Women's Bonnet, CC-BY National Football Museum
If you saw a female footballer wearing one of these bonnets at a football match today, you would think she looked very out of place, but this is exactly what female footballers used to wear.
This bonnet, from the National Football Museum in Manchester, is from the 1920s when it was common for women to have their heads covered at all times, even when they were playing sports.
Bonnets have been common from the 17th century and were used mostly by women to keep their hair clean and neat. Wealthier ladies might have a bonnet made of silk, often stiffened with whale bone. This bonnet is made of lace and is a good example of the more restrained fashions of the interwar years.
Nowadays women's kits and men's kits are the same, but this was not always the case.
Things to think about?
- Do you think this bonnet is very practical for a football kit?
- Why do you think only women had to wear these?
- Can you have a go at designing your own football bonnet?
This lace bonnet makes a nice illustration to a lesson on changing attitudes towards women in sports.
The National Football Museum has created a website dedicated to unlocking the hidden history of women's football where you can find loads more information, stories and collections,
- A white crocheted cap with a blue ribbon, worn as part of a female football kit in the 1920s. Women would usually wear headwear when out in public in this period and this extended to when they were playing sport.
- If you saw a female footballer wearing one of these bonnets at a football match today, you would think she looked very out of place, but this is exactly what female footballers used to wear.