In the past elaborate hats were synonymous with church. If you attended church services, chances are you were accompanied by a plethora of head adornments worn by women of the church, specifically older women; but is this now a style of the past? Is the wearing of church hats a trend that has finally run its fashion course?
For some women, church has not only been place to worship; it’s been an outlet to don their Sunday’s best. Although elaborately dressed from head to toe, one of the most popular Sunday items of choice for many women has been the church hat. Purchased in different shapes, colors, and sizes, some women have an abundance of hats to complement each Sunday dress.
Wearing church hats is an African tradition initiating during slavery. During this time, black women dressed for church sprucing up their hats for Sunday service. This ritual of adorning the head for worship is an African tradition passed down from generation to generation. And while many faithful church women paid special attention to their Sunday linens, some allowed their ‘hat game’ to take precedence, becoming the center of attention.
From hat contests (yes those actually existed) to other areas shedding light on the long standing trend, most of us have witnessed the significance of church hats to many older women. One producer found the obsession with church hats so fascinating; he created a play based off a book of photos by Michael Cunningham.