For many of us, the thought of Easter conjures up images of cute bunnies, colorful eggs, chocolate-filled baskets, and, oh yes, sensational Easter hats. Donned by women wearing their Sunday best, these eye-catching dress hats have become synonymous with the festive springtime holiday.
Of course, Easter is a special occasion that is much more profound than frilly fashion, egg hunts, and the Easter Bunny. But that doesn't mean you can't have fun and express yourself with a marvelous piece of millinery.
The good news is that Easter hats come in an array of styles and materials — from wide-brim hats, floppy hats, and fedora hats to panama hats, boater hats, and countless other sun hats and straw hats.
To help you find one that best suits your taste, we've rounded up some of our top womens Easter hats that include pretty pastels, statement-making flourishes, and larger-than-life brims.
A Brief History of Easter Hats
How exactly did the tradition of the Easter hat come to be? You can trace it back to the Christian custom of wearing new clothes to church during the holiday, which celebrates the resurrection of Christ and symbolizes the season of renewal.
Originally called "Easter bonnets," these colorful headpieces gradually became more elaborate and extravagant in the late 19th century thanks to the proliferation of Easter parades, and more specifically, the New York City Easter Parade in 1870. As the masses departed St. Patrick's Cathedral and other nearby churches and walked down Fifth Avenue, it really became quite a spectacle to see the men, women, and children in all their finery.
Although it organically sprung from the churchgoing crowd, the parade continued to grow in popularity over the decades with just as many non-religious participants eager to flaunt their fancy headwear and spiffy threads.
By the 1940s, it's estimated that one million people participated in the procession. In 1948, the phenomena further cemented its place in pop culture history with the film "Easter Parade" starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. Not only was it the most financially successful movie for both entertainers, but it was also the top-grossing musical of the year.
Today, Easter hats have blossomed from their old-fashioned bonnet roots into ebullient headpieces that can be as outlandish or conventional as the wearer wishes. What's more, they are no longer considered accessories to be worn just once a year — these versatile toppers can easily become your go-to tea party hat, garden party hat, wedding hat, or summer hat.
Womens Easter Hats
Lady's Secret by Kentucky Derby Official®
Whether you're joining the congregation for Easter Sunday or kicking your heels at the Kentucky Derby, the exquisite Lady's Secret by Kentucky Derby Official® is at once bold and tasteful. Constructed of Sinamay, a natural fiber woven from the stalks of the abaca tree (also called Manila hemp), this hat exudes Southern charm with organza feather and quill details that sit above a 7 1/2-inch brim. Shown in a pretty pink color, you can also choose from fuchsia and navy.
Sanibel by Scala
Stepping up the basic straw sun hat to a stylish new level, Sanibel by Scala is the perfect Easter hat for the women who appreciates classic lines and fine-tuned details. Made of natural paper braid, this dimensional wide-brim women's facesaver hat will keep the sun off your face so that you can glow naturally.
Rachel Alexandria by Kentucky Derby Official®
A nod to a bygone era, this sinamay women's fascinator by Kentucky Derby Officialis for the woman who isn't afraid to pair a vintage silhouette with a modern aesthetic. The papillion band and bow add a hint of glamour, without drawing too much attention to yourself. A
Lalago by Tommy Bahama
Timeless and decidedly feminine, Tommy Bahama's paper braid Lalago hat charms with it's 2 1/2-inch dimensional brim and velvet bow detail. Simple, ultra-chic, this hat is thee perfect way to accent any summer 'fit.
Sazerac by Kentucky Derby Official®
From its structured pillbox hat-style crown to the airy Sinamay material, this stunning sinamay hat by Kentucky Derby Official® was made for Easter Sunday service...or a day at the Derby (mint julep in hand, naturally). Boasting a 9-inch cinoline brim — replete with multi colored feathers — this big-brim topper promises a look all its own. You can take your pick between black or white, but why choose? Shire is a must in each color.
Hop to It
With so many fantastic looks, it won't be a problem to put away those bunny ears and step up your Easter hat game. Even better, you don't have to wear these hats only once a year. Easter hats can just as easily be worn at your next high tea, garden party, or best friend's wedding. For even more stylish ideas, be sure to check out our full selection of womens Easter hats as well as Kentucky Derby hats and fashionable womens church hats.