In 1933, a song in the musical Easter Parade included the lyrics, “In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it, you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.” Written by Irving Berlin, the song highlighted the extraordinarily fancy bonnets women wore to complete their ensemble.
Even children did not escape the well-meaning efforts of their mothers. Some historic photos of children wearing excessive hats are quite amusing. In this 1906 photo, Verona Klanche Bovy’s expression might offer a clue about her feelings about her new bonnet.
Today, fancy bonnets in the U.S. are rare. One thing that has not changed is parents dressing children in “fancy” clothing and taking photos that just might embarrass them 20 (or more!) years later.