How The Award-Winning Hat Maker Got Her Start
by Diane Oliva, style editor
Tiffany Arey, owner of Tiffany Arey Millinery, has had a lifelong interest in fashion and design. She always loved hats and enjoyed wearing them. But, she could never find the perfect hat. Sadly, the days of hat shops are long gone. And according to Tiffany, she has a hard-to-fit head, making the search even more difficult.
After another tireless search for a hat to wear to the 2011 Devon Horse Show, Tiffany decided to make her own. And …she won the hat contest.
Tiffany is primarily self-taught, learning the technique of millinery by buying old vintage hats. She would meticulously take them apart to see how they were constructed and put them back together. It was instinctive to her.
Now, Tiffany is a member of the U.S. Milliner’s Guild. Her hats and headpieces have won awards at the Devon Horse Show and Radnor Hunt Races. Her hats have also been worn at Fair Hill Races, Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, the Belmont Stakes, Royal Ascot and the Melbourne Cup.
One aspect that Tiffany loves about millinery is how each piece is painstakingly handmade. That’s the opposite of the fast-fashion trend we are all starting to walk away from. Tiffany’s pieces will be well loved and worn for years before being handed down to the next generation.
Working out of her studio in Reading, Tiffany works personally with clients and sells online. Not quite ready to commit to buying a custom hat? Tiffany rents hats at very reasonable prices.
What kind of hat is right for you? “There is a hat for everyone, so don’t be afraid to try a variety of styles to see what works for you,” Tiffany says. “A hat is a celebration and should make you feel great.”
Tiffany hopes women will start wearing hats for all occasions, not just horse racing events. And I completely agree! Remember how special you felt when you were little and got dressed up on a spring day? Mom put that little white hat on you. (You know … the one with the blue or pink ribbon.) And it was amazing. We can feel that special again. Wear a hat!
Want to read other fashion-focused stories? Read about hat maker Zoya Egan, sneaker designer Darrell Alston, and the best consignment stores in our area.
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[…] to read other style stories? Read about milliners Tiffany Arey and Zoya Egan, and Paoli sneaker designer Darrell […]
[…] this story? Read about local hatmakers Tiffany Arey and Zoya Egan. And don’t miss Diane Oliva’s list of amazing consignment stores on the […]