From Trilbies to Top Hats, Bowlers to Fedoras, and all manner of fascinators and feathered adornments in between, hats are firmly ingrained within British fashion. Once reserved for special occasions only, hats are now seen as an everyday accessory, with everyone from high street retailers to traditional milliners and trendy boutiques and brands stocking their own line of headgear. With such a plethora of options out there, we’ve done the legwork for you and come up with our selection of the best hat shops in London, all within easy reach of The Milestone Hotel.
As designer of the ‘world’s most expensive’ hat (a diamond-studded platinum piece titled the “Chapeau d’Amour”), Louis Mariette is the place to go for eye-catching, innovative millinery. Fashioning bespoke hats, fascinators and jewelled headpieces to order, his designs have graced the heads of celebrities such as Jerry Hall, Sophie Dahl and even the late, great Joan Collins. As resident milliner at The Milestone Hotel, have us book you an appointment and let your imagination run wild.
Stocked in Amanda Wakeley, 175-177 Fulham Road, SW3 6JW
Pip Hackett Millinery
Gorgeous handmade couture hats with a modern twist, Pip Hackett’s pieces are less about the everyday and more about the statement headpiece. Colour matched and crafted from fine fabrics such as satin, velvet and lace, many of her headpieces are woven with intricate beadwork, flowers and feathers. She is particularly famous for her stunning bridalwear, with her hats lining the pages of Vanity Fair, Tatler and Vogue.
65 Alfred Road, W2 5EU
The last milliner left in Knightsbridge, John Boyd’s eye-catching, stylish cocktail party pieces have reigned supreme for an impressive seven decades. The secret to his success? According to the master himself, the “face dictates the hat”. Expect handmade bows, flowers and feathers, with each hat typically taking around three weeks to create.
16 Beauchamp Place, SW3 1NQ
This “Brilliantly British” store ventures into the realms of caps and hats (yes, there is a difference.) Catering chiefly to men, Laird’s collection includes the well known Fedora, Trilby and Pork Pie, alongside the more unusual Duck Bill and Bakerboy. Founders Alex and Zofia Torun-Shaw have even introduced their own contemporary ‘Scoop Cap’, a simple yet modern wool felt piece. Find them in Covent Garden – you can’t miss the mustard yellow shop front.
23 New Row, Covent Garden, WC2N 4LA
If you don’t know who Philip Treacy is by now, all we can say is that Princess Beatrice’s famous Royal Wedding hat should give you an idea of his controversial and imaginative design. If you’re looking for something similar, Treacy is one of the best hat shops in London to try, with his Autumn Winter collection featuring full-face lace and strong leopard print pieces.
69 Elizabeth Street, SW1W 9PJ
Gina Foster Millinery
A relative newcomer, Gina Foster opened up shop in 2010, teaming her elegant and understated headpieces with a special outfit matching service. Since then her designs have truly taken hold, with The Duchess of Cambridge internationally debuting Foster’s post-box red Seaford hat on the opening day of the Royal Australian tour. The Autumn/Winter collection looks to be another success, pairing simple designs with clean lines and strong colours.
221 Portobello Road, W11 1LU. By appointment only
One of the best hat shops in London, Christys’ stocks specialised sporting hats, including equestrian, fishing, golf, and shooting styles. They have also recently released a new tweed ‘Sherlock’ hat in collaboration with the Museum of London, a must have for all Cumberbatch fans.
16 Princes Arcade, SW1Y 6DS
Rachel Trevor Morgan Millinery
If you’re looking for a crown worthy of a Queen, Rachel Trevor Morgan is your woman. Having personally designed hats for Her Majesty, Morgan is among the most exclusive milliners in London. Known for her soft, feminine pieces, each hat is handmade by a small design team, and can be dyed to match your outfit. Her bridal hats are particularly exquisite, and the deep and rich hues of her Autumn Winter collection will have you lining up outside. Just don’t be disappointed if the Royal carriage isn’t waiting to collect you.
18 Crown Passage, Kings Street, SW1Y 6PP
Lock & Co.
One of the oldest hat shops in London, Lock & Co. opened in 1676, and still maintains its original location on St. James’s Street. Their style has changed once or twice over the years, and while they still stock their famous Bowler, Lock & Co also offer a vast range of seasonal hats for both men and women.
6 St. James’s Street, SW1A 1EF
Header Image © Philip Treacy