My Hat: Pinkham Millinery

After a recent conversation here at Royal Hats about how we can all support the millinery industry,  I received several messages about custom hats readers have purchased. The stories attached to these hats are too wonderful not to share so that’s precisely what I’m going to do! We kick off this new series with a message I received from Angele:

I’ve read your blog for many years but I’m not one for commenting.  Yet I couldn’t resist the temptation to share my own recent hat purchase at Pinkham Millinery here in Portland, Oregon.  It has been a rough year and a half for the owner of Pinkham with everything going on and if my sharing results in even one extra sale for Dayna I would be thrilled.  She made the hat for me to go with my vintage 1970s coat.  Picking out the perfect color for the hat I wanted, then digging through her piles of ribbons, and having it fitted just perfect was an amazing experience.  Everyone at least once should get to have something special made just for them.  I feel like a movie star every time I put on my hat.

How did you choose this style?
This particular hat was all based on my 1970s wrap coat.  It has a rather oversized, fluffy collar and I did not want a hat which had such a large brim as to bump the coat’s collar in the back.  With Dayna’s help I tried on different styles to see what would work with the coat, and of course, what I liked best.  We ended up both really liking this style with the dramatic slice coming down over my right eye.  A little 1940s movie star look I think, yet somehow working well with the 70s coat.  It has the perfect brim in the front and Dayna made sure to trim up the brim in the back keeping it easily wearable.  She was very good about letting me try on lots of different things and then adjusting the brim and crown angles just so to get the perfect look.

What help did the milliner (Dayna) offer during the process that you particularly appreciated?
There were two really great aspects of working with Dayna.  First is that I know her hats are amazingly built and will last for years.  I have a few vintage hats I wear from the 50s and 60s.  I have no doubt that in 50 years her hats will still look perfect and someone will be wearing them talking about the great vintage hat they found; they are just that well made.  Second, she was really patient with me and excited to help.  I walked in and said, “I have this coat, it needs a hat but I don’t know what hat.”  The only thing I knew was it had to be deep red.  As Dayna put it, “The perfect shade of lipstick.”  She was great about taking the time to try different styles and then have me back for a fitting partway through the process to make sure the fit was exact.  When it came time to pick the ribbon we looked all through her huge collection of ribbons to find the right one.  The whole time Dayna was having just as much fun as I was. Of course, an added bonus to all of this was getting to hang out in her shop and play with her sweet, little dog too.  I’m a sucker for a shop dog.

How does this hat feel different to wear than other hats? 
I do wear hats pretty regularly: vintage, squishable sun hats, $10 hats from the mall, nicer finds off Etsy.  But having a hat made by a real milliner you can just tell the quality of the hat is so much better than anything else you can find.  Reading Royal Hats has probably made me a little bit of a hat snob, or at least better able to tell me what to look for in a quality made hat!  Pinkham Millinery makes very streamlined, non-fussy hats.  There is no room to hide a poorly made hat under a lot of decoration.  I love putting this hat on because it feels perfect.  It fits exactly, it is the exact color I wanted (I know because Dayna let me look through all the shades of red in the shop), the brim shape was cut exactly to fit with my coat, and even the crown was shaped so the dip would line up with my right eye exactly.  While I love all my hats this one in particular is special because I know it was made to make me look and feel amazing.


Angele- your hat is stunning! I adore the jaunty brim, the asymmetrical crown, the sleek lines and the gorgeous colour. You truly look amazing in it and I’m thrilled it makes you feel amazing as well. That’s exactly what a hat should do.

Does anyone else have a story to share about a bespoke hat?

Images from social media as indicated. 

13 thoughts on “My Hat: Pinkham Millinery

  1. Oh’ goodness, you’ve all left me blushing. Thank you so much for your kind words about the hat and my vintage coat. (yes, the purse is vintage too, 1960s) If one is going to have 15 minutes of fame a better place than this blog could hardly be found. I’ve been wearing the hat around town a great deal and even packing in a hat box to take to a new city for Thanksgiving. Even made it into recent family pictures. It is already a well-loved piece in my closet.
    Thanks so much Royal Hats for the compliment of sharing my story, and here’s to many hat wearing days for all of us in the future.

  2. What a wonderful post! Angele, you look FAB.U.LOUS in your hat. Film star glamour indeed and you can tell from your expression that you feel as great as you look! Reading of your experience makes me want to do some research and find out if there is a milliner nearby!

  3. For some strange reason Royal Hats Blog has gone straight into my SPAM folder these last couple of days, but when I fished it out this morning this particular post made my heart jump!

    Angele, you look perfectly beautiful and your description of the visit to your milliner and the process of choosing the shape and materials for your hat is spot on.
    You are so right in saying that everyone should get to have something bespoke made for them at least once; it makes one feel so good and gives a real boost to the self esteem! I love the way you combined that great vintage coat (and handbag?) with a carefully designed new hat. They will both last you for years to come: that is sustainable fashion at is best.

    The colour of your hat is gorgeous (it is what a Parisian milliner friend of mine would call “Hermès rouge”) and the shape suits you perfectly well. Your milliner did a great job. You look very glamorous and I’m sure you will get compliments wherever you go!

  4. Your hats fabulous, so much fun to embrace bespoke millinery. I’m getting a distinct 1940’s glamorous spy look, you look like you’ve stepped off the silver screen!

  5. Just fabulous, Angele! You would fit right in with the royal family walking to church on Christmas in this hat and coat. Kudos to Pinkham Millinery for its design, workmanship, and service!

    Thanks so much for sharing your story.

  6. You look terrific! The match of hat to you and the coat really looks good. I like the feeling of 1940’s film star. Where’s Humphrey Bogart……?

  7. What a lovely post and so thoughtful of Angele to write in. Angele, your selection if fabulous and I love your entire look. Dayne is a marvelous master milliner and one of the kindest souls. And so many thanks, Royal Hats Blog, for all you do. Your posts are always my favorites. ❤

  8. Angele, you look fantastic in your new hat! The deep red color is not only great with your beautiful coat, but with your hair and lovely eyes as well. You’re a Christmas “angel,” no doubt. BTW, even though the wonderful coat is so classic and versatile, and many different colored hats would be most attractive when paired with it, your choice is exquisite. Congratulations, and happy wearing on those cold days.

  9. I am a hat appreciator. I wish hats were “de rigeur” here in the states. Loved your story and you do look as fantastic as you feel.

  10. What a fun feature idea!

    Angele, you look ready for race day at Cheltenham. Love everything about your outfit. Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. Wow Angele, I love this hat and it suits your vintage coat fantastically! The color, the design, that jaunty angle, it’s all perfect! Such a classic shape and materials that, as you said, will no doubt be admired and loved when this hat itself is vintage/an antique. And no need to apologize for becoming a hat snob; I myself have become more particular over the years. Looking forward to more of this series, and thanks again Angele for kicking it off!

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