Susan and Ken Reed’s Life, Universe and Everything

Relative Frequency of Headdress by Type

A chart showing the distribution of the hat types by decade from 1400 to 1519. My sample included 791 Central-European and Western-European headdresses. Looking across the graph, you can see the distribution of headdresses during each decade (as shown in a sample of visual sources); the percentages of the various hats shown for the decade will add to 100 percent. For example, in the 1470s, more than 40 percent of the hats shown were acorn hats, chaperones and stiffened hats each were found in 15 percent to 24.9 percent of the sample, and coifs, hoods, sack hats, sugarloaf hats, and draped headdress each found to be under five percent of the sample for that decade. The actual percentage, as well as an explanation about how the study was conducted appears in my master's thesis.

Looking down the graph, you can see how long various types of headdress remain in use and how when they were most likely worn. Acorn hats could be found throughout the study period, but they were used most heavily from 1450 to 1500.

Headdress classifications gives descriptions of how the headdresses were defined for the study. Iconographic headdresses were not included in the study as they probably did not indicate headdresses actually worn in Europe, but rather were symbols of social status, ethnic status or religion.

Chart showing the distribution of men's headdress by type from 1400 to 1519