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Pillbox Hats

Jackie Kennedy is said to have popularised the pillbox hat (so called because it looks as if it’s designed to hold pills) in 1962 when she wore one on television.

However, she was not the first to wear the style – it had been a fashion accessory in different forms since the 1930s.

The hat went on to become the favoured headwear of African President Mobutu when he became head of state in 1965. With its famous admirers (actress Edie Sedgwick also wore one) and political connotations, the hat’s popularity became so large that Bob Dylan released a song entitled Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat in 1966.

The pillbox is actually a small woman’s hat with a flat crown and straight upright sides. The most famous pillbox ever worn must be the pink hat worn by Jackie Kennedy the day her husband, John F Kennedy, the 35th President of the USA, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on 22 November 1963.

Although interest in the hat was already starting to wane by this time, the sight of the First Lady cradling her husband’s head in her lap after the assassination seemed to bring its popularity to an end.