Crowning glory

We talk to Tunbridge Wells resident and owner of Mille Fleurs milliners, Gill Stratton, about choosing the right hat for a special wedding…


What will be the fashion for hats this season?

Recently we have been making lots of smaller bandeau style hats. Kate Middleton has worn this style many times and that has helped make them really popular. Bandeau hats are great for smaller weddings where you might not want to wear a huge hat. They are also comfortable to wear and can be worn the whole day without a second thought. However, you can’t beat a lovely big hat. When you are a mother of the bride you want to feel special and a larger hat is still a very popular choice. Recently, there is also a trend towards a squarer crown shape, and I think this will carry throughout 2023.


What colours are hot for this coming wedding season?

I think we will see lots of green, lavender, and bright pink this season. At Mille Fleurs we make a lot of bespoke hats and we mix our own dyes, so they match the customer’s outfit perfectly.


Is there a hat that suits everyone?

Definitely! I love the challenge when a customer comes in and tells me they look awful in hats. It’s so rewarding when I can find them a hat that they love and feel comfortable in. So many times, people have a fixed idea of what they want, but once they start trying on all the shapes and sizes, quickly change their minds.


What do you need to consider when it comes to choosing the right hat?

It’s important to consider the shape of your face, and your entire silhouette. The proportions of your outfit will have a relevance to which hat looks balanced, something we consider when helping you choose a hat. The hat should be the finishing touch that pulls your whole outfit together. Wearing a good hat will give you an air of confidence, make you stand taller and add elegance. It is definitely worth finding the right one.


Any advice for those wanting a hat for a special wedding?

Traditionally hats are always worn on your right. This can be important, especially if you are buying off the peg as you want to make sure you are trying on the hats correctly. Alongside our bespoke commissions we also sell a range of ready-to-wear hats which work well for customers who perhaps don’t have the time available to have their hat made. On that note our typical lead-time for bespoke commissions is five to eight weeks.


What’s the secret of pulling off wearing a good hat?

Comfort is key. You will be wearing your hat for a long time, so ensure that it fits and stays in place, it should be secure enough to cope with all those kisses and greetings or a sudden gust of wind. We make the hats to each customer’s specifications including head shape and size, so it will fit exactly. We want each customer to put their hat on, feel and look amazing and forget they are even wearing it – while the compliments roll in!



Mille Fleurs, 12 High Street, Otford, Kent TN14 5PQ

Tel : 01959 525501

Email :


Instagram/Facebook @millefleurshats

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