Hat Gift Cards – The perfect Kentucky Derby Gift!

 

Over the years, gift cards have proven to be a wonderful way for get something for someone who you have no idea what else to get them!  I struggle to get gifts for people who have everything they could want. 

In buying gifts, I found those people who had everything most valued things that were special and one of a kind.  They loved getting hand crafted gifts whether it was something I made or something I purchased at an art fair.  Face it, we are bombarded these days with so much cheaply made items from overseas, that neither helps our economy or the environment. 

Polly Singer original hand made fascinator

I gave my first hat to my Mother as a Christmas gift in 1993.  It was a black velvet hat with a handmade red velvet rose.  The rose had white lace in the center.  It looked so pretty against her dark brown hair. 

A few years later, I gave my grandmother a lovely camel wool hand blocked cloche with an ivory satin band and hand made ivory rose with a vintage rose crystal button.  My grandmother Velma treasured that hat.  It was especially poignant since it was my grandmother who taught me how to sew!

Hepburn 2019

 

 

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

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

2016 Fashion Trends and Kentucky Derby Hat Ideas

The Kentucky Derby is every woman’s chance to express her inner Southern belle.  A standout Kentucky Derby Hat is the crowning glory of a Southern Belle. The age-old question is “what comes first, the dress or the hat?”  They go together like hugs and kisses.  You generally don’t have one without the other, and there’s a good reason for that. The Kentucky Derby annual horse race’s website provides guidelines and gentle suggestions for women’s attire. You guessed it – hats are included!

For the 2016 Kentucky Derby, we pulled together some fashion suggestions based on current trends, and hats that look fabulous with them.  All dresses are available at www.nordstrom.com.

 

Michael Kors Poppy Print Sheath Dress
Michael Kors Poppy Print Sheath Dress
Ellie
Ellie

 

Red and black always mesh together well. Since they are such strong colors, I would avoid adding many other colors.  Red is strength, so be proud and work it! The “Ellie” fascinator hat looks fantastic with black, and adds a beautiful accent.

You can find this and all the hats below in our Kentucky Derby Hat section.

 

Herve Leger "Eliana"
Herve Leger “Eliana”
Megan
Megan

 

This Herve Leger “Eliana” is a very sexy dress.  I love the draping and the lines.   In fact, it is probably one of the best dresses I have seen in a very long time.  (Hide the credit card!)  Megan, a fashionable fascinator,  would be perfect, fun, and adds flirtatious flare to this gorgeous dress.

 

Etro Floral Print V Neck Dress
Etro Floral Print V Neck Dress
Holly 2016
Holly 2016

 

 

 

 

 

I love this Etro dress, and the bright colors, it is perfect for spring and summer.  With that said, it is a challenge to pick a hat for it.  In this case. go simple; our “Holly” which can be found in our Kentucky Derby section, is an ivory hat with black trim that would look fantastic with this dress.  The big bow is romantic and does not take away from the drama of this dress, but rather enhances it.

 

Armani Godet Wool Dress
Armani Godet Wool Dress
Constance
Constance

 

Next is a confession. I absolutely covet this Armani Godet dress.  It flows well, and has beautiful movement. It’s current with the trends while being classic.  This Armani dress would work with almost any hat or fascinator.  For this dress, I chose “Constance” since the floral pattern of Constance would work with the solid, and give the dress a bit of a kick. Do you love it?

 

Michael Kors Double Face Stretch Silk Fit and Flare Dress
Michael Kors Double Face Stretch Silk Fit and Flare Dress
Karenna
Karenna

 

 

I love the idea of this romantic Kentucky Derby hat with this gorgeous Michael Kors dress. It would be stunning at the Derby!  This style of dress is easy to coordinate a hat with, and honestly, almost any hat on my website would work.  This hat is “Karenna“.

I hope these ideas have helped, and given you some idea of how to match a hat with this year’s fashion trends, especially as we near one of my favorite events, and I will bet you can guess what that is.  Any questions, please contact me and we will help you pick out your special hat, or create a gorgeous custom hat exclusively for you.

But hurry! The Derby is just around the corner! 

Contact us now to design a beautiful Kentucky Derby Hat for you. 

 

 

 

 

Busy here on new hats!

Sasha
Sasha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is always the time of year that I love, designing for the spring.   The hardest thing for me is not coming with new ideas, but having to edit my designs.  And of course, I love working with new colors.  I thought this chart was interesting in that it highlights the various feelings that color invokes.

