Sported on the most number of guests at last year’s Royal Wedding, Vivien Sheriff continues to be the preferred milliner of the Duchess of Cambridge and one of the top to-go-to British milliners for handmade hats and bridal accessories.

Vivien Sheriff Bridal line by Vivien Sheriff

Designer and founder Vivien Sheriff (left) and one of the Vivien Sheriff Wedding Collection designs

It was “very much fun” working with the Duchess, says designer and founder Vivien Sheriff; she has been designing for the Middleton sisters and their family, long before Catherine Middleton’s marriage to Prince William.

“The Duchess prefers practical, less fussy designs,” shares Sheriff. “She knows what she wants, what suits her. And she wears many hat shapes well too.”

You’ll also be able to purchase covetable Vivien Sheriff designs, without flying abroad. Vivien Sheriff is now available here at Glamour Inc’s showroom while its bridal line is currently exclusive to The Prelude Bridal in Singapore.

We spoke to Sheriff over a phone interview: she shares with us some quick hat selection tips for all occasions.

Vivien Sheriff Autumn Winter 20121. It’s actually your shoulders that matters the most
The broader your shoulders, the bigger the hat that you can wear: so those lovely wide brimmed hats actually fit women with broad shoulders best.

Sorry petite girls, you’ll have to skip those large garden party hats; if you think that those hats look too big on you, they probably are.

2. Round faces are the perfect face shape for hats
Women with round faces will look good in just about any hat style. If you’ve a slender face, bigger hats will work better for you but do take your shoulder width into consideration. Women with small faces can carry off wide-brimmed hats if they’ve a set of broad shoulders.

3. Choose a smaller hat if you’re wearing glasses
While there’s nothing wrong with donning hats when you’ve got glasses or shades on, Sheriff says headwear in smaller sizes are more flattering on spectacle-wearers. A big hat and glasses is, simply put, “too much”. Choose a trilby, a fedora-style hat with a narrow brim instead of the regular fedora.

4. Hats for humid days
Find the Singapore weather too hot for hats? There’s no reason to give headwear a miss; just opt for lightweight hats that do not “squash” your hair, says Sheriff. These can be easily removed, if the weather’s really that intolerably warm.

Vivien Sheriff Autumn Winter 2012 Vivien Sheriff Autumn Winter 2012 Vivien Sheriff Autumn Winter 2012
Vivien Sheriff Fall/Winter 2012

Pick a hat with a comb underneath, like these Vivien Sheriff berets. You’ll also be able avoid “hat hair” as these are designed to be pinned and unpinned from your hair with ease.

5. Wear a fascinator or a hat tilted to the side if you’re going to be photographed
This is especially the case for weddings; you wouldn’t want to find your face half-hidden by your hat in the wedding photos.

It’s an important detail for the mother of the bride too. When you’re busy entertaining guests, tilted saucer-shaped hats are top picks because these are unfussy hats that do not obstruct your view; see eye-to-eye as you chat merrily with your guests.

Such hats are traditionally worn sideways, on the right side of your head; a hair band or a comb underneath will secure the hat tightly to your hair.

Of course, common courtesy states that you should tone down your hat choice at wedding; you’ll obstruct the view of guests seated behind you. Plus, you wouldn’t want to overshadow the bride on her big day either.

6. Accessories for bridesmaids
Want a “complete” look for your wedding? Get matching headwear for your bridesmaids; this will accentuate your wedding theme.

Bridal line by Vivien Sheriff Bridal line by Vivien Sheriff Vivien Sheriff wedding collection
Vivien Sheriff Wedding Collection

What you can do: adapt the bridesmaids’ hair accessory design from your intricate veil, in such that it becomes a “miniaturised” version of your bridal headwear. For instance, if your veil has pearls aplenty sewn on it, you could look for smaller fascinators with pearls for your bridesmaids.

7. Top bridal headwear trend: removable veils
Fascinators with removable veils are becoming more popular among brides, as these are pieces are suitable for other formal events too.

Simply detach the veil from the bridal headwear to wear it as a fascinator on future eveningwear occasions.

Some of these designs can even be adapted as a bracelet, or a brooch. Crystal bridal hair accessories are top favourites too as they resemble a “halo” when worn on your hair.

8. How to match your dress with your headwear
The usual accessory-and-dress matching rules apply. Pick a simple headpiece for a dress with plenty of detail and select hats in shades of the same colour family as your dress of the day.

It doesn’t have to be all “matchy-matchy” of course: classic colour pairings like gold with black are always chic.

A top wedding favourite: a fascinator with a “birdcage” veil, where the netting stops just under the eyes. This would match well with a princess-cut wedding dress with a big skirt.

Vivien Sheriff Wedding Collection at Prelude Bridal
The Vivien Sheriff Wedding Collection at The Prelude Bridal

Love a particularly flamboyant hair piece? Buy it, and built an outfit around it, suggests Sheriff. At the end of the day, your choice of hat is an expression of your personal style. You’ll need the personality to pull off loud hats too. As with any sartorial choice, feel confident and comfortable with what you’re wearing to make the look work for you.

Vivien Sheriff is currently being distributed in Singapore by Glamour Inc, 59 Eng Hoon, #01-55. Call 6575 3385 to visit the appointment-only showroom.

The Vivien Sheriff bridal line is stocked at The Prelude Bridal, 21A Duxton Hill, Tel: 6221 4982, website: