Cloche Hats

The cloche was a fitted, bell-shaped women’s hat that was invented by milliner Caroline Reboux in 1908, became a sensation in the 20s and were common until 1933. The name is derived from the French word cloche, which means “bell.”

To help the hat fit “properly,” it even inspired a hairstyle — the Eton crop — a short, clicked-down cut worn by Josephine Baker (see photo below). Cloches were designed to be worn low on the forehead with your eyes only slightly visible below the brim.

Like all true fads, cloches came back in style in the 60s and again in the late 80s. Thanks to Angelina Jolie in the 2008 film, The Changeling (set in the late 20s), the cloche returned, but has undergone minor variations, such as the introduction of a demi-cloche, which allows more hair to be exposed.