A cloche is a fitted, bell-shaped hat that was popular during the 1920s and 1930s, a signature of flapper style during the Art Deco period. The word “cloche” is French for “bell,” reflecting the hat’s shape. Made typically of felt so it could hug the head closely, the cloche hat was designed to be worn low on the forehead, with the wearer’s eyes only just below the brim.
Cloche hats are emblematic of the era’s fashion, representing the liberation of women from the more restrictive styles of previous periods. They complemented the bob haircut, which was also a statement of freedom and modernity at the time. The sleek, streamlined silhouette of the cloche hat suited the geometric lines and simple elegance of Art Deco fashion.
Though the cloche hat is most associated with the Jazz Age, it has seen revivals in contemporary fashion as a vintage or retro accessory. Modern interpretations may play with color, fabric, and embellishments like ribbons, feathers, and brooches, but they retain the characteristic snug fit and bell shape.
The cloche hat remains a symbol of chic, timeless style, and continues to be appreciated for its blend of simplicity and sophistication.