What is a Cartwheel hat?


The world of fashion is ever-evolving, with trends constantly coming and going. However, certain timeless pieces manage to transcend eras and retain their allure. The cartwheel hat is one such iconic accessory that has maintained its popularity over the years. With its wide brim and distinctive design, the cartwheel hat exudes an air of sophistication and elegance. In this article, we will explore the history, features, and enduring appeal of the cartwheel hat, highlighting its significance as a fashion statement.

Cartwheel hat

Origins and Evolution :

The cartwheel hat originated in the late 19th century, during the Victorian era. Initially called the “gypsy hat” due to its resemblance to the headgear worn by Romani women. It gained prominence in the 1920s and 1930s. Its defining characteristic is its oversized, wide brim that extends beyond the circumference of the wearer’s head.

Design and Construction

Cartwheel hats are typically made from materials such as straw, felt, or sinamay. The wide brim, often measuring around 18 to 20 inches in diameter, provides ample shade and protection from the sun. The crown of the hat can vary in shape, from flat to slightly domed or even with a gentle taper towards the center. To ensure a secure fit, cartwheel hats are often accompanied by ribbons, elastic bands, or combs that help keep the hat in place on the wearer’s head.

Iconic Moments and Famous Wearers :

Over the years, the cartwheel hat has become synonymous with elegance and style. It has graced the heads of numerous fashion icons, both on and off the silver screen. One of the most famous instances of the cartwheel hat’s iconic status was in the 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” where Audrey Hepburn’s character donned a chic black cartwheel hat paired with a little black dress

4. Versatility and Contemporary Adaptations :

While the cartwheel hat initially gained popularity as a formal accessory, it has evolved to suit various occasions and personal styles. Cartwheel hats can be seen at events like horse races, weddings, garden parties, and other outdoor festivities.

5. Cultural Significance and Symbolism :

Beyond its fashionable appeal, the cartwheel hat carries symbolic meaning in different cultures. In some traditions, the wide-brimmed hat represents a sense of protection, shielding the wearer from negative energy or harmful influences. In others, it serves as a statement of power and authority.


The cartwheel hat’s enduring popularity can be attributed to its timeless elegance and versatility. From its humble beginnings as a practical accessory to shield against the sun, it has evolved into a fashion statement adored by style icons and enthusiasts alike. With its wide brim, distinctive design, and ability to adapt to different styles and occasions, the cartwheel hat remains an iconic symbol of sophistication, making it a must-have accessory for those seeking to add a touch of timeless glamour to their ensemble.


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