Friday, February 13, 2015

Thoughts of a Millinery Collector: Triple Fortune Bonnets

Hey there and thanks for stopping by. Today I'm going to shed some light on some of the popular bonnets that Triple Fortune produces. I currently have two of their older full style bonnets and three of the newer crescent half style bonnets. I know since the event at Rufflecon ( you can view my experience at the convention here ),  their own event Brilliant Star, and their appearance at La Vie En Rose; Triple Fortune has become intensely popular in the Western world as well as in the Japanese lolita scene. Now not only is this duo dabbling in millinery and clothing, they also perform!

These bonnets are bit on the elusive side, but are obtainable at their physical events, Atelier Pierrieot, and KERA online as well as purchase/special order at any physical KERA. And as always, secondhand is always an option, but the competition can be fierce. I plan on doing an in depth How to Buy Tutorial but I am still waiting on a couple of items from the various ways I have procured them, before writing this up.

So lets get started! First up is the older full bonnet style. 

This is a fuller rounder style of the two. The brim measures to 13.5'/34.5 cm across not including lace and 4.5"/11.5cm tall and the depth 2.5"/6.5cm for the back covered portion of the bonnet.

The brim of the bonnet is laced with gathered chiffon and accompanied by a flower rose assortment attached to the top right corner. It is usually decorated with three different types of lace that usually drapes down over the wearer as well as on and over the top of the brim. 

The back of the brim is usually adorned with feathers of various colors depending on the bonnet color you purchase. [ I have only seen white and black ] It is most common for there to be one single feather with the older style and it is usually white. As to why they put white feathers with cream bonnets, I have no idea why but I think it has more to do with stock and what is readily available during the construction process rather than personal preference.

The back of the bonnet is plain except for the gathered chiffon covering the back hood; three roses adorn each side of the bonnet with a chiffon bow which drapes rather luxuriously when worn. The six roses have always been a color to match the particular bonnet color and can be different from the front rose.

Under the lace, you can see the exposed seam of the gathered chiffon as well as the canvas that makes up the top brim of the bonnet. It's not easily seen with the aid of the lace but I wish it were also not exposed? This is the inside of the hood. A triple fortune label is placed just inside. The seams and sewing are all straight, uniform, and clean. Depnding on the size of your head this particular bonnet might be a challenge to wear as the hood is on the shallow side and may be harder if also adorning a wig. This style is no longer in production and is usually found second hand.

It has been my experience when wearing this style to butt the back part of the bonnet against the back of your head and press forward as much as you can. From there within the holes of the overhanging lace, carefully bobbypin the bonnet to your wig and head. You will usually have to pin it at the top as well as each side to keep it firmly in place. By doing this it ensures that the bonnet stays forward and upright and does not flop forward to look like you're wearing a weird hat.

Next up is the newer half bonnet style which is a little bit more versatile.

This is the taller style of the two. The brim measures to 12"/31 cm across not including lace and 5.5"/14.5cm tall from the base to the top ridge of the bonnet.

The brim of the bonnet is laced with gathered chiffon just as the old style and accompanied by a flower rose assortment; though it is placed on the left side. On the the top right corner there is a pleated ribbon embellishment with a crown on the right side. This particular one is  decorated with three different types of lace that usually drapes down over the wearer and over the top of the brim just as the other bonnet does.

Something to note about the ribbon decoration is that it is actually glued into the bonnet so these items can't be removed or moved about on the bonnet with ease.

This bonnet has two feathers that are white and fastened to the left side. The base is similar in the aspect that it too has a bundle of three roses attached to each side of the bonnet. With all three of the new style that I own, the back flowers have been this peachy cream color and there has not been much variation in the flower colors in regards to the color of the bonnet. I think the only time they might be different is if it is black.

The back of the bonnet being a half, is open and there is an additional ribbon a well as some lace to further decorate it. I think it's a nice touch but I'm not so sold on the satin on these in comparison to the chiffon used.

