How do you store nice women's hats?

What with all this wedding stuff I’ve been… buying hats? Yeah, I dunno. Retro ladies’ hats. Like this little adorable creature, which I got for our engagement photo shoot. I suppose I’m buying into the style I wish I wore but don’t actually bother with in most of my real life.

So… how am I supposed to keep them nice? Are there any functional hatboxes anymore as opposed to the decorative ones? (Don’t they waste a ton of space?) One I bought, a little cocktail fascinator, came beautifully packaged in a pasteboard box with a little velvet puff on the bottom with some elastic to pin the hat to and keep it safe, but that’s the only one that came in anything designed to store it. How exactly did women with a bunch of hats back in the 50’s keep them?

They are, of course, odd little shapes, so they don’t just stack or hang on a hook like a man’s hat might. Plus, they often have feathers and other decorations that are fragile.

I’m afraid I don’t know any nice women.


Well of course back in the 50s, women wore hats every day so they would’ve kept them on a hat stand (in the hallway or some such place). This doesn’t stop them getting dusty, but if you’re wearing them every day this isn’t much of a problem.

You can also get hat stands for table tops/dressing tables, like this.

For posh hats that you don’t wear often, I’m afraid a hat box is the only way forward. When I have bought nice hats for weddings in the past they have generally come in a hat box. In the UK, you can certainly buy hatboxes (eg from amazon) so I presume the US must have similar availability?

What gave you the idea that men’s hats are stored this way? Gimme caps? A man’s hat needs to be stored in a hat box or it will need brushed in very short order, as the felt will hold dust, and it will need blocked very shortly after that. If you make the mistake of stacking them, they will all need blocked.

Well, my ex had a lot of men’s hats but he kept them on hooks.

ETA - see, in the US (I don’t know if the UK does this - British ladies still have the “mad hat” wedding thing, you hardly see them here at all) there’s this dumb thing where people buy hat boxes as some weird decorative thing. So the hat boxes I see at places like Michael’s aren’t actually sized for real hats.

Not to mention, I mean, do you have a hatbox for every single hat? Where on earth do you put them? (I remember in the movie version of Murder on the Orient Express there was an “old fashioned hatbox” they used to decipher a burned note - it held several hats.)

I think that you’re right, they do take up a lot of space. But in days of yore people had fewer clothes total, I think, and space was available for hat boxes.

I have seen actual, usable hat boxes but I can’t remember where. People here kinda/sorta have hats more than the general population because of the Derby. If you dress up for the Derby, you more or less have to have a gorgeous hat. Maybe try a higher end department store, or at least something at the Dillard’s level.

This is exactly what I came in here to say - back in the 50s when hats were worn more, the average lady probably only had one or two - the lifestyle was different and a woman would probably only have one or two nice going out outfits.

A hat box really is the solution. As to where to find one - I just did a quick search and found about 100,000 pages - surely there’s something there that would work?

Do hats really need a specifically designed hat box, or will anything that will keep the dust out suffice? I’m far from an expert, but it seems that loosely stuffing the crown of the hat with tissue paper would be enough to keep it from collapsing.

If you want to go for museum quality conservation materials, I believe this is the site where I got the box my wedding dress currently resides in. It might cost more than the hat, though!

Um, if you’re buying fancy hats, shouldn’t the shop be sending them home with you in a hat box?

My wife has lots of hatboxes. She doesn’t keep hats in them, but I figured someone else might on account of the name.

You shop at, like, stores? Ones with doors and windows and stuff? :slight_smile:

Generally when one buys things from, say, Etsy, you get a cardboard shipping box full of tissue paper and a hat, which is fine for shipping but awkward for storage.

My grandma used to store her wigs on mannequin heads in her bedroom. The same principle could apply here, although if dust is a concern, a hatbox is safer.

As opposed to bad women’s hats?


Only if they are all really odd shapes. Hats will often nestle inside each other, so a hat box ‘could’ probably hold 2-3 hats.

As for storage, that’s what the space under the bed is for!

(And yes, we do still sometimes do the crazy hat thing for weddings in the UK, although the last one I went to it was all about fascinators).

I’m not sure where my ladies’ maid keeps them. :wink:

I assembled a hat tree for a friend of mine. If you get something like this:

It could hold a lot of hats. I have a big walk-in closet, so I would probably put a bunch of hooks on the walls.

Don’t hang good hats on hooks - they’ll warp. You can leave them on shelves if they’re covered well, but a hatbox is really the only way to go, 1-2 hats per box depending on how well they stack. (None of mine stack well, but my mother seems to manage it.) They take up an absurd amount of room. If you’re going to leave them unworn for many months, make sure to stuff them well with tissue paper so the weight of the crown doesn’t warp the brim, but otherwise, you shouldn’t have to bother with stuffing. I keep mine in the cardboard hatboxes they came in when I bought them in person, but my one nice hatbox (I use it as my travel one, as it’s sturdier) came from Century 21, the New York discount department store.

Zsofia, you can use any sturdy box with a lid. Use acid-free tissue paper to hold the hat in place, so it doesn’t bounce around and get crushed if the box tips over in your closet. It doesn’t have to be a hatbox. A shoebox will work if it’s big enough. Just make sure the lid doesn’t press down on the hat when it’s in the box, and you should be good.