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Trends and tips

Millinery trends for 2019–2020
(click on most of the photos to see the fashion hats in detail; a small window will pop up)

What styles of hats are in this year?

Fashion hat Napoli, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat Giddy Up Riding Hat, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat Chiara Bow in Black, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald

  • Bows were big in 2018–2019 and they are front row centre again in 2019–2020. Many hats will have long ribbon or tulle ties that can be tied behind the head, under the chin or just left hanging loose! But a new look for 2019 is the 1960s-inspired circular bandeau, with a big bow positioned centrally at the back just above the nape of the neck.
    Fashion hat Camilla Cap, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald
  • Caps are great for the races or everyday wear. In the 2019–2020 season Louise Macdonald Milliner has a version of a straw flat cap, Seraina (in black and navy), with a bow on top adding softness and individuality. Another favourite is Camilla Cap [photo], which has seniority in the cap stakes! It has a more military feel, but takes your outfit to the next level. Stay tuned for more interpretations showcased on Louise's Instagram.

Fashion hat Giddy Up Riding Hat in Pink, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat Aurora, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat Giddy Up Riding Hat in Natural, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald

  • Top Hats – Yes! Cara Delevingne wore one to the Royal Wedding, and the trend was born. Louise Macdonald Milliner has designed one that gives this masculine hat a feminine persona, sitting higher on the head and worn perched forward. Giddy Up Riding Hat [left and right photos] is trimmed in a variety of ways, chains, bows, ribbon ties and veiling, working beautifully with suits and dresses.

    Fashion hat Sofia Veil, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald
  • Romantic and mysterious, veiling can be worn over the face adding a little bit of come hither! But if veiling and champagne drinking is a challenge, a smaller piece dancing around the brim of a hat can have the same effect. Louise Macdonald Milliner is delighted to offer a detachable veil to be positioned underneath your headpiece and interchanged with your wardrobe.

    However, if you find no challenge wearing veiling over the face, try the Sofia Veil [photo]: multiple types of veiling pinched together in organised chaos around the head. Plenty of fun to be had wearing this piece!

Fashion hat Milano in Olive Gloss Braid, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat Elodie Halo in Natural Vintage Braid, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald

  • Oversized headbands– In the 2018–2019 season we welcome the new position of hats, bandeaux, halos and pillboxes, worn to the back of the head. The oversized headband will have a big presence in the 2019–2020 season. Louise Macdonald Milliner is taking the opportunity to make use of gorgeous vintage braids with the most diverse textures, resulting in the Milano [photo on the left] bandeau. This headpiece leaves the front of the face free for air kissing, embracing without knocking your hat off and sipping champagne!

  • Colours– Of course Derby Day demands a black and white palate for the race goer. There has been plenty of talk of pastels, and pale blue was seen at Ascot in 2019; however, there is room for bright bold colours too. Yellow, red (when is red not around in Summer) and orange. But you don't necessarily want a hat that is exactly the same colour as your dress and don't want to wear a colour that doesn't suit you. So choose what compliments your complexion and you can't go wrong!

  • Matching headwear with accessories, shoes, bag, jewellery– With current trends, there is great flexibility in putting colours together. Even nail polish and lipstick can be used to help mix them in your outfit.

Where can the headpieces be found?
Make an appointment to visit Louise Macdonald Milliner in Melbourne to view the latest fashion collection or purchase your favourite piece through the online shop. Once again I was pleased to present styles designed specifically with the Hugo Boss Spring collection in mind, which were available at the BOSS Store Southbank and BOSS Store Chadstone in 2019.


Millinery tips (for any season)

What makes a good headpiece? What should people look for when purchasing a hat?

  1. You want something that suits your face shape and height

    • If you have a round face, you want to lengthen it by wearing something that is tall or gives your face height. Try a tall crowned pill box or a high headpiece.

    • If you have a long face, you want to shorten it by wearing something that gives your face width, for example a shallow crown or a beret or pill box where the trim is positioned down low, towards the side of your face.

    • If you have a tiny face, you will be swamped in a big hat and vice versa. You need to find a hat that is in proportion with your face and height. The best way to approach this is by going to a professional. Not only can they help you choose something that suits you, but also tell you the best way to wear it (keep reading!).

    • If you can't see a milliner, make sure you try lots of different styles and tilt them at different angles on your head. A headpiece worn straight on the top of your head may look ridiculous, but a little tilt forward and to one side can make you shine! With the smaller headpieces that have been around for a few seasons, it is all about the angle you wear it!

  2. You want something that suits your personality!

    That tends to be easier to manage. Most people are drawn to fashions that speak to them and reflect their style. Quirky, classic or showstopper!

A few more essential tips to consider when investing in a hat or headpiece:

  • It's best to buy from a professional, someone who knows about millinery. There are many of us in Melbourne and around Australia. You can get key advice on what suits you and, very importantly, how to wear the hat. Many current styles are not as straight forward to wear as your traditional hat.

    Take a photo of yourself in the hat or headpiece when purchasing it, so you can remember how to position it when getting ready on the day. It's common to see people wearing their hats back to front (the label should go to the back) or tilted in the wrong direction – hats are designed to be worn at a particular angle; if it doesn't look good tipped to the right, try it to the left or wearing it straight on.

  • Take your dress or a photo of you in your dress when you go shopping for a hat. This helps with colour and style choices when discussing options with your hat professional! The visual communication is the best tool to describe your jade green semi structured asymmetric three quarter length jacket!

  • Experiment with how you arrange your hair. Some women may choose to wear their long locks out as they would most days, but this is not always the best hair style when wearing a hat. Try pulling your hair back in a low pony tail or bun. This elongates the neck and provides a great platform for your headwear!

    If you have a fringe, try sweeping it to one side or under the hat. How does it look? Or parting your hair on the other side. Depending on how you wear your hat, this can have the effect of shortening or elongating your face. Play around with the options; you'll be surprised with the alternatives.

  • Make sure your piece is comfortable to wear. Check the hat elastic is not too tight, and it can be secured comfortably to your head without sliding around.

Most importantly, have fun at the races or wherever you go with your beautiful hat!

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