By  on November 10, 2010

“N.Y. Retail Ad Group Finds Hatlessness is Not a Trend to Bareheadedness.” What now reads as a rather humorous headline was, back in 1941, a very pressing issue for the millinery industry: women ditching the chapeau. “It is, naturally, causing anguish to millinery manufacturers and retail milliners who refer to it as ‘the evil of hatlessness,’” the Committee on Joint Program for the Retail Advertising Executives Club of Metropolitan New York released in a statement to WWD. But whereas hats may not have been en vogue, the article reassured readers that consumers still demanded other types of headgear. “What is happening is not the ending but the changing of a trend,” the paper reported on November 7. “Women are buying the kind of head covering they want in the neckwear department, the notion department, the handkerchief department…and at the ribbon counter. This is in line with the whole trend of the times toward simpler, more functional clothing.”

But there was one exception here: school girls, who often went without any toppers at all. “It is quite likely that this will spread,” the paper continued, “and that all women within the next few years will come to regard a head covering as an occasional, rather than as a constant piece of clothing.”

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