Hartford native Katharine Hepburn is a stage and screen legend who inspired designers and influenced fashion. She preferred menswear styles that allowed her to be comfortable and move freely. Her style, once considered eccentric, is now classic.
This past October, when some of Katharine Hepburn’s clothing items came up for auction at Augusta Auctions in Bellows Falls, VT, the CHS jumped at the chance to bid on some of her iconic straw hats. Hepburn liked to spend time outdoors and frequently wore wide-brimmed straw hats to shield her fair skin from the sun. The CHS snapped up four examples, two with Connecticut-stores labels. The darker woven Fedora in the lower right of the photograph was purchased at Patrick’s Country Store in Old Saybrook, the price on the label is $12.95. The Panama hat in the upper left was made by Schuman and Sullivan of New Haven and was also sold by Patrick’s Country Store – that price tag says $45.00. The other two hats are unmarked. The straw hats complement other Hepburn-owned items in the CHS collection including a set of golf clubs, a pair of tailored tan pants, a red wool jacket and a black silk jacket with a mandarin collar – both designed by Valentina – and a 1930s silk tennis outfit.
To see the straw hats, visit our latest exhibit, New Collections at CHS, which opens March 15!
If you’d like to keep up with new acquisitions at CHS, become a member ! Part of the benefits of membership include a subscription to our magazine, Making History, which contains all the latest news about CHS.