In Sense and Sensibility 1996, Kate Winslet as Marianne wears a charming straw sun bonnet as she recuperates from her illness. When I ran across the fashion plate of a morning dress from The Gallery of Fashion, 1794-1798, I was immediately struck by the similarity, although the brim in the fashion plate is more elaborate.
The magazine described the head wear as a “balloon bonnet of wicker, trimmed with broad lace. The front hair is in curls, the hind hair is turned up.” I suspect that Lydia Bennet would have wrapped ribbons around her capote much as in the above image.
Kate Winslet’s capote is simpler, but equally charming. Capotes, or scoop-shaped bonnets, were popular in the early Regency and first made their appearance in the 1790s. The hats accommodated the modish hair styles of that era, which were short or piled on top of the head.
Generally made to be worn outdoors, capotes were also worn as evening headwear early in the 19th century. This evening capote is elaborately trimmed.
The shape of the Capote bonnet changed as hairdos changed, and the hat crown shifted to accommodate the increased height of swept up hair. The poke, or brim, also became larger over time. This definition describes the Victorian capote: Close fitting bonnet with rigid brim, either of straw or boned into shape. Soft, shirred crown , ribbon bows tied under the chin, Victorian 19 c. with deep ruffle in back. Also poke bonnet, fanchon, scuttle bonnet, sun bonnet. – Glossary of hats, Village Hat Shop.
View images of the Victorian capote here http://www.metmuseum.org/collections/search-the-collections/80044650 and here http://www.metmuseum.org/collections/search-the-collections/80044657. You can see the vast difference between the two styles, yet they are still capotes.
This link leads to instructions for making a Capote Beguin, or Edwardian Era bonnet.
Make Your Own Regency Bonnet
- Purchase supplies:http://www.hatsupply.com/bonnets.htm
- Leko’s Regency Bonnets: http://regencysa.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=sundries&action=print&thread=805
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