by
Kathryn Hughes
The middle classes

Professor Kathryn Hughes explains how Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management helped middle-class urban women run their households and navigate married life.

The Victorian middle classes

Article by
Liza Picard

Liza Picard explores the expansion of the middle classes.

Related collection items