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What is a Pillbox Hat?

A pillbox hat is a classic style; a small, brimless, round hat featuring straight, upright sides and a flat crown. The pillbox hat is a versatile style that can be worn pinned or placed at different angles, depending on the shape and size of the hat, meaning it complements almost any style of dress, from formal and glamorous to informal and minimalist. 

Pillbox hats have a long history and have been part of the bride's attire since Mediaeval times. The white pillbox hat from Lock & Co.'s wedding collection reflects this timeless tradition, including the matching veil. This style of hat became very popular from the 1930s and reached its peak in the 1950s and 1960s as part of the iconic fashion style of Jackie Kennedy, who wore a bone white pillbox hat to her husband's inauguration in 1961. The pillbox hat was also the choice of film stars such as Audrey Hepburn, who showcased the simplicity and elegance of the design, including the pillbox hat with veil combination.  

 This simplicity and elegance meant that the pillbox hat often came in solid colours and originally without embellishments. A variety of materials can be used to craft a pillbox hat including velvet, satin, wool, and silk, and at Lock & Co. we work with pedal straw braid, felt, and paribuntal straw. Today the designs are more elaborate and can be adorned with a coloured veil, a single pin, or a piece of jewellery. The plain hat shape is trimmed with a range of shapes, including floral designs.

Discover the spring/summer pillbox hat collection for women by Awon Golding. Simple, elegant, and classic, this women's pillbox hat is the ideal companion for the races, casual wear, or a summer wedding. 


Have a scroll and discover some of our other articles, from press coverage to style guides and informational pieces.

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  • A Royal Warrant of Appointment to King Charles III

    Lock & Co. is tremendously honoured to have been granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment to His Majesty King Charles III as hatters.


    On the 26th  of October 2022, Lock & Co. opens ‘60 Years of James Bond Hats’, an exclusive exhibit celebrating the film franchise’s 60th Anniversary.


    Our Estate Faux Fur Hat, Tiffany Drop-Brim Hat and Gill Tweed Flat Cap look great in this shoot for the June 2024 issue of Tatler Magazine.

  • Top Picks for Couture Hats at Royal Ascot

    For Ascot attendees, selecting the perfect hat is not just a matter of style, but a tradition steeped in elegance, female camaraderie, and sophistication. 

  • Packable & Rollable Hats Guide

    We have the solution to all your travel chapeau woes! From Panamas and sun hats to bucket hats and trilbies, these hats have been designed specifically for traveling and won’t lose their shape when packed into a suitcase, so there’s no need to leave your favourite hat behind…

  • All about Top Hats

    The top hat is the pinnacle of a gentleman's formal wardrobe, and is associated with Royal Ascot and weddings.  Discover more about top hats and how to clean a top hat.

  • Royal Ascot at Lock & Co.: The Ultimate Silk Top Hat Experience

    This year, for your Royal Ascot silk top hat experience, there is only one place to come – No. 6 St James's Street, the ‘Home of Hats’.


    Lock & Co. Hatters is pleased to announce that it will partner with Brown’s Hotel and launch a series of seasonal offerings in May, ahead of the British summer social season.


    A selection of some of our straw hats were selected for a shoot that is gracing the pages of this April 2024 issue of Country Life Magazine.