English Boys' Headwear Chinstraps

Figure 1.--This English commercial postcard probably dates to the 1910s. Notice how he wears his hat behind his head and held on by the chinstrap. Also notice the long stramers.

Chin straps were very common for hats, but rarely for caps. This is a difficult topic to address. It is not a tpic much discussed in fashion circles. We know from vintage clothing that hats nit not caps were commonly done with chin straps. This includes just about all wide-brimmed and other sailor hats. As gar as we can tell, they were done in both string and elastic. Some seem thick and others are quite thin. Er think that the thins ones which seem more common were done in elastic. We are still trying to work this out. What we do not know is to what extent boys actually wore them. It is possible that it was quit common as younger boys weredresedby mother aor a nanny and thus usuall accepted how they were done up. It was possible to fold the chin strap into the inside hat band. Thus we do not know if the boys did that or actually used the chin straps. Because most if the available photographic images are from the 19th century, we rarely see the chin straps. Either the boys were not wearing the hats or not using the chin straps, at least it looks like it in the portaits. After the turn-of-the 20th century we begin to see family snapshots taken out of the studio. This we know little more, but his is a very shot period while the hts were still in fashion. we see the boys wearing the hats on their heads, but the chin strps are difficult to see. We also see the boys with the wearing thehts behind their heads, held in place by the chin strap around the neck.


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Created: 10:41 PM 7/25/2014
Last updated: 10:41 PM 7/25/2014