Buy your Louise Oliver ladies hat first, and then chose your dress. When you get the chance to wear a ladies hat, make the most of it and have fun looking stunning. Choose your ladies hat and matching bag, and then colour co-ordinate your dress. You can wear a dress any day. At a special occasion people will comment on your ladies hat, rather than your dress.

Louise Oliver millinery is all about colour co-ordinating, rather than colour matching your complete outfit in tones of the same colour, and Louise Oliver is about wearing your ladies hat over and over with different outfits.

“It is important to keep a sense of your own personality, to dress with the bride's taste in mind, not the mother of the bride's; and to let go of the idea that everything must match. Colour co-ordinated accessories are for the Queen and other older royals. Clash-chic is more fun.” The Daily Telegraph, 2nd May 2007

“The rules have changed, and it is considered quite old-fashioned for everything to match. Besides, hats, shoes and bags are so decorative now, it would be a shame to restrict yourself to one colour.” The Daily Telegraph, 27th July 2005

Ladies hats are the most feminine of accessories; they express your personality; be bold and wear ladies hats more often. Be feminine; let people look at you in a different light. Summer is a celebration of life; enjoy it; wear ladies hats, pretty dresses and jewellery; go for it.

It's part fashion physics, part chemistry, but when the right ladies hat and dress combine, the effect is pure magic.

If you have a white outfit, please do not try and match a white hat. Sinamay is a natural material and we cannot dye it dulux pure brilliant white, our white is as white as we can get it, we do also have ivory which is more yellowy. So if you have a black a white outfit, and are thinking of a black and white hat, if you are looking for pure brilliant white in the hat, please avoid this, and we suggest you introduce a colour in the hat, such as a hat in black & Red, or silver grey, or fuschia, and also to have your bag and shoes in that third colour.

If you want to wear all the same colour and look like the queen, then please avoid this as you probably wont be able to match the colour of the hat to be exactly the same as the colour of your outfit, and the colours will look different in different light conditions. Either go for clearly different tones of the same colour, or we suggest mixing different colours, eg

purple & fuschia
coral & aqua
pink & blue
purple & black
choco & natural
grey & cream
silver grey & pink

Please note that we do not make hats to order, all our hat designs and colours are shown on our website.

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Lemon Twist......WHY THE LADIES HAT WORKS: This swoop of black brings zing to a stark yellow mini. Plus, the curved lines of dress and hat add up to geometric perfection. STYLE NOTE: Unsung, saturated hues are spring's glamorous alternative to tepid pastels.

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Sheer Genius......WHY THE LADIES HAT WORKS: It's a millinery matter of fact: The more skin (you show), the more brim (you need). This formula feels especially fresh when sheer fabric makes a mega-hat feel flirty -- not formal. STYLE NOTE: The best advice the experts have for those with a fear of headwear? Get over it. (Please.) Ladies hats are not for the fashionably timid -- and special occasions such as Weddings and Ascot is no time to play it safe. So go for the big brim if it feels fantastic. You'll turn a few heads, but that's the point.

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Sleek Chic......WHY THE LADIES HAT WORKS: Not every dress -- or every woman -- calls for flowers and feathers. Here, the clean curves of a metallic ladies hat complement figure-skimming jersey. And unlike more complicated pieces, both of these are easy to wear. STYLE NOTE: Conventional wisdom usually dictates "big hat, small hair." But we've entered a season of two opposing hair philosophies: Keep it sleek and small or make it full and curly. So it's OK to experiment with either extreme. Just pay attention to the big picture. Here, voluptuous waves add the right hint of romance to an unadorned hat and simply cut dress.

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Gold Rush......WHY THE LADIES HAT WORKS: A flash of metallic gives soft, floaty chiffon a modern edge -- while adding visual verve to grass green. Gold can do the same for any hard-to-match color … so consider it before reflexively reaching for the expected black or neutral.

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Smouldering Pink......WHY THE LADIES HAT WORKS: Graphic black and white balance the girlie sweetness of pretty pink and bows.

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Bright Idea......WHY THE LADIES HAT WORKS: Special occasions such as Weddings and Ascot is not the day for timid color combos. A carnelian dress would be cute enough with a straw-colored counterpart. But underneath a gutsy orange-red brim, it shines. STYLE NOTE: When color (and ladies hats) are a focal point, layered accessories become superfluous.

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Flower Powered......WHY THE LADIES HAT WORKS: Lush red blooms look sexy -- not cliché -- with a swingy babydoll dress and a simple black background.

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Well Matched......WHY THE LADIES HAT WORKS: When a print (even a simple one) is involved, introducing a new hue -- or hues -- on a hat equals instant overkill. Here, brown on white has more visual impact when paired with its monochromatic mate. STYLE NOTE: Another reason to wear a ladies hat: It does the job of perfectly applied eye makeup -- drawing more attention to your eyes than the most elaborate color trio ever could. For that reason, MAC makeup artist Jessica Hill kept shadow to a minimum with every look here -- opting for soft neutral shades, a sweep of liner and, of course, mascara. Then she went for the movie-star mouth by applying rich, complementary creams with a same-color pencil for staying power.

Christine Fellingham, The Courier Journal, 4 April 2007 and photos thanks to the Courier Journal