Bespoke FAQs

All of our hats are handmade to order in a range of stock colours which you can find in the individual product descriptions. 
With our bespoke service you can order the same great designs in alternative colourways or with customisation, suggestions for which can also be found in the product descriptions. To find out more about the process of ordering  a bespoke hat, please read our FAQs below.

1. I have never worn a hat before and I don't know what suits me, how can you help?

Our team are trained milliners with over 30 years of experience of making and designing hats.  They have worked for some of the world’s leading millinery designers and over the years have worked with hundreds of clients to create hats for their special occasions. They can help you select styles that work for your outfit, hair, face shape, build which are appropriate for your occasion.

2. What’s the first thing I need to do if I want to order a bespoke hat? 

You will need to book an appointment for an online consultation with one of our milliners which you can do here.  Once you have booked we will send you a Zoom link for your appointment. The consultation fee is non-refundable. The fee is redeemable against the purchase of your hat.  Appointments are available to book Tuesdays and Friday mornings. 

When you book your appointment please give us an idea of colour if you can;  if we have something in the studio or at our stockists we will endeavour to have it available to show you at the time of your consultation.

3. How long does the consultation take and do I need to bring anything?  

You can expect the initial consultation to last 30 minutes. 

If you’re able, have your outfit close by so that you can show it to us. Alternatively a colour swatch, accessories such as a handbag and shoes that you want to coordinate with are just as useful. If you can email us a good quality picture of any of these prior to your consultation that will help us prepare and gather any  materials we might have in the studio that could work for you.

4. What happens at a consultation? 

During a consultation we will ask about the event for which you are buying, your role in it and the outfit you are planning to wear in order to establish your needs.  Based on that we will then suggest hats and show you how to wear them correctly. As our hats are handmade to order we may not have a physical example to show you so, if possible it's a good idea to have access to a second device so we can direct you to images on our website of styles that might be suitable.

If a hat has a traditional head fitting then we talk you through how to measure your head size so that we can make it to fit you. If the hat does not have a traditional head fitting  we will discuss how it will be worn (headband, hair elastic, combs, etc, and make a note of  adjustments to be made to your order).

We can offer suggestions for how to style your hair with your hat or headpiece and advise on accessories to complete your look. We are more than happy to supply you with a visual reference of how to wear the hat correctly if you are not used to wearing hats. 

5. How much does a consultation and bespoke hat cost?

There is no charge for a consultation and  no additional ‘bespoke’ charge for a like-for-like order of one of our styles if it is in a standard colour. You can find the standard colours for each style under the product description on our website. 

Any deviations from existing styles will incur an additional bespoke charge starting at £100. Please see table below for some examples (please note this is not an exhaustive list).

 

Design element

Standard ticket price

Bespoke ticket price

Colourways

Stock colours (see individual product listing on website)

Non stock colours, dyed to order

Attachments

Change elastic colour

Add crin loops (usually for theatre/tv/dressage)

Swap elastic for headband & vice versa

Bespoke wire headband

Swap narrow band for wide band & vice versa

Head fitting size 

Make smaller/larger

Trimming

Remove elements of original design (including but not limited to sinamay trim, flowers, feathers, veils,quills, etc)

Add/change elements of original design including but not limited to sinamay trim, flowers, feathers, veils,quills etc)

Change material e.g. swap sinamay trim for silk

Brim

Cut down brim, wire brim



6. How long does it take to make a bespoke hat? 

 Allow approximately three weeks for your hat to be made in the studio.  We will contact you when it is ready to be despatched and let you know any relevant delivery information. We will also advise you how to care for and store your hat so you can enjoy it for many occasions to come.

7. How long before my event should I order a hat?  

Standard duration for having a bespoke hat made is 3 weeks from the initial consultation. During busier times such as Royal Ascot we recommend you plan to up to 6 weeks ahead.

For brides and mother of the bride/groom, in our experience a minimum of 8 weeks in advance allows plenty of time for a follow up fitting should you need it and time to schedule practice appointments with your hairstylist if you are planning to use one on your big day. 

8. Can I see the hat while work is in progress and can I make changes to the design?  

By the end of your first consultation the major elements of the design will have been established. We'll send you a follow up email confirming the details of your design. The next time you see it will be on receipt of your order. 

It is possible to have a second virtual fitting and if we think it is necessary our staff will advise as part of the initial consultation. We will suggest an appropriate stage in the making process where this could take place. A second fitting usually takes a maximum of 30 minutes. The most common reasons for a second fitting are:

  • Establish the angle at which a hat or headpiece is sewn down to a headband or the length of a veil. 
  • Client has a final decision on how they will wear their hair after an appointment with their hairstylist

 9. Can I order a bespoke hat over the phone or email?  

Straightforward orders can be placed via email or by phone. We ask you to make payment of the full balance before commencing work on your order. 

  • Order x hat in a stock colour
  • Order x style that does not have a head fitting
  • Order x hat and you are able to give us your head fitting [See section, how to measure your head]

If you would like to try on some of our hats in person then we recommend you make a visit to our stockist Favourbook Womenswear where the staff will be able to assist you.  You do not have to make an appointment to do this. Please check opening hours on their website as they are currently subject to change. If at any time you have tried something on and you think you might want to purchase it at a future date, please take a note of the style name and if possible send us a picture of the hat or you in the hat as a reference. 

10. I have a picture of a hat I really like, can you make it for me?

We have reproduced hats from works of fiction such as paintings and  vintage hats (usually for television and film) as bespoke pieces,  prices start at £350. Please get in touch with us and we will let you know if we are able to help and if not suggest, alternative milliners.

With respect to the work of our fellow milliners and contemporaries we are not able to copy or reproduce their work and we recommend that you approach them directly.

11. Can I design my own hat?

An important part of the consultation process is us listening to your needs and getting to know your personality, likes and dislikes balanced with the tone of the occasion so that we can find the perfect hat for you from our collection.  Our designs have been tried, tested and loved by hundreds of clients over the years, who trust us to get it right and come back again and again to have hats made.

Our milliners have trained and taught millinery at the best millinery colleges including: Royal College of Art, Kensington & Chelsea College and London College of Fashion. They have worked for royal milliners Stephen Jones OBE and Gina Foster; and undertaken a millinery design collaboration with the house of Christian Dior. 

We love millinery so much that we co-founded London Hat Week, dedicated to the love of hats which draws together hundreds of milliners and hat lovers from around the world every year and helps to keep our skills and millinery savvy up to date.  In this capacity we are members of the British Hat Guild chaired by Stephen Jones OBE, so we really do know what we are talking about!

 12. Do you make men's hats?

We stock panamas and fedoras and offer a decorative ribbon change service for men's hats.

We recommend our friends at Bates in Jermyn Street, London SW1 for men’s ready to wear hats and caps as we do not make them ourselves.

One exception was the original ‘Taboo Topper’ from the BBC series Taboo for actor Tom Hardy which we made as part of our Theatrical Millinery service for television and film productions. 

13. I have an old hat that I would like to wear but it needs some TLC can you help?

Our repair services are currently on hold for health and safety reasons due to the ongoing Corona Virus pandemic. We still offer our ribbon change services on new hats purchased from us or elsewhere. We regret that we are no longer able to undertake repairs on old/heavily worn hats.

Please sign up to our newsletter to be informed when the repair service resumes.

We continue to offer a re-trimming service for ladies hats, prices start at £175.