Classic Broad-brimmed Sailor Hats: Chin Straps

Figure 1.--This English boy was nammed Sammy. He was photographed in September 1906. Notice the chin strap the boys wears with his wide-brimmed sailor hat. The boy looks to be about7-8 years old. We think the chin straps were more common than suggested by the indoors studio portraiture.

Many of the photographic images of boys wearing broad-brimmed sailor hats do not show them wearing the chin straps. We have few details about the hats. We believe, however, that most of these hats came with elastic chin straps. Presumably when indoors for portrais they were unneeded and pushed inside the hat. Often the hats for these portraits were also pushed back to both show the hat and the boy's hair. Thus the chin strap could not as easily be used. Outdoors the chin straps were more commonly used. You would assume that such large hats could very easily catch the wind and be blown away without a chin strap to hold them on. Here we are just speculating as we have no written information on the use of these chin straps. We have noted them in some outdoor photographs. There may have been cariations among countries ages, and gender. This is difficult to tell at this time because we have realtively few images showing chilren wearing the chin straps, in part because most available images are inside studio portraits. We do have a German sailor hat chin strap page. We hope to be able to assess this topic as HBC expands. Any insights readers may have would be of interest.


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Created: November 9, 2002
Last updated: 6:21 PM 8/19/2015