7 Things to consider when having a hat or headpiece made:
Having a bespoke occasion hat or headpiece made for you can be a wonderful way to ensure that you have a unique and personalized accessory for your special event. Here are seven things to consider when having a bespoke occasion hat or headpiece made for you.
1. The occasion: Consider the event you will be attending and the dress code for the occasion (if there is one). Sometimes a dress code will be outlined in the invitation or you can ask other people attending. This will help you determine the design language of your hat or headpiece. For example, a formal occasion and location may require a more classic and elegant design, say for an investiture or manor house wedding, while a more casual event may allow for a more playful and creative approach such as a beach wedding. I always ask my clients what the feel of the event is going to be so we can design the hat to suit this. Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot, for example, is a celebration of style and a real chance to show your personality, without any fear of out-staging a bride or mother of the bride.
2. Your personal style: Your hat or headpiece should reflect your personal style and taste. Consider your outfit, favourite colours, and any design elements that you particularly love from other hats you have seen. This will help you and your milliner create a piece that you will love and feel confident wearing. I always take design cues from the outfit and incorporate them into the hat. The outfit should work as a whole rather than the hat being the dominant feature. So for example, if my client has chosen a soft flowing dress, I will make a hat with soft lines and fabrics. For a more tailored outfit, the hat needs to mimic the sharp angles or be neat and simplistic. Tie in some of the colours from the outfit, or go for a complete contrast with a matching bag, shoes or scarf.
Also, sometimes stepping a little out of your comfort zone is well worth it but if big hats are not your thing then that really doesn't matter, you can make a big impact with something small and considered.
3. Budget: Determine your budget for the project and discuss this with your designer. A bespoke hat or headpiece can be quite expensive, so it's important to have a clear idea of what you can afford before you begin. Look at their other designs to understand the ballpark. Often bespoke colours of an existing design can be less expensive than a one-off creation.
4. Timeframe: Allow plenty of time for the design and creation of your hat or headpiece. This is a bespoke item, so it will take longer than buying something off the shelf. Make sure you have enough time to work with your designer and to have any necessary fittings or adjustments made. I often say to allow six weeks for something made-to-measure and two to four weeks for a custom colour of a ready-to-wear design.
5. Posture, when wearing your headpiece it's important to look (and feel) confident, so standing tall really helps with this. If you slouch and pull a funny face when trying on hats they are all going to look awful on you, this may sound obvious but a lot of people do this who do actually really suit hats. Try putting any apprehensions to one side and stand straight in the mirror and get some help placing the hat at the correct angle if needed. I often say to my clients to wear their hat around the house a few times (as you would with a new pair of shoes) to get used to how it feels on and so that they are more accustomed to it when the big day comes.
6. Comfort: Make sure your hat or headpiece is comfortable to wear and is not too tight, or likely to slip off in the wind. (I make my headbands using a couture technique which insures you don't get that pinching feeling behind the ears while securely avoiding slipping). Consider the weight of the materials, hats should be light if you intend to wear them for long periods of time. Also, the size and shape of the piece are important if you have to travel or expect to do lots of hugging and kissing.
7. Care and storage: Discuss with your designer how to care for and store your hat or headpiece. Some materials may be delicate and often can become damaged or misshapen if they become wet or are squashed in transit. A hat box is a must (which all my pieces come with), you want to make sure your piece stays in good condition for future events.
By considering these factors when having a bespoke occasion hat or headpiece made for you, you can ensure that you end up with a piece that is beautiful, unique, and perfectly suited to your needs and style. And remember, it's all about having fun!
If you would like to know more about commissioning your own millinery headpiece from me please get in touch via email@example.com and take a look at my BESPOKE page.