It was especially popular during the middle of the 18th century where it was unthinkable for a gentlewoman to go outside without some sort of hat or bonnet to protect her complexion. It is possible that the hat was named after Madame Bergeret who was painted with a large straw hat by François Boucher. The bergère had a shallow crown and a wide-set brim which made it tip either down in front of the wearer's face or the back of her head.
Madame Vigée Le Brun - fashionable as always - even chose to paint herself wearing a bergèret decorated with real flowers, a feather and a ribbon:
Here are some other examples of the straw hat:
|Here is one covered in silk|