Postilion hat made of lizard skin. 1939.
Postilion hat made of lizard skin, 1939.Alfred Eisenstaedt—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Postilion hat made of lizard skin. 1939.
Katharine Hepburn wearing a hat on the set of her Broadway play "The Philadelphia Story." 1939.
A war inspired hat. 1939.
Revival of eyelet embroidery with a punched hole hat and necklace. 1940.
A woman modeling a Sally Victor Hat. 1940.
A woman modelling a new spring hat. 1941.
Lady wearing an extravagant hat. 1945.
Fashion at the Races. 1945.
Woman adjusting flowered hat while looking in trick one-way mirror. 1946.
Model Marjorie Henderson, wearing feather hat designed by bride Barbara O. Ehrhart. 1947.
Teenagers wearing "Penny" hats. 1948.
New french hat for spring. 1948.
Brightly dressed spectators attending event in England. 1950.
College Hats circa 1950s.
Models on beach wearing different designs of straw hats. 1950.
Miss Sweden Anita Ekberg, sporting a severely styled sailor hat during her hat-buying spree while visiting US, 1951.
Well furnished hat is trimmed with table, chairs, rug, odd kitchen equipment and a sleepy peon. 1951.
A hook fastened John Frederics hat under the models horsetail.
Mamie Van Doren sitting in her Jaguar wearing a hat. 1954.
A woman wearing a party hat with two flowers decorated in the traditional garden style as part of the Gainsboro fashion collection. 1956.
Wives of missile men celebrating husbands' work on satellites with silly hats. 1958.
Spring hats in Japanese department store. 1962.
English comedienne Hermione Gingold modeling a derby-style hat. 1963.
Beatles hat worn by German girl at a resort near the Baltic Sea. 1964.
Actress Brigitte Bardot during filming of movie "Viva Maria". 1965.
Postilion hat made of lizard skin, 1939.
Alfred Eisenstaedt—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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Let These Vintage Hats Inspire Your Easter Bonnet Game

Mar 25, 2016

For all its religious significance, Easter has also long been associated with springtime and renewal and an opportunity to don some fine new duds. Though the item's popularity is on the decline, the Easter bonnet was once the staple of the holiday's festive garb, often embellished with pastel ribbons and symbols of the season. For those inclined to bring a little vintage flair to this year's Easter fashion, there is much inspiration to be found in the LIFE archives—from eyelet embroidery that casts floral shadows on its wearer's face to a hat that doubles as a bird's nest.

And for a song to match these throwback fashions, none fits the bill better than Judy Garland and Fred Astaire's Irving Berlin-penned duet "Easter Parade," from the 1948 film of the same name:

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

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