Hats, Hats, Hats!

Hats were very much to the fore at the royal wedding and there is no doubt that the right hat adds a stylish finishing touch to an outfit and imparts a sense of occasion.

A flattering felt occasion hat with half-veil. Sophisticated and elegant. Needs a classic, understated outfit. £175

With this in mind, I asked local milliner Deborah Dalton for her thoughts on how to wear hats well. Here’s what she had to say…


“The recent Royal wedding was fantastic! A great occasion for all followers of fashion, milliners in particular! There’s nothing like a wedding to bring out a rush of hat fever.
Which were your favourites? Mine were Doria Ragland, Megan’s mother, in a pistachio percher made by my hat hero, Stephen Jones who also made Amal Clooney’s vibrant canary yellow veiled hat: Lady Kitty Spencer in a beautiful, green, sculptured headpiece by Philip Tracey, and Oprah Winfrey’s extravaganza of a hat which matched her exuberant personality.

The Rules

A lovely solution to wanting a brim to even out proportions; the net gives the illusion of a brim without shadowing
the face, £200.

I loved these hats because they followed the millinery rules; a hat should be suitable for the occasion, complement your outfit and your face shape and the brim should never be wider than shoulder width to keep everything in proportion. Most importantly for me, a hat should reflect the wearer’s personality. Following these rules will help you find your perfect hat.

The Fit

All commercial hats are made to one size, 22.5 inches/ 57cms; if your head measures anything different it won’t fit. And, they’re designed for ‘Any Woman’, not for YOU. A bespoke milliner will ensure that your hat fits perfectly so that you can wear it comfortably all day.

The Style

A bold, flamboyant headpiece….needs the personality to match, £95

Sometimes, clients come to me thinking that they ‘must’ have a particular style…even if they don’t like it! They have tried hats and say they never seem right ….too big, too fancy…just wrong. They’re downhearted thinking that’s what they SHOULD wear. Part of my job is to help guide their choice and encourage them to consider what they like.

I do this my presenting a range of different styles and giving them the freedom to reject what doesn’t make them comfortable or feel right. They try on each style, and group them into’ yes’,’ no’ and ‘possibly’. I ask which features they like and make notes. By referring to the words they use to
describe their personality, it becomes obvious what design will make them feel happy and confident … and confident”

These photographs show some of the sample hats that Deborah has made to showcase her skills and creativity; she designs a unique hat for every client. If you’d like a bespoke hat for a special occasion, I’d thoroughly recommend you to take a look at what Deborah Dalton Millinery has to offer.

I have not received any form of payment for this article, although Deborah did ply me with some delicious home-made scones when I went to see her creations!