The Empire Bonnet of 1865 (and 1866)

If I Had My Own Blue Box:

According to The Dictionary of Fashion, the Empire bonnet was “a small, close-fitting, outdoor bonnet in the shape of a baby’s bonnet.”

We see bonnets called the Empire earlier in the war, but by the end of the war they have changed:

“The Empire bonnet (in its greatly modified form) seems to become popular, it is now made of velvet as well as straw, and is found not only comfortable but in a general way becoming. Bandelettes quite flat to the head and formed of velvet are much worn in place of bonnet-caps. Occasionally a butterfly, humming-bird, jet ornament, a bow of ribbon, or turf of flowers, is posed in the centre, and takes off the rather severe effect of the flat bandelette. Sometimes the band is formed entirely of feathers.” (The Ladies’ Companion, 1865 (Also The Illustrated London Magazine))

In 1865, mentions of the Empire bonnet are in…

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