A Juliet cap is a close-fitting headpiece worn around the skull. It has also been called a Juliette cap, ladies' skullcap, or a Capulet cap or hat. This accessory is generally thought of as bridal wear or semiformal wear.
When worn by a bride, these caps are typically made from white or pearl-colored materials, so as to match the gown. Such a pattern often includes the use of pearls, beads, floral designs, lace, crystals, feathers, or embroidered cloth. Caps may fully envelop the crown of the head, and they may be cylindrical or dome-shaped. Some Juliet caps are even prepared completely out of non-fabric material. For example, beads may be strung together in a tent-like pattern and draped over the crown of the head, resting on the forehead, as well.
In modern times, the addition of a Juliet cap to one's bridal arrangement is unusual. Historically, the Juliet cap is not mentioned in bridal or semiformal wear as frequently as other popular headpieces, such as the tiara or headband. In the 21st century, though, skullcaps have made a comeback in the form of crocheted autumn and winter caps that sit atop a person's head, as a ladies' skullcap would.
Instead of wearing a tiara, veil, or shimmery clip, a bride may choose to wear a unique headpiece, such as an embroidered skullcap. A bride may also choose to incorporate a Juliet cap with the traditional veil by attaching the veil to the cap itself, allowing the veil to fall behind the head, over the face, or both. While these brimless caps are typically centered at the crown of the head, variations include slightly tipping the cap forward or backward.
The origin of the Juliet cap stems from the 16th century, when William Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet. Visions of Juliet Capulet’s headpiece in drawings — as well as a part of her costume on stage during historical and modern performances — depict Juliet wearing a cap such as this. This is where the terms Juliet cap and Capulet hat come from.
Grace Kelly, a princess and fashion icon, wore a Juliet cap during both her civil wedding and her religious wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956. During the religious ceremony, Kelly wore a gown made of 25 yards of silk taffeta and 125-year-old lace. Her coif was styled and pulled back under her Juliet cap, which was ornamented with orange blossoms, seed pearls, and a veil of tulle.