A hat stand is a product that a person can place a hat on to retain its shape. Hat stands also can simply hold a hat when it’s not needed. Hat stands come in all types of material, including metal, wood and plastic. A hat stand often serves as both a functional item and a decorative one. They can be used to display hats or merely to hold them.
A hat stand can be shaped a number of ways as well. They can be short and rounded, shaped almost like a head, or long, tall and resembling a tree with many branches. There are circular and flat-topped hat stands available for purchase as well. If the hat stand is to be used as a decorative piece, it can be embellished in a number of ways by the manufacturer. Wire hat stands can be twisted to resemble human faces, flowers or other objects, while wooden and plastic hat stands can have decorative elements painted on them.
Combination items also exist, such as a hat and coat stand or a hat and umbrella stand. These functional pieces are usually found in the entryways of homes and dwellings for guests or household members to place their personal effects on when coming through the door. This can be particularly useful in inclement weather, when snow, mud and rainwater can be tracked inside by such outerwear.
Hat stands were particularly popular during Victorian times, when the entryway of a family’s home showed off their wealth. A larger entryway with more items and space for more guests indicated a wealthier family. More ornate hat stands are considered collectible items, and are sought after as Victorian memorabilia. For families that did not have the space, a hat stand was still a requisite item. A hat rack that could hang on the wall was often the solution for small spaces, and continues to be so to this day.
A hat stand may also serve as a reminder of a point of etiquette that is sometimes forgotten in modern times--it is considered impolite to wear a hat indoors. Many modern users of hat stands also use them to store other types of items that may be needed when running out the door, including a mirror, keys, dog leashes and just about anything else. A hat stand or coat rack is considered desirable by decorating magazines for any modern home.