Nicole Kipar
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The hats became very broad brimmed once again around the middle of the 17th century. Not only became the crown lower and the broad brim gently and only slightly swept up elegantly at one side towards the front, the hat was now richly adorned with plumes. White was still the most often seen colour on the plumes, but also reds and darker shades of brown were in use, very rarely other colours, like yellow and green (Thanks to Joerg for pointing out there were other colours as well and sending the pictorial evidence). The edge of the brim was adorned with braid and metal braid or silver or silver gilt and gold lace, thus accentuating the graceful curve. 

But the wide brimmed richly plumed hat became stricter as well. First it became smaller and the one edge which was already turned up and cocked was accompanied by the second and then finally the third corner being turned up. Thus the very end of the 17th century saw the birth of the tricorne hat, which was going to be fashionable during the entire 18th century. The plumage was getting less as well in the course of this change and was finally replaced by braids and metal laces. 

And finally, also at the end of the 17th century, there was the hat being carried under the left arm, because the periwigs were too large to allow a hat on top of the masses of curls. Although the hat was then unnecessary, it was still an indispensable part of the gentleman's costume, and always carried along. It was only the soldiers who still had use of the hat, just like everyone else who was wearing his own hair. And only since this time it has become polite manner to take off the hat indoors. Before that the gentleman didn't even take it off during dinner, amongst people nor in church.

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