These photos are of the inside of the bonnet to show the exposed bottom of the gathering of chiffon thats usually hidden under the front part of lace. All the sewing and lines are pretty clean and you can tell that someone has hand sewn the comb into the top part of the bonnet. Under the comb you can see the Triple Fortune brand tag, very similar to the previous one, just a different color. 

These bonnets are a lot easier to wear. They pop on pretty easy and the added comb helps to keep them in place if wearing them with your natural hair or with the added thickness of wearing a wig. I usually end up pinning the bonnet on the sides though just for added security and have never really had any problems with keeping this particular style rigid and upright during the course of a day given they are taller than their counterparts. 

The breakdown: 

 A notable difference between the old style and the new style are the hood portions which are nonexistent in the new, and the lack of ribbon accompaniment which is usually located on the right side with the crescent version. The newer versions when worn come down to points like a half moon while the full style ends at an abrupt angle and squares off just at the jawline. The older style is also a bit thicker so it sits higher when stored as well because of the added backing.

There is use of chiffon in the older style which is replaced by satin with the predecessor; this is also seen in the use of the bows on the back style of the bonnet. I do sort of think the satin looks cheap in comparison to the chiffon though, but I like the fact that the brim is taller with new ones so I feel that is an even trade off. The flowers of the older series have a lot more color and depth as the newer versions are much more plain.

I really feel like the newer style is a lot easier to wear but the elegant touches of the older version holds a lot of sway with me so I feel these are evenly matched. I guess it just depends on what your personal preference is with stiff brim bonnets and I'm pretty adaptable so I'm content with both.

I have included photos wearing both the new and old style. You can see with the newer bonnet it has a defined crescent shape while the other is much more rounded and blunt at the bottom that resembles more of a halo..

The old rounded style

The new crescent style

Which style do you ultimately prefer?

Bonus: Bonifide Bonnet Storage : 

In addition to this I figured it might also be interesting to show I store my bonnets, as these are not the only ones I own. A friend once asked about this on Rufflechat, if I remember correctly a while back, and I actually have a worthwhile answer now. 

It has been in my experience bonnet stacking is a rational way to store your bonnets, but if you want a more realistic approach I would strongly suggest decorative boxes. With these I can fit three Triple Fortune bonnets nicely with room for other millinery items. I usually stack two new style to every one style on top so as to give the full bonnet that added rise it needs to not smash the back during storage.

So far I have about three of these boxes just for bonnets and they've held up quite nicely. You can pick them up at your local craft store for next to nothing if you watch the sales. I have also tried looking into hat boxes, but most of the ones I'd found in stores can't accommodate the depth needed to store as many as these boxes do while still keeping the cost down. 

I hope this has been informative to those of you interested in all the rage that are Triple Fortune bonnets. Check back again with more reviews and rantings from yours truly! 


  1. Thank you so much for this post! I want to try my hand at making my own bonnets soon, and I've often wondered about the logistics of the triple fortune ones, especially the measurements and construction details. Though I wouldn't do it the same way outright, your post is very helpful in figuring out where to begin so thank you!

    1. It is an absolute pleasure if it brought you some insight and informative for you! If you'd like further information, measurements, or any other photos please do not hesitate to ask as I would galdly love to help any way I can.

  2. Gosh when you show the details up close like that they are even more impressive *_* I've never worn a bonnet, I'd like to but it's just never something I've thought about. Even if you weren't to wear them, they look beautiful in boxes the way you have them stored. I'm inspired to try one on if I can find it in the Kera shop next time I'm in Japan, I think I'll probably fall in love with them...

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    1. They also carry them at Atelier Pierrot and cc if you're lucky. Also it should be noted they are pretty big and can be quite a sight if you haven't worn a lot on your head before.

      I'm also writing up a how to buy if you're infrared so keep an eye out and thank you for reading <3