Buying Online or in person?
Buying online hats its downfalls but may be cheaper.
You can’t physically try a hat on, health regulations restrict hats from being returned
What might be advertised as a 54 cm headfit may not be correctly labelled.
It doesn’t fit and the hat just doesn’t suit your face, but is non returnable
Quality could be poor, or proportions of the hat may look different from the photo than reality
Many versions may have been sold so it may not be unique
The colour could be quite different from the image
Buying a headband style piece online is less risky, but the quality of the headband etc is also it to comfort and function of wear
In person? At a generalist department store or small dress boutique.
Buying a hat from a large department store you will find that the “store buyer” has decided what to buy for the season, unless it’s like a Harrods, London which has a designer hat section.
The staff serving may know nothing about wearing and fitting hats and what would really suit you.
The limited available pieces may not suit you
Everyone else may also be wearing these pieces.
A small dress boutique would either be selling hats on commission, or have purchased them so the mark up on price could be very high making them more expensive than going straight to a registered milliner.
Department stores generally only stock for the current season. Your wedding is in 5 months? Where can you find a winter wedding hat in summer.
You want to stand out from the crowd, but not necessarily spend a fortune.
From a qualified milliner?
A qualified registered milliner can hand make (bespoke) a piece for you that is well made, comfortable and adjusted to your head. It will be made to your requirements and made to compliment your dress and style. This will satisfy all of your requirements for the hat.
In terms of value is worth considering as it will be a unique creation and will last for many years, so value for money. Consider a flattering colour that could be worn with multiple outfits.
However, you still need to see they quality of their work. Try to visit preferably in person, or by recommendation, to ensure the quality. There are people who are calling themselves milliners who are a wiz with a glue gun, and use premade bases and trims.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” stands for many cheaper products available on line, and even professional milliners. If it seems far too cheap then be a little suspicious.
Wendy Scully Millinery, at 260 Collins St, Melbourne. It has hats on display, ready to wear and a bespoke ordering service. Shop 14/level1 @stcollinslane
We have a wide range of hats from different seasons on show. You can look, try and consider and find the “right” piece for you.