Sustainability in the Hat World – Being A Good Corporate Citizen

Sustainability is the new buzzword.  Everywhere I turn, I read about sustainable practices in business, fashion, etc.   

I am proud to announce that Polly Singer Couture Hats has always used ethical practices in our business dealings.  Lessening the environment impact where we can has long been our goal.  In 2014, I decided to run for City Council in order to implement curbside recycling in my community.  Georgetown is the fastest growing city in the state of Kentucky, yet we do not have curbside recycling. Most recyclable materials such as glass, paper, metal, and plastic ends up in the landfill. Having lived in other communities such as New York City where recycling is practically a religion, this really bothered me.  Being an elected official is a sacrifice because you lose time with your family, it takes focus away from your business and quite often, you make people mad who don’t agree with you.  It’s no fun to have people turn their heads the other way when you walk by!  Curbside recycling is around the corner for Georgetown, so it will be worth it in the end.  I am in my third term on the Georgetown City Council. We run for re-election every two years.

Why did I go into that story? It is tell you that I practice what I preach and about my passion for environmental causes.  

Other ethical practices include:

  • Fabrics – We source local fabrics when at all possible.  This is done to help local businesses as well as lessen the impact of shipping and burning carbon fuels.
  • Wool felt – We have switched to using wool felt only for our new winter hats.  Wool is hard wearing and suitable for every day wear. It is made from sheep’s wool without harm to the animals.  Wool is a natural and biodegradable fiber.
  • Straw – We buy most of our straw from American companies.  Our panama straw, parisisal and sinamay are made by small producers paid living wages. 
  • Recyclable materials – Our hat boxes are made from paper and our ribbon from cotton.  Our flowers are made from natural fabrics.
  • Biodegradable – Everything on our hats breaks down naturally over time.  There is nothing synthetic used in the production of our hats.
  • Feathers – We use only feathers from game birds, water birds and do not use exotic feathers. 
  • Stock – We do not produce huge quantities of stock.  This is done in order to minimize waste.  We have been known to take apart hats that did not sell, re-trim them and give them second lives.  Nothing goes to a landfill.
  • Hat Boxes – Our hat boxes are custom made by a company in Massachusetts.  The boxes are recyclable, re-usable and biodegradable. 
  • Packaging – Our shipping boxes are made from recycled materials and we use brown packing paper instead of peanuts or plastic bubbles.  

 

 

 

Join Me for Ascot 2020 – An Elite Tour To Royal England

The Royal Procession at Royal Ascot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like many of you, I have wanted to visit Royal Ascot for quite some time.  I knew there many other women out there who had the same dream as me.  That is why I started http://www.elitebritishtours.com

I wanted to organize a small group tour (only 12 spots are available) to Ladies Day at Royal Ascot. This royal experience is a one-of-a-kind luxurious tour. My guests will be spoiled and pampered in royal surroundings while taking in history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is included in the tour?

*5 nights at Stoke Place Hotel, a 4 star Manor House hotel with ties to Charles II.

Stoke Place, our base for Ascot 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*5 Full English Breakfasts in Luxury Surroundings with a view of a lake filled with swans. 

*3 Dinners at British Upscale Restaurants, one being on the Thames.

*Tickets to the Queen Anne Enclosure on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot

*Private Castle Tour and Tea at Highclere Castle in the Saloon

My travel guests will be served tea and biscuits at Highclere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Elegant High Tea In London 

*Fortnum and Mason Shopping Trip (home of some of the world’s best teas, foods and specialty food items)

Tea shopping at Fortnum and Mason.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Tour of Blenheim Palace, Bampton Village (set for Downtown Abbey) and the Cotswolds

Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill. Restored with Vanderbilt funds when Consuelo Vanderbilt married the Duke of Marlborough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Tour of Windsor Castle (home of the the Royals since the 11th century)

Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited royal castle in Europe. Home of Queen Elizabeth II.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Tour of Kensington Palace​ (home of Princess Diana, Queen Victoria and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge)

Kensington Palace’s unrivaled gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour dates are Monday, June 15 to Saturday, June 20, 2020.  

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, I would encourage you to book today.

Have you always wanted to attend Ladies Day at Royal Ascot? 

Would you like to see the Royal Family in person? 