 

Psychology of Color

Psychology of Color

 

I love working with color.  Anyone who has visited my house will tell that it is filled with color.  Each room has a distinct color, whether it is a warm creamy yellow, warm terra cotta to soft ameythst upstairs.  I always enjoy the psychology of color too.  My design room went to from a blue/gray to Sherwin Williams Youthful Coral.

 

Youthful Coral
Youthful Coral

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have so much more energy now.  Color is so important with our feelings.  Can’t wait to finish the new hats!

 

A Look Back at the Fashion on Show at the Grand National 2015

The Grand National at Liverpool’s Aintree Racecourse is one of the greatest and most highly anticipated sporting events in Britain. It’s the biggest horse racing event in the world, garnering millions of viewers every year in the UK according to Oye! Times. The races are thrilling, but what truly makes the event a spectacle is the fashion statements showcased by the guests lucky enough to score tickets to the live action.

This year, Many Clouds won the race which was jockey Leighton Aspell’s second consecutive win as reported by Betfair, although eyes weren’t only on the horses during the proceedings. Many people photographed fashion-conscious women donning some of the boldest hats the event has ever seen. The race is always a good excuse to get dressed up, and for some, it’s the only opportunity they get to wear their bright, striking accessories each year.

During Ladies Day, women really brought their A-game and arrived in classy outfits topped off with their most impressionable head pieces, from retro glam hats to the more unconventional headwear. The hats were unique, with some being flirty and feminine, while others, quite daring.

Let’s take a look at some of the most memorable hats from the event.

Image courtesy of express.co.uk
Image courtesy of express.co.uk

 

A female race-goer opts for a complete rainbow getup as she accessorizes her colorful mesh-hemmed dress with mismatching shoes, gloves, a green clutch, blue scarf, and a rainbow mesh head-piece in the shape of a pompom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of mirror.co.uk
Image courtesy of mirror.co.uk

 

A group of friends take a selfie to capture the different designs on their floral hats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of mirror.co.uk
Image courtesy of mirror.co.uk

 

A woman stuns fellow race-goers with her brightly colored hat composed of real flowers, embellished with feathers and embroidered fabrics and materials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of liverpoolecho.co.uk
Image courtesy of liverpoolecho.co.uk

 

Floral was definitely a recurring motif at the event as one of the ladies wore a hat that had a playful take on a bouquet of flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Courtesy of http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk
Image Courtesy of http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk

 

Despite the popularity of flowers on women’s headgear at this year’s event, some guests believed feathers were the classier choice.

Belmont Hats?

Yes, I do many ladies hats for the Belmont.  More and more, ladies are wearing hats to the Belmont.  The fact that there is the chance of American Pharoah winning the Triple Crown ratchets up the stakes even more!

In the past, ladies have sent me a photo of their dress and then I have designed the hat around that.  It’s always fun to see them in their hats on t.v. 

I don’t know why, but I have tended to Belmont hats in blue.  Having been a former New York, it’s odd that Belmont is the one track that I have not been to.  I’ve attended the Derby and Preakness. 

This year, I am working on a fascinator and saucer hat for the Belmont.  It will prove to be an exciting race to watch, to say the least.

 

Christina Olivares at the Belmont
Christina Olivares at the Belmont

Sierra Exif JPEG

 

The Belmont Stakes is traditionally called “The Test of the Champion” or “The Run for the Carnations” because the winning horse is draped with a blanket of white carnations after the race, in similar fashion to the blanket of roses and black-eyed susans for the Derby and Preakness, respectively. The winning owner is ceremonially presented with the silver winner’s trophy, designed by Paulding Farnham for Tiffany and Co. It was first presented to August Belmont, Jr. in 1896 and donated by the Belmont family for annual presentation in 1926.

Despite the fact that the Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the Triple Crown races, its traditions have been more subject to change. Until 1996, the post parade song was “The Sidewalks of New York“. From 1997 to 2009, the song was changed to broadcast a recording by Frank Sinatra of the “Theme from New York, New York” in an attempt to appeal to younger fans.[5] In 2010, the song was changed to Jay-Z‘s “Empire State of Mind[6] before reverting to “Theme from New York, New York” from 2011[7] through the present. This tradition is similar to the singing of the state song at the post parades of the first two Triple Crown races: “My Old Kentucky Home” at the Kentucky Derby and “Maryland, My Maryland” at the Preakness Stakes.[2] The change of song gave rise to “the myth of Mamie O’Rourke,” a reference to a character in the lyrics of “The Sidewalks of New York.” Some claim that changing the official Belmont song “cursed” the Triple Crown and was why no horse had won since Affirmed in 1978. Others note that there was no Triple Crown winner between 1979 and 1996, even though “Sidewalks” was still played.[8]

