Terms of Hire

Let’s get things straight: we know hats are just frivolous items, a fun addition to an outfit. But they’re also expensive, extremely delicate and prone to damage and wear and tear. Here are our Terms of Hire and some tips on how to look after our hats. 

Our agreement with you

All hirers are asked to read and agree to these Terms before ‘we’ (Cotswold Hat Club) hire a hat to ‘you’ (the person hiring the hat).
- If you’re a Cotswold Hat Club member… We’ll ask you to read and agree to these Terms at the start of each annual subscription.
- If you’re a one-off hat hire customer… We’ll ask you to read and agree to these Terms every time you hire a hat.

What you pay

When you hire a hat from us, here’s what we charge you:
- Hire Fee 
- Deposit:
This is the same as the hire charge. If the hire fee is £50, the deposit is £50. When we receive the hat back in the exact condition you hired it, we return your deposit via the same payment method you used to pay it.
- Postage & Packing: We’ll let you know how much this is when you contact us about hiring a hat.

Delivery

Hat hire covers five days except during Royal Ascot week. 
We send all hats first class, with proof of postage. If you prefer, we can send hats via Next Day Delivery as long as you place your order before midday and we’ve received your payment and deposit.
We send hats in boxes, carefully wrapped in tissue and plastic. You must return them wrapped in the same way.
We don’t give refunds if you don’t wear the hat, it isn’t suitable or the event is cancelled. We recommend you try on a hat before you hire it.

Returning the hat

You agree that you’ll return the hat(s) you hire from us in the exact condition you hired it or that you’ll pay to repair or replace it.
You pay to return the hat if you're not dropping it back to us. The hat is your responsibility until it's delivered to us. Make sure you get proof of postage from the Post Office. 
You must return the hat, in its box, wrapped in the same way we delivered it to you.
If you hire a hat for a weekend event (Friday, Saturday or Sunday), you must return it no later than the following Wednesday. If you hire a hat for a weekday event (Monday – Thursday), you must return it no later than four working days after the event. 
If we don’t receive the hat back by the day you agree with us, we’ll charge you an extra day’s hire for each day it’s late. If you decide you need the hat for longer, just let us know as soon as possible and we can adjust your payment accordingly. And make sure we don’t hire the hat to someone else! 

Damage and repairs 

When you hire a hat from us, the deposit you pay would only cover minor repairs. If you’d like to know the cost of replacing the hat, in the unlikely event the hat is lost, stolen or damaged beyond economical repair, just ask us.
‘Damage’ includes loss of decorations or embellishments; marks or spoilage from water, oil or make-up, and scratches or material tears. 
If you return a hat with damage but our milliner believes it can be repaired, you agree to pay for the repairs and also postage if it has to be posted to the milliner. 
If you return a hat with damage that means we can’t hire it out again, you agree to pay the full cost of replacement. We don’t deduct the hire charge from this cost.

And finally…

Have fun! We’d love to see a photo of you wearing the hat at your event. Most of our customers have no problems with their hat hire and we’re delighted to share our collection of hats with you. If you have any questions or concerns, just get in touch.

printable version of the Terms and Conditions

Tips for keeping your hat safe 

- Choose a safe delivery location: If you can’t receive your hat delivery in person, make sure you choose a suitable place – for example, with a neighbour you trust rather than outside your home where it could get wet (this is worth stressing. Rain really does wreck hats).
- Avoid rain: Hats are very susceptible to damage from water. Even very slight drizzle can damage a hat beyond repair. Keep an umbrella with you and take shelter in the event of a wet day.
- Fingers off: Oily marks from food or moisturiser will mark a hat and the delicate fabric can’t be cleaned. Don’t touch your hat once it’s secured on your head. When you to take it off, wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
- Go light on make-up:Make-up or oily marks on hats are very difficult to remove so we recommend you don’t wear foundation or powder on the part of your forehead which touches the hat. Blot your skin with tissue to remove oil before you fit the hat. 
- Don’t over-stretch the elastic: If you’re wearing your hair down for your event, pop it in a loose bun when you secure your hat. Hat elastics are quite tough but they can snap it they’re stretched too much over and under long hair.
- Know when to put your hat to bed: We know you’ll be having fun but don’t forget the hat isn’t as robust as you are. When the dancing starts (woop!), remove the hat, wrap it up and store it back in its box, somewhere safe. (Not under a table, behind the bar or on a chair!) In our experience, it’s best to do this while your drinks tally is still in single-figures…!