Which Bonnet?

My bonnet

This is the bonnet I usually wear – it is custom-made, a Mennonite style bonnet with a deeper brim. I consider this an investment piece of headgear; it was a bit expensive, but I anticipate that I won’t have to buy another one.

My second best bonnet

 This is also a Mennonite bonnet, of a different type. It does not extend past my forehead, and is more practical for driving. It really hugs the head. I’ve seen this style worn by Mennonite women in Ontario; some do drive cars as well as buggies, and this bonnet does not obscure one’s side vision.

Amish women in full bonnets, old postcard

 This image of Amish women at market is probably fifty or more years old. Their bonnets fully cover their heads and shade their faces, a practical consideration when one is outdoors most of the time.

Old Order Amish boonet


Anish Old Order bonnet

 Advertised as an Old Order Amish slat bonnet, I think this is mis-identified. It looks more like a variation on the traditional bonnet. Perhaps the seller is confused because it is not an Old Order Lancaster bonnet, which has scallops at the back of the brim.

Old slat bonnet


I would call this a slat bonnet. I’m not certain of its age; it may be Amish or Quaker. A slat bonnet is less formal, and is meant for outdoor work. It shades the face completely and protects the neck. Black is not the best colour for a work bonnet, as it tends to heat the head in the sun. Wearing a slat bonnet is described as “having a mailbox on your head.” It severely restricts side vision and hearing. I wear mine for yard work and in the garden, but it is not a good choice for driving or even street wear!


10 thoughts on “Which Bonnet?

  1. Many, many thanks! How ironic that the two styles you own are very like the two I was considering. : ) May I ask, which is your favourite and for what reason? I do not have the objection to raise that a bonnet might interfere with my driving as I simply do not drive. I am quite for the idea that my bonnet ought to be deep enough to shade my face the least bit as one of the bonnets I am looking at does (the other would not). I must admit that I am leaning towards the Wegner style over the Piker at the moment. : )
    Thank you again Magdalena!


    • I usually wear the deep one, which is a modified Wenger type style. I am scouting for some more Quaker style bonnets in old photos – so this will be the first of several posts on bonnets. I cannot wear sunscreen and I have had skin cancer – so a sunbonnet/deep bonnet is necessary to me. My husband loves the look of the bonnet as well.

  2. I like the second one best. It’s a little more flowing–a little more natural. It would look lovely in a light brown or cream.

  3. I was going to ask, “Any idea why they’re called “slat bonnets?”

    Then I heard the echo of my Dad’s voice in my ear: “Don’t be lazy, Margret–look it up.”

    They’re called slat bonnets because of the slats (usually hickory) that were used in the old ones to stiffen them, especially in humid climates. (Thanks to Tstitches.com for the info)

  4. Great post I think mine is like the first one.. My Mennonite friend and I went shopping last time we were in PA ..It is all so my understanding the style all so is what they have in the district please correct me if I’m wrong.. Cause I found many types I liked but she said no if you are coming to church with us you must have this one.. So I didn’t own one the cost was over 20.00 dollars that was about two years ago.. I don’t wear it as much as my other coverings cause it must stay in good shape.. Not sure what they use for fabric and it feels like hard plastic of some sort under fabric… Blessing

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