Would you like to have a spectacular High Tea at an exclusive hotel in London?

Would you like to go to Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey) and have tea in the Grand Saloon just like Lord and Lady Grantham?

Have you watched Downton Abbey and wanted to walk down the same hall as Lady Mary and Matthew?

Have you always been fascinated by Winston Churchill and wanted to see the castle of his birth? 

 

Price Schedule

$2,795 – Standard Room per person

$2,995 – Deluxe Room per person

$3,295 – Jr. Suite per person

(Airfare not included)

Only 4 rooms are still available and the tour is rapidly selling out!

​Nancy at Exceptional Travel is handling the flight arrangements.  Their number is 502-863-9511. If you are interested in flying over with the group, please let us know.

A $500 non refundable deposit is required to hold a reservation and is payable by check or credit card. We will contact you to get your credit card details. 

Join me on this once in a lifetime tour! 

http://www.elitebritishtours.com

Spring 2018 Fashion Colors

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before I got into fashion design, I had no idea how fashion colors were selected.   As a student at F.I.T., I learned about Pantone and color forecasting.  Pantone 2018 Spring Summer trends feature meadowlark yellow, little boy blue, cherry tomato, blooming dahlia, pink lavender and ultra violet among others.  These are fun colors to work with and easily incorporated into a hat or fascinator for the Kentucky Derby or any other event where you want to wear something festive.

Pantone 2018 Spring Fashion Colors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is how the color experts at Pantone describe the colors for Spring/Summer 2018

PANTONE 13-0646 Meadowlark
The bold and lively Meadowlark, a confident and outgoing bright yellow shade highlights the spring 2018 season, glistening with joy and illuminating the world around us.
 
PANTONE 17-1563 Cherry Tomato
Impulsive Cherry Tomato is a tempestuous orangey red that exudes heat and energy. Demanding attention, this courageous, never to be ignored shade is viscerally alive.
 
PANTONE 16-4132 Little Boy Blue
With the expectation of the clear blue sky, Little Boy Blue is no longer for little boys only. Suggestive of expansiveness and continuity, this azure blue shade reassures us with its promise of a new day.
 
Newmarket  would be a fun choice to showcase that Little Boy Blue color.  Newmarket works great with any hair color.  This hand made fascinator features a lace stretched over a base.
 
Newmarket
 
PANTONE 18-1440 Chili Oil
Seasoned yet season-less, Chili Oil is an earthy brown based red that adds flavorful definition to the spring 2018 palette.
 
PANTONE 14-3207 Pink Lavender
Pink Lavender is a soft and romantic violet rose that charms with its soothing sense of quiescence.
 
PANTONE 15-1520 Blooming Dahlia
With its seemingly suggestive scent, the subtly alluring Blooming Dahlia beckons us with its understated appeal.
 
PANTONE 16-5533 Arcadia
Hinting at retro yet at the same time modern, Arcadia is a cooler, cleaner take on green; its tinge of blue undertone takes us into a new direction for the spring 2018 season.
 
To bring Arcadia into your Kentucky Derby ensemble, try a dash of Peppermint.
This handmade fascinator features Arcadia color lace over a custom Polly Singer base.
 
Peppermint
 
PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet
Conveying originality and ingenuity, the magical Ultra Violet is a distinctive and complex purple shade that fascinates and intrigues.
 
PANTONE 18-1028 Emperador
The rich chocolate infused brown Emperador adds strength and substance to the spring 2018 palette.
 
PANTONE 12-2103 Almost Mauve
With its gentle petal like touch, delicate and ephemeral Almost Mauve adds a sense of nostalgia to the spring 2018 palette.
 
PANTONE 17-3020 Spring Crocus
Witty and expressive, Spring Crocus is a flamboyant and tantalizing fuchsia shade that summons you in with its beguiling charm.
 
PANTONE 13-0550 Lime Punch
Sharp and pungent, Lime Punch hits a chord with its strident and striking citrus like presence in the spring 2018 color palette.
 
If you find yourself totally confused as to which hat to pick to wear with any of these colors, try a neutral such as Eclipse.
Eclipse
 

Picking the perfect hat for Breeder’s Cup 2017

Breeder’s Cup


Believe it or not, I am always stumped on what to wear to the races.  When I attended Breeder’s Cup in 2010, I didn’t decide until the last minute.  Much that was due to Breeder’s Cup being at Churchill Downs and the weather was bitterly cold.  However, the 2017 Breeder’s Cup will be held in sunny Southern California on November 3 and 4, so that makes the choice much easier! 

