When I found myself in need of a new bonnet but my regular bonnet maker was on hiatus, I wasn’t really sure where to turn. I’m too cheap (ie poor) for DLC or Talisman but at the same time I’m really picky about materials, fit, and execution. Most of them just miss the mark for me in some way or another. I had a bonnet from If The Bonnet Fits last year and liked the execution and fit, but it wasn’t made from mercerized cotton, which I really prefer. So when I saw on facebook that she was starting to offer mercerized cotton, I jumped at the chance to be one of the first to try it.
She was also offering a new shape – a more contoured side edge to reduce the amount of extra fabric under the sides of the bridle and around the eye. I decided to try that option too, and because I’m always super difficult (sorry world), I also asked for ear embroidery. Although she isn’t quite set up to do embroidery yet on her own (I hear it’s coming soon!) she moved heaven and earth to get it done for me and make sure it was done well. Excellent customer service.
The price was extremely economical – mercerized cotton bonnets start at only $45, which includes 2 rows of trim (cord, crystals, or pearls). Acrylic bonnets start at $35. Additional embellishments are $5 per row, lined ears for sound sensitive horses are $10, hand made tassels are $10, and custom bead strands start at $10. She can also sew patches on to the front. Her prices are much cheaper than most bonnet makers out there, with almost all the same options. The real question was – how would it look?
Answer: lovely. Really lovely. The fit is perfect – it comes to just the right spot above his eye, the squared edge is just the right width, the ears fit perfectly, and there’s enough fabric behind the poll to accommodate my wide PS of Sweden crownpiece. I really like the tapered edge, especially since my bridles don’t have throatlatches – the regular more square sides end up with a lot of extra fabric hanging out.
I searched the bonnet from top to bottom and back again, looking for something that I could grumble about and honestly I found nothing. The stitch ITBF uses is tighter than a lot of my other bonnets, which I have come to prefer. It doesn’t stretch out or snag on things so easily, and it lays much flatter to the horse’s head when in motion. No flipped up bonnet edge whipping around the ears, since it’s got a little more structure and weight to it.
Obviously I didn’t opt for crystals or beads or anything like that, just two rows of good old fashioned cord. Everything is securely attached and survived it’s first wash in pristine condition. Overall I would definitely recommend If The Bonnet Fits… the price you pay for the quality you get just can’t be beat.