Patricia Underwood: Vogue Patterns

Reese Witherspoon by Tim Walker. Hat by Patricia Underwood, W February 2015
Reese Witherspoon wears a hat by Patricia Underwood, W magazine, February 2015. Photo: Tim Walker. Image: TFS.

In celebration of Royal Ascot, which begins today, this post is devoted to millinery designer Patricia Underwood.

Patricia Underwood (b. 1947) was born near Ascot in Maidenhead, England. After moving to New York City in the late 1960s, she took a millinery course at FIT on a whim; by 1976 she had founded her own company. Underwood is known for minimalist, updated versions of traditional hat styles.

Patricia Underwood label
Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

As well as designing for her own label, Underwood has designed hats for major American designers such as Bill Blass, Perry Ellis, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Oscar de la Renta. The milliner has also designed for film and theatre. Her career is the subject of a new book, Patricia Underwood: The Way You Wear Your Hat (Rizzoli, 2015).

Fiona (Kristin Scott Thomas) in a Patricia Underwood hat, with Charles (Hugh Grant) in Four Weddings and a Funeral
Kristin Scott Thomas wears a Patricia Underwood hat in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) Image: 50 Anos de Filmes.
Jeffrey Banks and Doria de la Chapelle, Patricia Underwood: The Way You Wear Your Hat (2015)
Jeffrey Banks and Doria de la Chapelle, Patricia Underwood: The Way You Wear Your Hat (2015) Image: Rizzoli.

Patricia Underwood has had a licensing agreement with Vogue Patterns since the mid-1990s. The earliest Patricia Underwood pattern I’ve seen is Vogue 9082, a pattern for five lined hats and two ascots. View A has a contrast under-brim in faux fur:

1990s Patricia Underwood hat pattern - Vogue 9082
Vogue 9082 by Patricia Underwood (1994) Image: Etsy.

Vogue 9207 includes five hats and a shawl. Views A and B have Underwood’s signature broad brim, while view E is a turban for stretch knits:

1990s Patricia Underwood pattern - Vogue 9207
Vogue 9207 by Patricia Underwood (1995) Image via Etsy.

Bridal millinery pattern Vogue 7242 has a variety of headpiece and veil combinations, as well as a headband, hair ornament, and floral wreath:

Patricia Underwood bridal headpiece and veils pattern - Vogue 7242
Vogue 7242 by Patricia Underwood (2000) Image: Betsy Vintage.
Patiricia Underwood bridal pattern - crown and hair ornament, Vogue 7242
Vogue 7242 by Patricia Underwood (2000) Image: Etsy.

Vogue 8844 includes four day styles of hat; View A can be worn like a trilby, with upturned back brim. The recommended fabrics are nylon, ripstop, velvet/velveteen, tweed, wool/wool blends and synthetic suede:

Patricia Underwood hat pattern - Vogue 8844
Vogue 8844 by Patricia Underwood (2012) Image: Etsy.

Recent pattern Vogue 8891 includes five more formal styles, all lined in tulle: a cloche, wide and smaller brim hats, and a fascinator (view C) like a miniature pork pie hat. This pattern is still in print:

Patricia Underwood hat pattern - Vogue 8891
Vogue 8891 by Patricia Underwood (2013) Image: Etsy.

For more on millinery patterns, see my previous Ascot posts on Frederick Fox and Stephen Jones.

7 thoughts on “Patricia Underwood: Vogue Patterns

  1. I remember wearing hats like this in the late ’80s and early ’90s. I love the formal informality of the hats. Great information and research as always – thank you.

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