The fascinator with the horses shoes is one I designed for Breeder’s Cup in 2010.  It was a challenge but probably one of coolest pieces that I have ever done! 

Breeders Cup

The biggest tip that I can give to a lady is to pick something elegant and classic to wear to the Breeder’s Cup.  This racing event is quite different from the other races, even the Kentucky Derby.  The atmosphere is very posh.  Remember that these are top race horses in the world who have already proved themselves in other races.  This is a stylish and sophisticated event, very different from the Kentucky Derby.   Breeder’s Cup hats and fascinators.

 

The official Breeder’s Cup color is purple.  Purple can be paired with greens, blues, dark rust oranges for a stunning finish.  And for some reason, purple really works with most hair colors.  In my opinion, Breeder’s Cup purple is an easy color to work with.

I have designed hats and fascinators featuring the racing colors for different stables.  Polly Singer Couture Hats is known as the expert for designing custom hats using all sorts of colors.  I haven’t been stumped yet.  Challenged but not stumped!

At one point in the late 1990’s, I almost moved to Del Mar, California.  It holds a very special place in my heart.  There is so much to see in San Diego.  I would encourage people to visit for the entire week.  I loved San Diego’s Old Town, Balboa Park, the Gaslamp District, Hotel Del Coronado, Encinatas, etc.  It just doesn’t end.

So enjoy your trip to the 2017 Breeder’s Cup Classic, either via your armchair or visiting the Del Mar Race Track. Visit Breeder’s Cup

Breeder’s Cup 2017 – Hats and History

The Breeders’ Cup Race Hats and History

When race day arrives, what is one of the most important wardrobe pieces you need to have? There are a few key pieces of your Breeders’ Cup outfit that you will want to plan in advance for if you want to arrive in style, and what’s really interesting is that even the official Breeders’ Cup Race website agrees with us – your hat!

As a World Championship race, the ultimate in fashion is what you can expect to find on every attendee at this horse race, and you’ll have two days to present your own unique style.

Hats in various styles are popular at this esteemed fall horse race, and we have several examples for you to consider on our Breeder’s Cup Hats page.

Blythe

The official color for the BC is purple, and it is a popular color, for sure, yet it is no the only color you’ll see! Fall colors are always a favorite, with midnight blue, earth tones, burgundy, and even teal making a showing. If the days are chilly, you’ll see people layering their clothing with stylish jackets, shawls, suits, and even an elegant pantsuit.

When you’re choosing a hat for the Breeders’ Cup, there are a few things to take into consideration:

  1. The color, fabric and look of your outfit.
  2. Your height – if you are tall, broad and medium-sized brims, fascinators and the hybrid “hatinator” are popular choices.
  3. If you are vertically challenged, small to medium-sized brims are often more appropriate, as are fascinators.

 

For a beautiful selection of hats, hatinators, and fascinators perfectly suited for the BC race, visit Polly Singer’s HatsAndVeils.net store to choose from a gorgeous selection of hats. Be sure to order in advance if you want a custom hat for the Breeders’ Cup, as each of Polly’s hats are handmade and come in a beautiful signature hat box, yet custom orders require special attention and it is best to make arrangements in advance whenever possible.

We don’t want to forget the men! A fedora is a popular choice at the race, and this type of hat can be designed in various shapes and sizes, with felt recommended for the cooler season. Fit is important, but you’re in great hands with Polly, so don’t hesitate to give her a call to ask questions regarding fit or style.

Whether you choose from one of our ready-made hats, or a custom hat, you can rest assured that your design will be unique, original, and crafted to make a statement in keeping with your personal style.

The color trends change from year-to-year, and for 2017 we have some incredible options! The Pantone 2017 colors are Grenadine, Tawny Port, Ballet Slipper, Butterum, Navy Peony, Neutral Gray, Shaded Spruce, Golden Lime, Marina and Autumn Maple. The options are truly gorgeous and we are already busy creating hats that reflect the most recent color trends, along with those more in keeping with the traditional elegance of this Grade 1 Thoroughbred horse race, spanning two days. (You can read that article here.)

