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Woman wearing a Welsh hat
The Welsh hat worn by women as part of Welshmarker national costume is a tall stovepipe-style hat, similar to a top hat. It is still worn by women, and particularly schoolgirls, in Walesmarker on St David's Day, but rarely on other occasions.

History

It is a legacy of 18th century dress. The hat is normally worn with a lace cap underneath, showing under the brim, or may have lace attached to the brim. The covering is usually of black felt. It received great prominence in 19th century romanticism, and acquired greater notability than it may in fact have had in earlier centuries. It was part of a traditional Welsh national costume propagated by Lady Llanover.

Legend has it that the women's hats were a deciding factor in terminating the attempted Last invasion of Britainmarker by Napoleonic forces in 1797. The Frenchmarker soldiers are said to have mistaken the women, seen at a distance in their red shawls and Welsh hats, for a detachment of British "redcoats", whose uniform included tall black hats or shakoes.

There is an "alternative" women's hat for those who consider the traditional Welsh hat unflattering, in the form of a "cockle's hat", a flat straw hat tied with ribbons.

A derived meaning of Welsh hat is an ancillary stack, usually black in colour and slightly conical, attached to the funnel of a ship to ensure cleaner disposal of exhaust from the engines. This arrangement was used in several passenger liners by the Orient Line in the 1950s.

References

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