Our Story

Louise Claire Millinery opened its doors on the 30th of October 2004, having purchased a local hat hire business, the then owner was retiring. It was moved to 36 St Marys Street where it remains to this day. We offer both a bespoke and hire service, an average stock of 1000 hire hats and fascinators are carried at any one time.

Louise having finished school went to study fashion at the University of the Arts in Oxford Street, in London, previously known as the London College of Fashion. She originally started in business by designing and making one off, made to measure garments for various clients, from wedding dresses, evening wear to business and leisure wear.

Louise had always made her own outfits for Ascot and Henley and therefore always required unique hats, often difficult to find, and it was at this point that she became interested in millinery. Further training and exams to acquire the new skills required were completed. To date she has added 10 separate millinery qualifications to her portfolio, she has attended many courses in order to keep pace with latest techniques. Also enjoying one to one sessions with renowned milliner Dillon Wallwork

During the time that she was making garments for clients there was a small established hire shop run from a private house in Wallingford. Louise found she was sending an increasing numbers of clients to that business to find a suitable match for the outfits that she had made. At that time Occasions as it was then known, had a limited supply of some 250 hats.

Therefore when the business came up for sale, due to the owner wishing to retire it made sense to purchase it. The owner at that time was thrilled to think that the business would continue. The business was purchased and moved into its current location in St Mary’s Street, and Louise Claire Millinery was opened on the 30th of October 2004 and has been there ever since. It was after opening Louise Claire Millinery that Louise took the decision to discontinue the making of garments and pursue her new found passion for the world of millinery.

Louise Claire Millinery both hire and sell hats, the busiest time being Royal Ascot followed by Henley Royal Regatta. The rest of the year we supply hats to many other events, Investitures at Buckingham Palace, other race meetings and of course weddings, which are no longer seasonal being all year round. Louise Claire Millinery now have customers from all over the world flying into the UK for various events, these are from Dubai, Hong Kong, Chicago, New York, Germany and Australia to name a few. More recently the various embassy’s in London for both bespoke and Hire.

"Fish Street Foundry"

36 St Mary's Street and Mill Lane

Louise Claire Millinery

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Wallingford - our special town