Friday, 2 November 2012

Cloche Hats; practical, warm and beautiful!

Black wool cloche hat. Image by Cristina Carra Caso.
Every winter I am faced with a similar dilemma; how to look stylish whilst being battered by the wind, rain and snow in Scotland. In fact, hang the need to look stylish, sometimes I'd just settle for presentable. 
The combination of my red wellies, bright pink wind and waterproof jacket with mismatched hat, gloves and scarf, just didn' t cut it for me. Every year we go through the same weather, but it seemed like I kept failing to look 'presentable', let alone stylish. I was gradually developing some serious frustration at being cold, wet and basically at the mercy of the Scottish weather.
Any excuse to feature a highland cow in the snow.
Looks familiar.
 Being a designer specialising in Millinery, I decided I would start solving this 'impractical clothing' issue from my head and work downwards. I wanted to create an item of millinery that would complement a number of different outfits so I could dress it up or down; a winter hat must be wearable. So, I decided on a cloche hat; a simple yet effective design. Fundamentally though, it still had to fulfil the requirement to keep me warm!
The design itself was inspired by the cloche hats worn by Angelina Jolie in The Changeling. When watching the film, I spent most of the time working out how I would adjust the design to suit my idea for keeping warm and cosy.

Once the wooden hat block had been designed and made, it was then onto making the actual hat. I went for 100% wool to make up the body of the hat. Wool is a great, natural product with some brilliant qualities that make it a great choice; it's not just a great temperature regulator with amazing insulating qualities but it's also environmentally sustainable, hypo-allergenic and long lasting.
I also decided to fully line the interior of the hat with sturdy silks and satins to give an extra insulating layer, but also to make the inside of the hat look as gorgeous as the outside. In fact, this year, all my hats are lined in the gorgeous embossed satin. The weight of the fabric is perfect for lining the hat and adding even more warmth.
 The beautiful embossed satin in French navy that our
 Autumn Winter 2012 cloche hats are lined in.
Et voila! A sturdy, warm piece of millinery. All of our hats are finished with sumptuous yet practical trims such as velvet, petersham ribbon or crystal accents. Most of this year's ready to wear collection is made up of hats trimmed with beautiful velvet ribbon and velvet bows. I'm not sure you can beat velvet as the ultimate trim for a winter hat. Our ready-to-wear hats can be purchased through our online shop and at Lady JoJo's Boutique in Edinburgh.

To make sure our customers have the best range of choice at their finger tips, we have set up a 'Create Your Own Cloche Hat' service on our website. This easy to use feature on our online shop allows you to select the colour of wool cloche hat and velvet trim you would most like. Alternatively, customers can contact us directly to access our commission service, which allows our clients to fully customise their headwear in terms of other colours and trims.

Our 'Create Your Own Cloche Hat' service on our online shop at

To make sure our cloche hats feel like an extra special purchase (not solely a practical purchase to save your head from a bleak winter), they all come presented in a chic, black box packed with tissue paper and tied with ribbon. They are a great treat as well as a Christmas gift idea. We even offer a gift wrapping service to really take the hassle out of Christmas shopping.

And, just to round up the 'practical clothing' issue, I would also totally recommend these boots. I've had these over a year now and they are amazing; they are waterproof, keep my feet warm down to
-32C plus they are so comfy, it's like wearing trainers. They are called 'Joan of Arctic' and are made by Sorel, who are a reputable outdoor wear manufacturer. So, that's me sorted this winter!

For more information on our cloche hats, please visit our website at, email us at or telephone on 077 2521 7526.
Left: double petersham and crystal bow cloche hat in black,
Right: Poppy red cloche hat with petersham trim a 'frog' clasp. Image by Lee Howell.
Leopard print cloche hat. A limited edition design, which has now sold out
but can be recreated on a commission basis. Image by Loraine Ross.
Here are a few more images of our cloche hats ...
Our beautiful cloche hats come in chic black boxes tied
with ribbon and packed with tissue paper.
Hunter Green Cloche hat with black velvet trim.

Winter Blue Cloche Hat with Grey-Blue Velvet trim.

Black Wool Cloche Hat with double peterhsam ribbon trim
and crystal encrusted bow.