Are your hats really made by hand?

Yes, all of our hats are made by hand, at the Rod Keenan New York studio in New York City. This does not mean that we do not use sewing machines – we do. It means that each hat is hand crafted, using a combination of hand-stitching, machine sewing, and loving care. We do not use hot glue guns, ever. Beware any milliner who does.

Do you repair vintage hats?

We do not repair vintage hats. We are generally willing to work with clients who have old or new-found favorites to create a modern replica. Please contact us directly to discuss production estimates for such work.

Can I get this hat in a different color?

Some hats are available in other colors, some are not. If a hat is not specifically offered in a choice of colors, chances are it is either not available in another color, or will cost more.

Can I have a hat made to match my (insert garment type here)?

It is possible. See “Can I get this hat in a different color” above, and be prepared to send a fabric sample.

Do you make women’s hats?

Yes, we do, but we do not offer a line of women’s hats. Each request must be considered individually. Please contact us directly to discuss production estimates for such work. As you may notice from viewing our current collection, traditionally feminine hat trimmings, such as flowers, birds, etc., are not something we generally work with. While exceptions may be made, please do not call requesting a hat trimmed with silk flowers to be shipped out to you by FedEx for your daughter’s wedding in two days. It will not happen.

Do you make bridal veils?

No. Well, actually, yes, if you insist, but it is likely that any veil we make will cost more than the bride’s wedding gown. Chances are that any veil we design will be neither white nor made of lace. If these are not problems for you, please contact us immediately – we have worked with brides before, and know how long these things take. We do not, under any circumstance, attend weddings for proper fittings of the veils we make – the hairdresser is responsible for the bride’s veil. If you do not believe us, ask your hairdresser. If the wedding is at the Gritti, we will actually make an exception, should you wish to provide us transport and appropriate accommodations (a suite).

What size hat do I need?

If you do not know your own hat size, do not be embarrassed. Most people don’t. Simply have a friend take a tape measure, and measure your head where you want the crown of your hat to rest. While you can do this yourself, the measure will be more accurate if you have someone do it for you. See our hat size chart for details.

What if I don’t like my hat?

Our custom orders are produced only after receipt of payment. Obviously we want you to be happy with your purchase, but we cannot refund any monies. If you are uncertain, we strongly suggest you visit one of our retailers to get a feel for our product before you place an order. Since we do not keep hats in stock, any returned hats typically end up being donated to charity, or given to a nephew for Christmas. And while the charities are always happy to hear from us, we are receiving complaints from the nephews, who are much more
interested in Play Station… whatever that is.

Why can’t I get all my money back?

While we understand that the Land’s End return policy has established in the mind of many consumers the absolute right to return anything they want anytime they want, you will find it customary among most of our retailers that couture-quality garments are not returnable. This is due to the fact that while someone may want, say, a red mad-hatter for a special event, he may not want to actually own a red mad-hatter. We are not a rental shop. And once we make a custom hat, it cannot be sold individually to a retailer, nor will any other custom client want the hat made to your specifications in your size. We do not keep hats in stock, and unlike a mammoth mail-order retailer, we cannot charge back the costs of returned merchandise to an overseas manufacturer- we absorb all the cost ourselves, right here in our little studio.

Why is there cat hair on my hat?

The muses of Rod Keenan New York are actually two very peculiar cats, named Ckat and Beast. They oversee every aspect of production. They are particularly fond of sitting in the lap of anyone trying to get any stitching done. In an effort to make sure that our high-quality shipping standards are maintained, they also jump into most shipping boxes during the packing process. We have tried to train them to actually stitch and package the hats, but they remain firmly entrenched in their management positions. While every effort is made to ensure that our hats are impeccable upon receipt, you may notice a cat hair or two either on your hat or in your packaging. Consider it an “Inspected by Beast” label, if black, or an “Inspected by Ckat” label if gray or white. Dispose of it as you would any other inspection tag. If you are strongly allergic to cats, take appropriate measures.

The hat you made for me changed my life! How can I ever thank you?

We love champagne and fresh flowers. Please see our contact page to see where to send gifts of thanks.

What about this website?

Despite the fact that we just underwent a major redesign, we typically take a somewhat laissez-faire approach to this website. While we try to make sure that everything on the site is as accurate and up-to-date as possible, we are milliners, not techno-whatever-they-call-themselves. The more time we spend on this page, the less time we have to make hats and drink coffee. We thought about making a website with animated graphics and sounds and things but every time we go to one of those pages, our computer either crawls or crashes, so we decided to stick to something simple and clean. Very minimal… no? Almost Bauhaus (well, except for the hats).

The prices listed on this website are subject to change at any time. If you don’t believe us, ask our suppliers. Their prices seem to change while we walk around their shops… So, if you see a price of $110 listed on this site, then call and find out the price has actually risen to $120 because our suppliers went up on their costs, do not necessarily expect that this site will be immediately updated to reflect the change. Do not call us back with an “Ah-ha! Bait and switch!” We have no interest in baiting or switching anybody. We will get around to it sooner or later, but…

It takes time and effort to get this website updated. We would much rather read a book, or go shopping, or go to the opera, or go to the beach, or have tea, or, well, almost anything. It will be updated at least seasonally, to post new collections, but beyond that, it will be updated only as the spirit moves us. The spirit typically moves us in some other direction.

By the way, we do have a new webmaster/designer, but he works for hats so his inspiration mirrors ours. Nevertheless, if you have any site-related compliments or questions (especially technical ones – we don’t “do” technical questions), you might try contacting him.