What is a Cartwheel hat?

cartwheel hat (also cartwheel hat) is a wide-brimmed circular or saucer-shaped design. It may be made in a variety of materials, including straw or felt and usually has a low crown. It may be similar to the picture hat and halo-brimmed hat in shape. Typically, it is worn at an angle to show off the curve of the brim, rather than being worn at the back of the head in the manner of a halo hat.

The cartwheel hat and Scottish hats became popular in the years leading up to World War I. The Milwaukee Sentinel described the new fashion in 1914: “Do not be astounded if you notice a smartly gowned woman with a hat of huge proportions…The new large hats are broad-brimmed and have low crowns, which are not discernible when the hat is worn, hence they resemble cartwheels tilted at a becoming angle”. These early versions might be covered in velvet, taffeta or silk; some included flower, fur or feather trims. Queensland racegoers sporting cartwheel-shaped sunhats, 1939

1930s style

The cartwheel hat appeared in films and fashion during the 1930s – an American newspaper described the latest Paris fashion for straight and curled-brim cartwheel designs in 1934. The correspondent described crowns so shallow that hats had to be secured with a rubber band above or below the hair, which must be “perfectly coiffed” as it was revealed by the hat. 

The following year, The Observer described: “cartwheel hats with exceedingly low crowns and brims which slope very slightly downwards”, also noting that London milliner Aage.


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