In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it,
You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.
Well the tradition appears to have origins in the Christian custom of Easter being the time for new clothes after the fasting of Lent, and the Church-going notion of wearing your "Sunday Best", meaning that at Easter your best had to be "better than best" to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.
The custom of wearing hats at Easter is also tied to the American tradition of The Easter Parade, which emerged in the 1870s after the end of the Civil War. People were stepping out with positivism in their lives, and women would stream out of the churches following the Easter service dressed up in their best, and often new clothes, including that ever important bonnet.
Although Bonnets started out as a practical form of head wear they became more and more elaborate as the 19th Century progressed, and its clear that as the tradition of the Easter parade grew in popularity, the bonnets that accompanied them became more and more outlandish and much less bonnet-like! At the depths of the Great Depression a new hat at Easter, or a refurbished old one, was a simple luxury.
At Easter let your clothes be new
Or else be sure you will it rue.
Is there a resurgence of the Easter Bonnet?
Karen Grigsby Bates, on NPR's Code Switch team said...
There is often, for those of us who are a certain age, the Easter outfit. You know, your shiny patent leather shoes and your dress with too many crinolines underneath it and - even little kids had hats. I had Easter hats when I was little.
Today many women still continue this tradition using Easter as a time to show off the new, members of the Royal Family especially like to carry on this tradition!
"I think there has been in the last year more presence of hats in magazines, and on TV, and I believe that these leave an impression on people. The fashion industry had disregarded this whole sector of fashion. But everybody just woke up to the fact that there's that head that we have to deal with all the time. … And anybody who wears hats, they'll tell you it completes an outfit."
So, happily there may be hope that the lovable Easter Bonnet will be making an appearance for many springtime's to come. Do you have yours?