A hat with a veil, usually made of netting or lace, worn by a woman; the veil can either partially (usually to nose level) or completely cover the face. Often seen on the Femme Fatale
and other women of mystery, also wealthy women/socialites, such as the Rich Bitch
, and widows; sometimes worn by royals. Common types of hats incorporating frontal veils include:
- the "fascinator" (actually more of a head decoration than a hat per se, and often features feathers or flowers in addition to or instead of a veil);
- the "cocktail" hat (for evening wear; an actual hat, though it might be confused with a fascinator because it often looks so insubstantial - several representative images can be seen at http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/search.aspx?term=cocktail%20hat);
- and the "pillbox" hat (for daytime wear, famously associated with Jacqueline Kennedy on the day of her husband's assassination, though in that case it didn't have a veil attached). Interestingly, the women's style appears to have been adopted from a style of men's military hat, designed in the style of a "pillbox" defensive position - which follows the tradition of items of women's fashion being adapted from men's military wear (for example, the [[Opera Glovesmousquetaire glove]] being an adaptation of the gauntlet worn by 17th-century musketeers.
Some wide-brimmed hats also come with a veil.
In the Film Noir
context, the veiled hat is often used to signal the "mystery woman" (whether or not said woman is actually the Femme Fatale
). The face veil provides an outstanding prop for The Reveal
, as the mystery woman lifts her veil (or has it lifted for her) to show her face for the first time.
In other contexts, such as party scenes, the veiled hat signals flirtatiousness or seductiveness, as the wearer is assumed to be inviting attention by men curious to know what's under the netting.
Bridal headdresses also count, as many of them incorporate full-face veils; wedding sequences in movies and TV shows will often include a shot of the groom lifting his bride's veil as he prepares to kiss her after the exchange of vows.
Of course, it often happens that a woman will simply wear a nice hat with a face veil to fulfill Rule of Sexy
and/or Rule of Glamorous
, without any subtext intended beyond that.
Hat-wearing (by either gender) is rare enough these days that a woman wearing a veiled hat is almost guaranteed to receive attention at a party or other event (hence the name, "fascinator"
This article at http://www.silverscreenmodiste.com/2011/04/veiled-beauty.html
gives a good basic overview of the various types of female characters who wear veiled hats in film.
The hats worn by beekeepers are not
an example of this trope, although they unquestionably incorporate full-face veils and many beekeepers are women. The purpose of those hats is practical (protection from bee stings), not decorative/erotic/dramatic.