A great hat speaks for itself! ~Anon
It is a fact that from the 1st century until the early 1960s respectable women of the western world covered their heads when they ventured out in public, usually in the home as well & most certainly when they attended church services ~ & on the whole the Christian community is aware of Paul's controversial statements about coverings & long hair. So not going there.
You may, however, be as intrigued as I was with the varying fashion statements that may account, in part, for Paul's rather robust viewpoint.
The Greeks, for example [& Paul had quite a bit to do with them] had a habit of running about starkers [oh my!]. Men on the prowl for an *initiate* would ogle the available young men at their schools & gymnasiums. It was a highly regulated system with strict penalties for violations but a tad icky just the same. The more questionable male habits have pretty much overshadowed what Greek women were up to. Certainly their everyday dress was much more modest, particularly for the married women, & they sometimes did, & sometimes didn't, cover their heads in public & about the home. However, in the context of Pagan cultic worship [Demeter, Dionysius, Andaria] women were not allowed to cover their heads with anything but a laurel chaplet. Usually their hair was loose & uncovered. I don't think we'll discuss what actually took place at some of these rituals but it makes Paul's point look far more reasonable. In essence he was asking the Christian women to be distinct from their heathen counterparts.
Roman women did cover ~ some of the time. Just like now those who could get away with it broke with accepted custom until Tertullian complained there was no distinction between matrons & harlots. Any reading of Roman history turns up some very unsavory women amongst the men.
Jewish women did cover ~ all the time ~ & the removal of her covering was such a shameful thing that if she was charged with adultery she was judged bareheaded that if she was capable of shame it was apparent.
I'm not sure Paul really understood women though because most women have a fashion streak wider than the Indian Ocean & any covering was going to fall, sooner rather than later, to the dictates of fashion. Even the Elizabethans covered ~ & they were the numbskulls who made wigs so elaborate & so plastered with lard to hold them together they bred mice & cockroaches & required special wire cages at night to keep the rodents at bay. The thought of having that on my head would have me haring off to Bedlam [the local nut house].
Not unnaturally, over time, the spiritual reason for covering fell by the wayside & coverings became more & more of a fashion statement, more elaborate & far less about modesty ~ as anyone who has witnessed the Melbourne Cup Race Day's monstrosities will testify. Serving neither a spiritual purpose nor a practical application even hats were eventually ditched.
Besides, if this was the result when in 1778, fashionable women of Paris never went out in blustery weather without a lightning rod attached to their hats, I can't imagine anyone would want to wear any sort of a covering.