Along with the change of song in 1997, the official drink was also changed, from the “White Carnation” to the “Belmont Breeze.”[9] The New York Times reviewed both cocktails unfavorably, calling the Belmont Breeze “a significant improvement over the nigh undrinkable White Carnation” despite the fact that it “tastes like a refined trashcan punch.”[10]

While the origin of the white carnation as the official flower of the Belmont Stakes is unknown, traditionally, pure white carnations stand for love and luck. It takes approximately 700 “select” carnations imported from Colombia to create the 40-pound blanket draped over the winner of the Belmont Stakes. The NYRA has long used The Pennock Company, a wholesale florist based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to import the carnations used for the mantle.[11]

Feature Article in Hat Talk

Polly SingerPolly Singer2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polly Singer3Polly Singer4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was more than pleased and delighted to be featured in Hat Talk.  It is an international hat magazine that features milliners from all over the world.

The hats featured in this article were blocked on wooden hat blocks made from Guy Morse Brown Hat blocks.  The raw straw is stretched and sized over the blocks.  After drying, the material is steamed, pressed and then the hat is taken off the block with even more steps. 

www.hattalk.com

www.guymorsebrown.com

 

 

 

Hats vs. Fascinators

Picking a hat vs. a fascinator

Fascinator Pros

1. They are smaller and some say easier to wear as they are worn on a headband or comb. Definitely easier to pack for an event.
2. If they get wet, generally fascinators don’t get ruined.
3. Generally less expensive to purchase.
4. Fun, flirty and a different alternative to hats.
5. No worry about the hat not fitting (too loose or too tight) as fascinators are mostly one size fits all.

Fascinator Cons

1. No sun protection.
2. Not as much privacy and personal space as a big brim allows.
3. Not as slimming as a wide brim hat.

Hat Pros
1. Obviously more sun protection.
2. The traditional style of millinery at events.
3. More drama generally, especially the bigger hats.
4. Since hats are wider, they can make us look thinner, thus balancing out the figure more.
5. A properly made hat can be retrimmed, thus giving you more options down the road.

 

 

 

Hat Cons
1. If a hat gets really wet, it’s ruined.
2. Generally more expensive than a fascinator since it takes longer to make and supplies are more expensive.
3. A bigger hat box needs more room in the closet.
4. Fit is key. A hat can be off by a 1/4 or 1/2 inch and be too small.

Even though I love fascinators, I think I look better in hats but that’s just my opinion. Perhaps I like being covered up and being a bit hidden from view. The most important thing is feeling confident. I have seen women go nuts over fascinators because they are just fun to wear, which is the most important thing. Many clients for the Oaks and Derby wore a fascinator one day and a huge hat the next. Mix it up and have fun.

Custom Ladies Hats for the Kentucky Derby

Custom Elegant hat to match dress in 2014
Hat was designed for this dress.

Custom ladies hats for the Kentucky Derby.  About 25% of the ladies hats that I do are custom.  Many Kentucky Derby clients will request this as they want that unique look for Derby Day.   A custom hat can range anywhere from changing out the trim (flower or feather) on one of the existing hats on the website to designing an entirely new hat.  Often times, the client will email or actually mail their dress to me.  I will then design two or three different versions of the hat or fascinator. I will email them the photos.  Depending on the direction that the custom design is going, a decision will be made and the hat/fascinator done. 

Hat for Derby 2014 to match necklace.
Hat for Derby 2014 to match necklace.
Custom Hat to complement dress
Hat was designed to pull in the colors on this dress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, there is so much that can be done to pull the dress together with the hat.   I have designed hats around jewelry, shoes, almost anything.

 

 

 

Derby hat done to complement necklace.
Derby hat done to complement necklace.
Love the colors on this custom hat.
Love the colors on this custom hat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The good thing about my hats is that everything is sewn on by hand.   Often times, I will take the existing trim off and sew on new flowers or feathers, creating an entirely different look.  Buying a hat is an investment, so I like to give my clients many options for later use.

 

February is Custom Hat month.  Customization fees are $50/hour but this month the fee is waived. 

 

http://hatsandveils.net/custom-hats/