Miss Benford's Emporium

Step inside, cast off your 21st century garb, and enjoy shopping for all manner of apparel and accessories from the past.  Most are hand made by Lisa with as much attention to historic detail as possible but at an affordable price.  Or perhaps you would prefer to splash out on something a little more indulgent with a one-off piece or a luxurious silk creation.

This little shop of historical treasures is named after Lisa’s grandmother Norah, who, as a young woman worked as a milliner.  She would tell how it was her task to open up the shop and how she usually managed to have a hat completed before the boss arrived.  She made nearly all her own clothes and was never seen without matching handbag and shoes and, of course, a hat.

Not only did Lisa inherit her sewing skills from her grandmother via her own talented mother, but also her passion for music.  Norah was a highly talented pianist and as a small child Lisa would sit under the piano as she played, marvelling at how her fingers seem to fly over the keys effortlessly.  Sadly, women were not encouraged into a career, especially as a musician, in Norah’s day, and her own modesty and shyness ensured that her immense talent remained hidden behind closed doors.  She didn’t live long enough to see her granddaughter become a professional musician but there is little doubt that this kindred spirit was with her every step of the way.

Do come in and explore sample items from the shelves of Miss Benford’s Emporium. All the pieces have been thoroughly researched and are inspired by contemporary fashion plates or museum pieces. Every hat is ‘made to measure’ at no extra cost and Lisa is always happy to take commissions and discuss customers’ requirements when it comes to colour, fabric or the need to match an existing outfit. All items are available to purchase from her Etsy shop where you will find fuller descriptions and prices. Just click on the link below to enter.

The Lizzy

The Lizzy – A soft crowned Regency style hat with a medium sized buckram, hand wired brim that beautifully frames the face.

The Eleanor

A soft crowned Regency hat with ruching on the crown that adds to the rich colours of the fabric.

The Emma

A ‘jockey cap’ style hat with a small, hand wired buckram brim. It is ideal for short hair styles.

The Lydia

A structured and fully wired and mulled buckram framed stovepipe bonnet, richly decorated with feathers and ribbon

The Georgiana

A structured and fully wired poke style bonnet, with pale inner lining to the brim to reflect light onto the face. Flamboyantly decorated with feathers, flowers and ribbon.

The Kitty

Modelled after a military Shako hat this wired buckram frame is dramatically decorated with braid, cord, tassels and a handmade cockade.

The Susan

A very feminine, gathered crown hat with a small, hand wired buckram brim in contrasting colour.

The Dorothy

A 1920’s style cloche hat popular in the ‘flapper’ era with contrasting brim fabric and vintage buckle decoration.

The Harriet

A Tam style Regency replica hat available in velvet or taffeta.

The Cassandra

Made to honour Jane Austen’s sister and confidante and copied from extant Regency examples. It has a full buckram brim and uses crisp faux silk for the puffed crown.

The Jane

A replica bonnet taken from the watercolour portrait of Jane Austen created by her sister Cassandra. It has a soft crown and a large buckram, hand wired brim with ruched trim and bow.

Travel to Miss Benford's Etsy shop front