I want to bob my hair . . .


Stanley Cursiter The Fair Isle Jumper (1923) Edinburgh City Art Centre

. . . just to wear this hat. I have 1920s accessories on the brain at the moment – we watched Anthony Asquith’s brilliant A Cottage on Dartmoor a few days ago, in which, between manicures, Norah Baring was sporting some fantastic hats in similar style. (Quite apart from its fashionable headgear, the film – a melodramatic paean to the power of silent cinema – is highly recommended).

50 responses

  1. That’s wonderful. The colours are gorgeous. But do you really have to have the hairstyle to wear the hat? Cutting your hair short was a big step in the 20s – I’m not sure that everyone did.

    • My grandmother bobbed her hair in 1918 – and she was a young newlywed in a small town in Montana. A confident woman, I’d say, and fashion-forward too.

  2. Are you thinking of making a hat like the one in the picture? Its lovely. I’m sure you could arrange your hair to wear a hat like this without cutting it.

  3. Seriously, I’m thinking about bobbing my hair too. I will wait till the weather gets a bit warmer. I think it suits you ~

  4. I love Twenties styles in clothing and hair (love a Louise Brooks bob). That hat is inspiring – I’m curious to see your take on it.

  5. amazing! Aside from the white gloves, this entire look is still quite “in”.

    Cut! Cut! Cut!….you will never go back. I cut my hair short about 8 yrs ago, less drying time means more knitting time.

  6. I first saw that photo on the cover of “A Shetland Knitter’s Notebook” – loved it instantly – and vowed one day to knit the sweater and the hat! Of course, if you re-engineer it, I will be glad to follow!

  7. I have a bob just like that! Grown purposefully to quench my desire to be in a Poirot adaptation! I love it and for such a simple style I get so many comments about it. many a cloche hat has been crocheted for my bobbed head!

  8. It reminds me of Bernice.

    Speaking of ’20s fashion, have you seen “The House of Eliott”? Early ’90s BBC miniseries about two sisters struggling to establish a couture house in London. More sewing than knitting, of course, but such a treat for the eyes all the same – provided you don’t mind watching a few boring eps at the beginning while the backstory gets explained.

  9. Sorry, I forgot to elaborate – I meant the 1976 adaptation of the F. Scott Fitgerald short story “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”. Quite hilarious if you haven’t seen it…I believe most of it is available on YouTube.

  10. I just bobbed mine last weekend. LOVE IT! So light. Although I keep putting too much shampoo in my hands each morning. A refreshing hairstyle I think! Can’t wait to see how yours comes out.

  11. Attention-seeker! ;)
    You just can’t title your post that way and not expect your readers to gasp out loud!
    But having said that, it could be a positive move… if only for hat-modelling purposes! If you ARE serious, take care not to end up with a sideways wedge – when I had curly hair this is exactly what happened to me when I bobbed it. The “lavvy brush look” is not to be recommended.
    Oh – and yes that is a fab hat!

  12. At the risk of sounding like an echo, I love that hat too!
    AND I’m in desperate need of a hair cut :-)

    I don’t really know much about 1920s styles, and my impressions 1930s style is defined by the flapperish House of Elliott and, er, Bugsy Malone… So if you were to do an article for The Knitter or the like, it would add to my education :-D

  13. Wow, I only know you from images on your blog and when I saw this painting I certainly did a double take, it was like ‘hello, but isn’t that you already?’ The pose, the knitting the colours and the lady – all so you. A spooky reincarnation? I love your blog – myself I do textile and print work, not knitting, but most important to me is the honesty with which you write your journey of recovery. I have been having treatment for breast cancer for the last year and while I talk about things to people around me they have not been through a similar life changing challenge (at a younger than ‘average’ age) – it has been extremely beneficial to follow your posts – I know too well they days of fatigue which are often even more distressing when you have had some better days. Getting times where I can make the art/craft that is in my imaginings is expanding – what pleasure after months lolling around! Will send you my blog link when I make one! From New Zealand ‘Kia Kaha’ (Stand Strong)

  14. How gorgeously chic – you should do it!

    Little anecdote: my grandmother, in the 20s, got a “bob” and that became her nickname. My grandfather only ever called her Bob. My grandmother died first; when grandpa died the nursing home staff didn’t want to tell my mother what his last words were, until she insisted. Apparently he exclaimed “Oh, Bob!” as if she’d come to meet him… Gives me chills!

  15. I’m right with you! that hat and haircut looks fantastic!! Having v curly hair I’ve always shied away from a bob (as I may look like a poodle!) but I’m tempted :)

  16. The bob and the hat are lovely……. But cutting your hair is a big step which could be wonderfully liberating or…..you could miss your hair terribly. I don’t think you need to cut your hair to wear the hat(s). You look great in hats!

  17. I’m a long hair girl myself but if cutting your hair means that you’ll design a hat pattern like the one in the portrait I say go for it! :)

  18. Hmmm, I don’t think you really want to cut your hair. Methinks you’re just throwing that out there because you love the hat (and justifiably so). I recall how very important it was to you to regain the ability to braid your hair and how you persevered and succeeded. Short hair is freeing, but braids are always well behaved, tidy, and cool in the summer. I agree with Pam G. above.

  19. Yep. I think the painting is as beautiful as you are and I think you’d look great in a bob, but I’ve had short hair and I’ve had medium length hair (wishing it was long enough for braids), and short hair is more trouble with fewer options.

  20. I think a bob is a very fetching look for a wearer of 1920s/30s headwear.

    We were just admiring the beautiful little silken cap that Flora Poste wears in Cold Comfort Farm which – while not having the pretty fairisle details of this fine hat, and no POMPOMS! – is a very good look with chin-length hair…

  21. I think you look like the young woman in the picture anyway. I do so love your braids/plaits. I wouldn’t be too hasty to cut them. They may never grow to that lenght again, and then you would be sorry. But a bob would suit you. Depends on how you really feel, but once you make the change I don’t think you would ever go back, so think carefully about your lovely braids Kate.

  22. I love the portrait. My hair is the opposite of yours. I’ve tried many hairstyles over my lifetime and have worn bobbed hair since the 1980s. It would be nice to have lovely braids, though. You have a wonderful sense of style!

    The silent film looks like a treasure.

  23. Thanks for posting this picture. When I first saw it a couple of years ago I was consumed by a desire to recreate the hat in knitting – I think it was the pom poms, I was obsessed with pom poms at the time. Having seen it again I think it might spur me to greatness :)

  24. I had bobbed hair back in 1999 (which led to pub landlord Al Murray referring to me as “the girl with the hair from the House of Elliott” at a college ball gig once) but alas it was never sleek!

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