Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Mrs Cuppleditch's hats - Part One

Last weekend my mum and I squeezed in a visit to a fantastic little exhibition at Louth Museum. Louth is a market town in Lincolnshire and the museum is fairly small. The temporary exhibition (on until 26th April) is of a collection of hats from the 1970's which belonged to Mary Cuppleditch. Her husband became mayor of Louth from 1978-9 and Mary wore many of the hats whilst accompanying her husband on official engagements, of which there were more than 250 that year.

There were more than 60 hats displayed and I did my best to photograph as many as possible so that they can be viewed in all their splendour here. Mum and I had great fun looking at them all, looking at the splashes of colour, the different materials, the trimmings and embellishments and trying to choose our favourites. That was particularly hard. The fashions of the 1970s are not my favourites but I found that I saw many hats which I would wear if given the chance.

The hat at the centre back is a cloche in turquoise brushed fur with black felt applique. The hat to the right is a mink beret. I am using the museum's descriptions of the hats and fabrics where possible, for accuracy.

This beret is designed to sit at the back of the head and is made from maroon velvet and pale pink nylon. It is made in eight parts and is lined in black. I like the look of this one.

Mrs Cuppleditch was obviously quite fond of this type of hat as there are several that are completely covered in flowers. They remind me of old fashioned swimming caps.

Hat 16 was one of my favourites. It is a mustard coloured beret in brushed soft felt, with a piece of the same fabric, folded into loops, at the front. It looks very wearable.

This is the side view of the hat visible in the above group picture. It is a firm crown hat in three shades of purple organza and velvet. I love the colours.

There is so much going on in this group of hats. We will look at individual pictures of them.

This is a pill box hat covered in fabric flowers, probably anemones, in deep purples, blues and pinks. It was one of Mrs Cuppleditch's favourites. I should like to try it on, I can't imagine what it would look like!

This pill box hat reminds me of a large, glitzy brain. I am not sure that was what the designer intended!

I really can't imagine this one on. A straw cone with yellow/beige pleats.

This pink pill box with lighter pink flowers is very pretty.

We will look at close ups of many of the hats here. Number 27 at the back is a pull on turban in raspberry pink angora wool.

This is a close fitting beret in cream fur fabric decorated with cream satin ribbons and fur fabric pompoms. I love this hat, I can imagine wearing it in the winter on a snowy stroll.

It is made by Mitzi boutique. The designer was Mitzi Lorenz who was a top London milliner from the 1940's until the 1980's. Her shop was in Great Portland Street but Mrs Cuppleditch would have obtained her range of hats from The Hat Box, a Louth shop, more on which later. She was obviously partial to Mitzi Lorenz's designs as there are 12 of her hats in Mrs Cuppleditch's collection.

I like this brown velvet beret. It is made in six sections which swirl around the crown, the rosette on the top hides where the sections meet. The velvet is used to make three tails and one loop as trimming.

This beret is navy trimmed with cream fabric. It is very attractive and would be easy to wear.

Hat 29 is a large pill box in deep purple cotton velvet and soft nylon. The cream hat to the side is a pill box covered in net with a bunch of fabric flowers at the front. It would make a good wedding hat.

I really liked this hat, it reminds me of flamingos. It is beret shaped with shocking pink and maroon feathers. It looks like such fun to wear.

This pull on hat in pale blue pleated nylon has attractive details.

This is a very chic beret in rusty salmon with a black polka dot veil.

A forward pill box/beret in deep shocking pink with black polyester veiling.

I really like this cloche in turquoise fine straw and organza. So pretty.

Another swimming cap type hat! A pink and gold cloche with a rose petal look.

A pill box in shocking pink with nylon net. I like all the drapes and swirls in the fabric.

Although it looks sea green here you can see from the group photo that this hat is turquoise. It is described as a pill box in 'pan scrub' fabric which seems very apt!

The hat on the left is a beret in candy floss pink with swirls. The hat on the right is a pull on, designed to sit at the back of the head. The fabric is blue over a pink base.

You can see the rear of this hat in the picture above. It is pink straw with netting and fabric flowers.

This lovely velvet beret has a leaf shaped trim. It is simple but very effective.

I am going to end Part One here as this is a very photo heavy post already. Find the rest of Mrs Cuppleditch's hats in Part Two.


  1. those hats are amazing
    retro rover

    1. That is exactly what I thought. I did a little gasp when I entered the room and saw them!

  2. I'm amazed that Mrs C was able to find such a wide variety of hats in an era when (from my memory) wearing hats was out of fashion and really only something royals, dignitaries, wedding guests, and race-goers did. I'm glad the flower-covered one remind you of swimming caps since that was my thought too!

    1. My mum saw the swimming cap thing too! I suppose Mrs C was lucky that Louth had a very good hat shop that stocked quite a wide range. It is a fairly large market town but not the centre of the fashion universe. It didn't say how old Mrs C was at that time, I wonder if that made a difference to her hat wearing?

  3. Wow, what an amazing collection!

    i especially love hat 27. the turban.

    1. It is such a great collection. I like that turban too.

  4. Ooohh, awww, lovvvvveeeee! :) What a grand exhibition of hats! I would have been yearning to try many of them on. Were you feeling that same way, too?

    ♥ Jessica

  5. Oh yes, my Mum and I really wanted to try them on, especially our favourites! It would have been a great place to find out what styles of hat did and didn't suit us!