The Milliner’s Market is a race wear enthusiast’s dream destination. A headwear shopping mecca, full of inspiration and glamour, complete with champagne bar!

I recently attended my first milliner’s market, held at Doomben race course in Brisbane, QLD. The market was a stall set up with 8 milliners, featuring their work.

They each displayed an array of hats in different colours and styles, which could be purchased on the spot.

millinery market convention carnival

I went with my sister-in-law Ali, as she has started to plan a FOTF outfit and was interested in purchasing her very first hat. We enjoyed a great night out and she was successful in finding her very first milliner-designed hat.

So, here are 5 reasons why YOU should attend a milliner’s market…

1. The Perfect Start

Going to a milliner’s market is a great way to be introduced to millinery, especially if you haven’t tried on, or purchased a hat before.

The vast amount of different stalls and styles allows you to try on a bunch of different shapes and decide what looks best on you.

You can also get a feel for fabrics, colours and prices, with milliners on hand to show you how the hat should be worn.

pink leather flower headpiece fascinator

Kate from J.A.R Millinery kindly assisting me to put on a beautiful pink leather flower piece.

trying on different hat styles

Ali trying on a crown and felt hat by Pink Lane Hats

Ali is a millinery novice, so she loved being able to try on all the different styles to see what suited her face shape. She decided her forehead was ‘too big’ (her words, not mine) for crowns and turbans, but she quite liked the look of perchers and pillbox styles.

She purchased her first hat with the help of Amy, from Pink Lane Hats, for a very reasonable price. Success!

2. Discover New Milliners

The variety out there is mind-boggling. Who would have thought there were so many variations to a hat!

The milliner’s market provides the opportunity for milliners to showcase their work, and also for shoppers to be introduced to newcomers and various designers.

Being able to see samples of their work is a fantastic way to see who you might want to purchase off in the future, or even have a bespoke hat made by them.

many milliners at convention expo

A few of the business cards I picked up on the night.

I tried on a different hat at each table and checked out the construction, price range and signature styles of each milliner.

I picked up business cards from the milliners whose work caught my attention and I now know where to go for my next hat!!

milliners market fascinator showcase

Table 1: Hats by Sandy A Milliner 2: Varelle O’Shanesy Millinery

purchase millinery store show

Table 3: Joli Boutique Millinery 4: Marilyn Vandenberg Millinery

racing fashion facebook group

3. Hats All in One Place

A lot of milliners have their stores online and don’t have a studio. It’s great being able to try on hats before purchasing them.

milano imai racing fashion blogger

Millinery by: Pink Lane Hats, Varelle O’Shanesy and Marilyn Vandenberg.

Being able to try on a variety of hats and compare them, all in the same place is a real treat.

Imagine having to drive around to 5 different milliner’s studios before making a decision on which hat you liked best. Then driving all the way back to the one you chose. And that’s if they even have a studio. The market saves a LOT of time.

4. Millinery Ideas, Inspo and Photos

Unlike my very organised sister-in-law, I hadn’t started planning anything for my upcoming race events, but after seeing so many beautiful hats on display I’m inspired to come up with an outfit so I can hurry up and get a hat made!!

I found some new styles and features I like, and if I can find a suitable outfit to go with it, I’ll go back to purchase the hat.

jewelled headbands and crowns

Meredith McMaster not only makes millinery but beautiful hand beaded and jewelled headbands and crowns too!

5. Drinking Champagne with Friends!

This is a good enough reason on its own to attend a milliner’s market. Hat shopping and champagne!

race friends millinery market convention

Katherine’s first time trying on millinery too!

When mulling over a tough hat decision, things get easier if you’re a bit tipsy. Having some tipsy friends on hand can also encourage a slightly expensive decision. Takes the edge off things ☺

Unfortunately, for me, I was driving. And I’m a bad Asian driver to begin with, so I didn’t partake….maybe next time we’ll Uber!

Behind the Scenes Footage

Here’s a video to give you a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to go to a milliner’s market…

List of Millinery Markets/ Conventions throughout Australia

Here are a few milliner’s markets throughout the country and some millinery conventions, where you can go to learn millinery skills and take workshops. If you know of any more let me know in the comments below!

buy rent hat fascinator millinery headpiece

If you’re looking for your next hat, another great way to see lots of hats all in one place is to check out Millinery Market! It’s an online marketplace where you can rent or buy new and used hats. 

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