2015 was the first time a Triple Crown had been won since the Breeders’ Cup inception in 1982, and thus created the first opportunity for a horse to win a “Grand Slam;” amazingly enough, American Pharoah did just that in an exciting wire-to-wire finish at the Breeders’ Cup Classic!

This event attracts the top horses from North America, as well as Europe. Although the Cup was met with significant skepticism in the racing community originally, support has increased exponentially since then and it achieved significant popularity both here in the United States and abroad.

Thirteen Cup championship races take place over the course of the two days, and the last several years have seen sellout crowds for both days of the event.

If you’re attending the Cup this year, let us know in the comments below or reach out to us on the Polly Singer Couture Hats Facebook page. We would love to see a photo of you in your hat, or even a pic of the hat you wore last year if you’re keeping this year’s hat a secret until the big day.

If you’re wearing a Polly Singer original, we definitely want to see pictures of you and your hat, so please circle back on Facebook and share it with us!

Polly Singer hats at Milliner’s Corner at Keeneland

Last December, I had an early Christmas present.  I found out that my hats would be featured at the Milliner’s Corner at the lovely and historic Keeneland Race Track!  My mind then started racing, turning over ideas for my Keeneland Collection, which consists of 45 hats and fascinators.  Many are one of a kind designs and are only available at Keeneland.

How do I get my inspiration, you ask?   Pinterest is my addiction.  I especially love looking at millinery designs that members of the Royal Family wear at Ascot.  Princess Sophie of Wessex is a favorite.  My newest designs are inspired by Sophie of Wessex

I will be at Keeneland on April 14, 15, 21 and 22nd to help you pick out your own Polly Singer creation .  Please stop by and say hello! I am happy to help you pick out the perfect hat or fascinator for the Kentucky Derby! 

What to Wear to the 2017 Kentucky Derby

stephanie-murphy-oaks gallery

 

A big part of our role at Polly Singer Hats and Veils is advising ladies what to wear to the Kentucky Derby, and Derby Hats fashion.   On May 6, 2017, we will witness the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby, held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

My clients are from two different groups. The first group is ladies who attend the Kentucky Derby each year.  They spend a good deal of their spring planning their outfit, dress, shoes, bag, jewelry and of course, a Kentucky Derby hat!  They have some idea of what to wear, what is involved in attending the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky-Derby-Hats-What-To-Wear

The second group are ones who have never attended a Kentucky Derby and have no idea what to expect.

Well, here is what to expect!

  1. It is a very long day.  Longer than you can possibly imagine.  I have tremendous endurance.  I work out with a trainer, lived in New York City, etc. but I was drained at the end of the day.
  2. Wear shoes that you love, but can walk in.  I got a tip to take a comfortable pair of shoes in your bag (even flip flops) to wear if you have to park far away or have a long to walk.
  3. Dress in layers.  When I attended the Kentucky Derby, it was 50 degrees and cloudy!  I had a sundress on, along with a cardigan and coat! 
  4. Weather in Kentucky can be precarious in early May. It has snowed on Derby Day and also been 85 degrees with high humidity. 
The most popular question that I hear from clients is which comes first?  The dress or the hat for the Derby?

Choosing your hat first:

Pros: This options enables you to pick the hat of your dreams and gives you more freedom in terms of trims, colors and styles. Do you like peacock feathers? If so, you can incorporate them into the dress. Like hot pink, black and white? Then we can incorporate them into your hat.

Cons: You have to find a dress/outfit to match your hat. This can be difficult if you are trying to match up colors. If a client picks the hat first, I usually suggest that they pick a neutral outfit to make things easiest.

lori-schaub-kentucky-derby-hat

Choosing your dress first:

Pros: You already have your dress. By already having the dress/outfit, you have some guideline in choosing your hat. Say your dress has yellow and ivory, then you can tie those colors into your hat.

Cons: You might be more limited in your hat choice. Also, depending on the hat supplies that your milliner has on hand, they might be out of the colors you are looking to use.

There is no right or wrong way. If you see an outfit that you absolutely fall in love with, then by all means, purchase it. If you are undecided about what to wear, then pick out a hat that goes with an outfit already in your wardrobe. That way if you run out of shopping time, you still have your hat and outfit ready to go!

