Hats Off to L’Hiver!

By June 22, 2011

L’Hiver, the Netherlands-based custom hat company, has produced the industry’s first safety-compliant grand prix appropriate dressage top hats. The headgear is approved by Europe’s TNO and TUV Rheinland safety groups, as well as the Dutch National Institute of Road Vehicles.

The hats became available in Europe in June, and come in black, dark blue, dark brown and dark gray. Company spokesman H.W. de Winter said the firm has been studying up on helmet safety requirements in the U.S. so they can begin producing compliant versions for sale here.

The company’s website says of L’Hiver’s business:  “We specialise in top-hats and aristocratic headwear, each one individually crafted to meet the specific requirements of our customers.” The hats are custom-produced, and fitted by appointment, based on detailed measurements that take into account the “size, height and shape [of the head], to ensure that the end-result matches the customer’s face exactly.”

While the top hat itself runs about two sizes larger than one would usually order, because of the built-in  safety helmet, explains de Winter, the size of the inside of the helmet is again your ‘normal’ size.”

The headpieces are tailored at L’Hiver’s workshop in Uden, The Netherlands, and delivery typically takes 3-6 months, depending on the materials chosen, and whether or not the client requests a hatbox. “There are so many possibilities. To make a safety hat like this, we work 25 till 30 hours on 1 hat!,” de Winter says.

For more information, visit www.lhiver.nl

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