Discover The History Of Custom Hat Boxes

Hats have been in the world since the early 18th century. These are considered clothing accessories that make your appearance and getup more formal and elite. Hats are reflected to give a personality boost and increase your social image. Men and women both wear hats of various kinds and shapes to bring a certain element of uniqueness and elegance to their personalities. Wearing hats is becoming a style in the fashion industry and people are buying them to keep up with the modern trends. This calls for the need for custom hat boxes in the lives of people. This is of such significance that it cannot be ignored or neglected.

For any goods, be it clothing or other decorative or accessories, packaging boxes are needed. Without proper packing, items, and products cannot be stored and kept efficiently. Things can be old and damaged with time due to heat, water, dust, etc. It is essentially important to keep your things in such a kind that they remain in good condition for a longer duration of time. Similarly, to store such elite and elegant accessories as hats and caps, boxes are essential. These custom folding boxes not only keep the hats secure but provide a number of other purposes as well. 

A Brief History Of Hat Boxes

There is something about hat boxes that adds such a pleasant touch to a room or a feeling of sophistication to a scene. While they may not evoke as much excitement as vintage hats themselves, they are elegant reminders of a time past. A time of daily custom and attention to detail. A time when purchases were more of an event than they often are today. 

Pre-Victorian Hat Boxes

Women’s hat boxes began to make an appearance around the same time that fashion became more commercial and public, coming up in the Regency period.

Although the early 19th century is when more custom hat box packaging was produced, there are some examples from earlier centuries.

The Inception: 19th-Century Hat Boxes

The view of hat boxes as a status symbol began to take off during the Regency time with the onset of large, expensive bonnets and then increased rapidly through the Victorian period. This change is highlighted in the 1829. Such storage became common in the 19th century for many reasons including: 

  • Individuals were beginning to travel more frequently and at greater distances. As we have researched on the blog before, early to the 19th century it was not as common for people, especially women, to travel for entertainment or to travel far from home. This new lifestyle dynamic required the invention of clothing and supplies of a highly practical nature. Hats were a crucial part of a woman’s wardrobe and were often very expensive therefore had to be stored safely during trips or travel 
  • Simply put, people began to own more hats during the 19th century. This is due to the growing public area that required the head to be covered for modesty and custom. Hats exploded as an industry after 1800 and custom folding packaging boxes wholesale was created for function as well as a way for shops to set themselves apart
  • You can see how the need for products for women’s hats specifically grew as the 19th century improved, as most of the hat boxes made early to the late 1800s were for men’s hats 

Some custom hat boxes were created just to allow the hat to be transported back home and not sturdy enough to have survived over time.

Hat Boxes As Status Symbols

Hat boxes would remain common until the end of daily hat usage, approximately at the end of the 1950s. But while common, they increasingly develop into status symbols. Says the Loison Museum: 

Primarily in some places, this union was lucky and became the symbol of the useful and challenging middle class, The features of the hat box, comfort, cultivation, elegant attention to the custom printed hat boxes and, at the same time, to the satisfy, became very important strengths that were transferred with the purchase of the panettone to those who bought it. Presenting them was therefore a common practice, as proved by many images from the 1950s, a period in which this strange packaging had a powerful success.”

Modern Hat Boxes

Eventually, large and elaborate hats came to fall out of favor, associated with Victorian stuffiness. Although hat boxes continue to be goods tend to attach a sense of nostalgia to them. They hark back to a time when people tipped their hat in greeting or removed it as a show of respect. It is probably for this reason that you can use hat boxes to present gifts with an increased feel for the occasion. 


The history of the custom hat boxes is a captivating journey through time, reflecting the ever-evolving fashion trends. From their origin as practical boxes for protecting precious headwear to becoming iconic, symbols of luxury and sophistication, hat boxes have adapted to the changing tastes of the public.

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