Monday, 21 January 2013

Fabhatrix (Love Letter from Edinburgh)

After an incredibly mild Christmas and New Year, winter has come to London and snow has been falling these past few days. Aside from causing me to joyfully skip and dance in the snowfall, the sudden need to pull down my winter hats has spurred me on to write this long overdue post about Fabhatrix.

You will have glimpsed Fabhatrix before on this blog. Like a friend of a friend who has caught your attention once or twice at a party and intrigued you, but to whom you have never had the chance to speak. This summer just gone, one of their creations appeared at the Chap Olympiad, a whole long half-year since you first caught wind of them on an autumn visit to Kew Gardens.

And now, the purpose of this post is to formally introduce you.

I first became aware of Fabhatrix when getting to know a workmate who is now one of my best friends here in London. Somehow, on one occasion or another, it came up in conversation that her mother was a milliner, with a hat shop in Edinburgh. I was enchanted by this fact - how wonderfully exotic to have a milliner in the family! I swore to myself, and to my friend, that I would visit the shop when I next had the good fortune to be in Edinburgh.

In September 2011, I found myself in Scotland to meet up with The Cat's parents, who were visiting from abroad. Fabhatrix was firmly on the 'must see' list. As it was around my birthday time, my mum had said I could buy a hat for myself as a birthday present from her. Which was rather a nice thought, my mum buying a hat for me made by my friend's mum.

But I was slightly nervous about visiting the shop... What if I just didn't like any of the hats in there? What would I say to my friend if I thought them all hideous? What would I say to her mother, who was expecting me at the shop?

But there was no fear of that!

The problem turned out to be having to select just one out of the wonderful selection. Fortunately I had some sense of what I wanted, which was a cloche, so that focused my attention a little and I ended up walking out with this little number:

Hastily snapped before catching a train from Edinburgh Waverley...

... Oh, yes, and this little number too. So much for choosing just one:

In rural Nottinghamshire over Christmas 2011

And that wasn't the last Fabhatrix hat given as a gift within my family. No, with my dad's 60th birthday that year, I wanted to get him something useful and fittingly dignified for a new sextarian. So I offered to replace his beanie with a tweed flatcap. With a family trip up to Edinburgh for Hogmanay 2011, it was the perfect chance to purchase his belated birthday cap. So back to Fabhatrix it was. The focus of their workshop is women's hats but we found something for my dad in the hand-picked selection of men's hats they source and sell.

Somehow, I don't have a close-up photo of his hat but here's a snap of him, behatted, walking down the street in Edinburgh with my mum. Oh yes, and while we were trying on hats for dad, Mum couldn't resist trying on a few herself and ended up walking out with one too!

Mum and Dad in their Fabhatrix hats

Mum outside the shop, on Edinburgh's Grassmarket

So, next time you're in Edinburgh, I absolutely urge you to make a visit. Or you can check out their more limited but terribly convenient online store, even if you have no hope of visiting Edinburgh now or anytime soon. Oh, and they do bespoke hats too, if you're feeling like being particularly fancy and commissioning something perfect for a special outfit.

And I just have to end by making absolutely clear that I'm not raving about Fabhatrix just because I'm a friend of the family that own and run it. Though I probably don't really need to clarify that because anyone can see for themselves that I'm just raving about them because they are so unarguably, well, fab!


  1. Yay! I love fabhatrix!! I just got a lovely cloche for my birthday and there are so many other hats I love in that store!!

    1. It is a great place to pick up a treat for a special occasion such as a birthday... You kind of need to limit yourself to special occasions or you might easily buy the whole shop up over time!

  2. Amazing shop! I like your choices and your blue suitcase. :-)

    1. Thanks! I realise there's a whole lot of blue going on there, now I think about it!

  3. Definitely a wonderful shop with much to delight. Lovely milliner too. the cloche style suits you beautifully. That Harris Tweed with a feather is enticing me back. So is ... and ... So many textures and patterns! Even the reflection in the window outside and the view through the window from inside, is special.

    1. Definitely a lovely milliner too! And thanks for your comment about the cloche. I was so pleased that I liked the look of it on me as much as I liked the idea!

  4. Oh my the cloche is perfect on you and I love the blue one as well and that dress is beautiful! xx

    1. Thank you! The dress I'm wearing is one of my favourites but for some reason it's never made it onto this blog before... Perhaps because it's one that definitely needs ironing and I'm so lazy! Ha!