Colors that are supposed to be popular this year are shocking pink (easy to coordinate with), floral prints, gold and metallics.  Baby pink is also big.  Trends in shoes show mules and lower heels, so keep this in mind as you make choices for Kentucky Derby fashion and attire.

When in doubt, give a Polly Singer Gift Card!

Wildfire-1

We all like to feel special.  And we are.  Each of us is one of a kind….so why not have a custom hat or fascinator made for you or someone you love?  Give a Polly Singer Gift Card that can be redeemed for a hat or fascinator. 

Polly Singer Gift Cards never expire.  The beauty of a Gift Card is that you can also let the recipient help design their own hat.  We work closely with each client to design the perfect hat or fascinator.  It’s a fun process and our clients end up with a custom work of art.

Our gift cards can be shipped in one of our stylish hat boxes, shown here.

Polly Singer Gift Cards can be done in any dollar amount. This also makes is perfectly easy for your husband or boyfriend to surprise you in a special way.

Call us at (859) 533-1426 or email polly@hatsandveils.net

Fall and Winter Hats to Turn Heads

I love Fall and Winter too.  I do realize that sounds strange, given the fact that the Spring and Summer are thought to be the more popular times for wearing a hat.  However having lived in Manhattan for 13 years and enduring cold winds on those streets, I can tell you that hats kept me warm and healthy.  I wanted to look stylish.   Living on the Upper East Side and working on Sutton Place, I couldn’t exactly don a ski cap!

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To me, the perfect Fall/Winter hat is smaller.  It looks great with a coat or jacket.  It is in a classic color, meaning it can work with coats in your closet.  It blends in and looks seamless with a variety of styles.  And most of all, it is flattering to the face. 

When I first started out making hats, I would of course wear them on the streets of New York. I can not tell you how often people gave me positive comments.  Men would open doors for me (quite unusual for New York).  Ladies would start conversations with me about how their mother or grandmother loved or even made hats. 

The hats shown below were all made by me. They have been hand blocked and sewn, using the millinery techniques that I learned at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. 

Eve is a new favorite. I love gray as it goes with so many colors.  Black and white, navy or even red, it is the new neutral. I designed Eve with a vintage flair.  The Downton Abbey and 20’s style was my inspiration for Eve.

 

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Meryl would look great with a brown, camel or ivory coat.  I fell in love with this orange and creme cloche style.  A bow and button accent Meryl.  The cloche style is flattering on most.  It really highlights the face.

 

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Sweet Audrina features the classic colors of black and red.  The black vintage style velvet ribbon,  curled pheasant feathers and rhinestone button have made this hat a winner, literally!  It won Best Hat a recent competition.

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Finally, Sweet Leaf is just that.  A sweet hat with a soft brim that can be turned up or down.  Hand cut felt leaves are sewn on, accented with ivory buttons.  Sweet Leaf can be worn with all shades of brown and even ivory.  It can even be worn with black.  Combining so many shades on a hat actually gives the wearer more fashion options.

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Fascinator and Hat Rentals – The Perfect Way to Have Fun With Fashion

Melina - $75 hat rental
Melina – $75 to rent
Camden - Hat for Rent for $75
Camden – Rent for $75

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for a way to have fun with fascinators and hats, without spending a lot of cash?  Have you wanted to try a hat or fascinator but wasn’t sure how it would look on you?  Do you need a fascinator for an event, but will wear it only once? 

Going to Keeneland or the Breeder’s Cup and want to stand out?

If you answered yes to any or these questions, then hat and fascinator rental may be for you!  Visit my hat rental page

Matilda - Hats for Rent for $95
Matilda – Rent for $95

This is how it works:

The rental period is one week. Your week starts the day your hat or fascinator arrives.  You would contact us via email or phone to book your rental item. If the item is available, then you will be sent a rental agreement.  This protects both parties in case of damages.  You will the item for the fee plus shipping.  If the item comes back damaged beyond normal wear, there is a $25.00 fee to repair.  If the item comes back damaged beyond repair, then we will bill your credit card for the entire retail value of the hat. If you love the item so much that you want to keep it, our fascinators and hats are available for purchase.

The response to the rental program has been overwhelming.   Start shopping today!