Crowning Glory: the hats to turn heads this summer season
As high-profile summer events abound, we meet the milliners and hatters ready to create your perfect hat or headpiece
There’s something about this time of year that makes everything seem a bit more sprightly. The weather, though inconsistent at the best of times, certainly puts on a show as we head into the warmer months. It’s a point in time where we suddenly find our calendar is full of soirees, weddings, and summer events – all events that require the perfect hat or headpiece.
The fervour around said occasions is often quite intense and exciting, as it finally gives us an opportunity to celebrate, reunite with old friends and to enjoy moments which will live long in the memory. It’s understandable then, that for these events, we ought to look our best.
We all tend to have a few go-to outfits for such occasions, ones that make us look and feel on top of the world — be it a showstopping cocktail dress or a fine three-piece navy worsted suit, but what about the additional accessories that complete them? Hats, whatever our style preference, are a smart way to take our ensemble to the next level.
Lock & Co.
When it comes to hats, there’s no better place to start than Lock & Co. Established in 1676, not only are they London’s oldest hat shop, but also London’s oldest shop in general, as well as one of the oldest family-owned businesses still in existence today. Their recent collection for Royal Ascot features some truly beautiful, antique and iconic styles including luxurious silk top hats all the way to the exquisite ladies’ pillbox — all of which are appropriate wear for the Royal Enclosure. For formal occasions, there’s no better place to start.
Another titan of millinery excellence, Christys’ is a brand that prides itself in heritage, skill and unrivalled craftsmanship. Best known for their classic fur felt fedoras and rakish trilbies, Christys’ incredibly wide array of styles will ensure that whatever your preference, there’s a hat for you. Opt for their formalwear or go casual with a range of caps – and, if you’re setting off to warmer climes this summer, even give their summer Panamas a whirl.
Hat of Cain
One brand that’s taking the sartorial world by storm is Singapore-based Hat of Cain. Specialising in authentic Panama hats, Hat of Cain set up in Singapore due to a lack of quality, good-looking headwear that could keep one protected from scorching temperatures. While still a relatively young brand (Hat of Cain was founded in 2012) they have really set the new standard in producing the perfect Panama hats — for aficionados and first-timers — with a variety of weave grades sourced from the finest craftspeople in Ecuador, where this historic headpiece originates.
To own a bespoke piece from Vivien Sheriff is to own a little piece of British millinery history. Exquisite craft, quality in attention to detail and an incredible eye for style… these touchpoints not only describe the brand’s bespoke offering, but also their collections catered to occasionwear — everything from Royal Ascot to the Kentucky Derby.
Originally from Australia and now based in London, Lisa Tan favours bold yet elegant use of colour, incorporated in contemporary style that nods to heritage. It’s a beautiful and innovative fusion and her creations are truly spectacular – so much so that her hats are incredibly sought-after, particularly, given her appreciation and support for horseracing and racing events.
Philip Treacy’s haute couture works of art have been donned by everyone from European aristocracy to Hollywood legends and music megastars. Indeed, one of the world’s most famous and in-demand hat designers, he brings classic and traditional styles into the modern era, making hats that undoubtedly make heads turn.