Frequently Asked Questions
Why order a Bespoke Hat?
Often a Mother of the Bride or Mother of the Groom has been fortunate to find a dress to wear to the wedding, but then has struggled trying to find a hat that hits all three aims;
Boutiques sometimes offer one or two hats that might ‘go with’ the dress ladies have decided upon, but choice is sadly usually limited.
Many ladies have often found the solution has been to visit my studio and see the wide diversity of sample styles that is available to them here - knowing that they can select a hat that is perfect for them, that they they can order in the right colours from the
Colour Chart for their dress and shoes - all the while enjoying the experience of having a custom hat that is ‘made to measure’ just for them in celebration of a very special day in their lives.
Customers can also be safe in the knowledge that
each hat I make is unique and so they won’t see another one like it at the wedding!
that it suits them
that it that works with the style of their dress
that it is suitable for the venue where the wedding is taking place
My shoes are a different colour to my dress - can both shades be in my hat?
Certainly - and it's one of the joys of ordering a bespoke hat! I have often incorporated two (or more) different colours of a customer’s outfit together, in the hat and accessories that they’ve ordered from me. For example, a lady might be wearing a soft pink dress and will want to team it with a tonal ‘nude’ shoe - so I would be able to include both of these colours in their hat and make their outfit look effortlessly polished.
Do I have to make an appointment for a consultation?
Yes - I am able to see customers seven days a week in order to fit in around you, so please book your one-to-one private consultation by telephoning 07968 337446. I work from a specially designed air-conditioned studio in my garden, and I see customers by appointment in this private setting on a one-to-one basis only.
Can I bring a friend along for a second opinion?
Of course! Some ladies find it very helpful to bring along a trusted friend or relative with them (perhaps the Bride for example) to help them make a decision. But on the other hand, some ladies like to have a clearer mind and would prefer to choose something by themselves.
It’s entirely your decision! (Please bear in mind though, that I would say the studio can get a little cramped at times if children or toddlers are brought along to appointments, and perhaps they might unfortunately be a distraction?)
What I’ve realised often works well is that the customer and companion ‘make a day of it’ by
enjoying the luxury of having a bespoke consultation to order her new hat, followed by a lovely lunch somewhere or perhaps enjoying afternoon tea at one of the many beautiful hotels near here. For example, Lainston House Hotel is just at the end of the lane, or there is the Hotel du Vin and The Ivy in town, to name just a few lovely venues nearby.
Can I park near your studio?
Yes - there is ample parking immediately outside my front door and my studio is located at the end of my garden a short distance away, along a fairly level path that has a couple of shallow steps.
What should I bring along to my appointment?
bring along the dress and shoes to the appointment (or a swatch of fabric from their dressmaker) so that we can go through the colours in the
Shade Card and all the different millinery samples to find the perfect hat and colour that suits.
At this point, many customers take the opportunity of ordering matching accessories such as a clutch handbag, a silk stole, a corsage, shoe bows or a string of Freshwater Pearls highlighted with crystals in the same colour, which can all help to
co-ordinate their look and make them feel
Marvellous on their Special Day!
Can my order include fabric remnants from my dressmaker?
Yes, remnants of fabric from your dressmaker or alteration service can be included in the design to trim your hat and/or to cover a clutch handbag. I am happy to liase directly with your dressmaker as to quantities of fabric/timings etc if you wish me to do so.
Using this service brings your outfit together perfectly as it is exactly the same material/dye batch etc.
Having said that, I also have a very wide variety of silks, organzas and velvet colour samples to select from in my studio, so that the flowers and trims can be made with fabric that I supply in order to decorate your new hat.
Can you help me if the colour of my dress is difficult to match?
Most of the hats I make are a lamination of three layers of sinamay fabric, which can either be all the same shade giving a very strong single tone, or a combination of different colours layered togther to create an 'in between' shade. This is an ideal solution if the colour of your dress is 'in between' the different colours on my sinamay Shade Card.
I also have an extensive range of different silks and fabrics that can be incorporated as an accent colour to match your dress in a different way, perhaps trimming a hat that is a complimentary nutral shade. For example, if you are wearing a green dress with 'nude' shoes, we might select one of the 'nude' tones for the base of the hat and accent it with a beautiful handmade green silk rose, or perhaps a green silk bind, or maybe some green feathers or crystals that match your dress exactly - you have the choice of any combination of the above!
How long will my Bespoke Hat take to make?
Orders normally take between six to ten weeks to complete, depending on the season and how busy I am. This allows time for obtaining all the raw materials as well as allocating my time to make the pieces for you. But I always say to my customers, book an appointment with me as soon as you have your dress and shoes sorted - that way we can plan to have your outfit ready for you in plenty of time for the big day without any last minute worries.
Can you make a bespoke hat ‘at the last minute’?
It’s always worth contacting me as sometimes I can offer an
Express Bespoke Service for a small additional fee, even if your event is less than six weeks away. In most cases I am able to help most of my customers right up until the last minute by providing at least something to wear on the day! Often, many ladies have taken advantage of my
Ready to Wear hats in such circumstances.
However, I always say, the longer you can give me the better it is for both of us, and I much prefer to know that your order is waiting for you to wear in your wardrobe - rather than rushing it at the last minute!
Do you take a deposit for Bespoke Orders?
A deposit of 50% is taken to secure your bespoke order, with the balance due when the order is collected. Payments can be made by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Apple Pay, G Pay, online banking transfer, cheques or cash.
Are Bespoke Orders changeable or returnable?
Please note that everything that I make for you is made to order by hand to your specifications. Therefore I am unable to offer any refunds or exchanges for orders, either during the making process once the deposit has been paid and the order started or after the item(s) has been collected or delivered, because they will have been made specifically for you and therefore would not be suitable for anyone else.
How similar will my order look to the sample?
Please rest assured that I take great effort to replicate the sample that you see in my studio to the hat that I make for you. Obviously there are little variations as everything is done by hand and not mass-produced by machine, but what you see as the sample, is what I replicate as best as I can for you in your own colour combination.
How much is it going to cost?
Everything that you see in the Bespoke Portfolio is
made specifically to your personal requirements and therefore each piece is unique - you won’t see another exactly like it at your own special event!
Because there are so many variables that can go into the final design, pricing each bespoke piece is also individual for each order. Please telephone 07968 337446 for more detailed prices for each design and information on how I can incorporate your ideas into your own personal order.
Please be aware that the amount I quote you at the time of taking you order is the total price of your finished order -
there will not be any hidden supplementary fees when you come to collect. All my samples in the studio have swing tickets attached, stating how much each one would be to order 'as it is' but in your own colour combination. Additions or changes to that design sample would be a different price (higher or lower depending on your requrements), but that new amount would be quoted in writing on your order and agreed with you at the time.
To give you some idea of the starting prices for my designs, here is a list to help guide you:
Larger Picture Hats start from £325
Pillbox Hats are priced from £195
Saucer Hats are from £225
Headpieces start at £185
Winter Occasion Wear Hats start at £285
Matching Clutch Handbags start from £285
Silk Stoles are priced from £195