Dating Vintage Hats

One of my favorite spots in our mall is the “Vintage Boutique”. It is filled with wonderful fashions from the late 1800’s to the 1970’s. You’ll find dresses, skirts, sweaters, coats, shoes, HATS, and more. We carry one of the largest vintage hat collections in the valley. Currently we have over 200 hats for sale.

One reason we have so many fabulous vintage hats is because of one of our Dealers, Dianna Hanson, also know to us as the “Hat Lady.” Dianna has been collecting for many years and her personal collection has grown to more than 1000 hats. Part of her collection is featured in the 2013 calendar, “365 Days of Hats.” You can learn more about the “Hat Lady” at Here is some interesting information gathered from her website.

Dating a Vintage Hat by Its Label

By, Dianna Hanson

Dating a vintage hat can be a little tricky. It has been my experience that only about one in three hats has a label of any kind, while others may have up to three. However, here are a few tips to help guide you.

Victorian and Edwardian hats don’t usually have a label. When they do the information is stitched into or printed on the lining of the hat.

Beginning in the late 1920’s, ribbon-like hat labels were sewn into the hats. By the 1960’s some manufacturers began to use glue to attach the labels.

Size labels appear in hats of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s and are most often size 22. This is the measurement of the circumference of the wearer’s head. Today this is stated as size 7. Also during this time period you may encounter labels stating, “Consumer Protection Label Mfd. Under Fair Labor Standards.” This and similar labels indicate that members of a union made them.

Sometimes antique dealers will miss-label a tiny hat as a child’s hat when in fact it is a woman’s “doll” or “toy” hat from the 1940’s. If the label says size 22 then it is definitely a woman’s hat.

You can find much more information and wonderful photos at the website. To purchase your own unique vintage hat visit the Albany Antique Mall, at 145 2nd Ave, in Historic Downtown Albany, Oregon.


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