A Bonnet Resurgence

Phyllis Inspiration 18 Comments

While putting together Southern Lady’s May/June issue, our team came across Beaufort Bonnets, a company that makes unique children’s clothing. I instantly fell in love with their precious bonnets, and other products, made in classic Southern fabrics like gingham and seersucker. I hope you enjoy hearing about them too!

As seen in Southern Lady May/June 2016 issue:

Markey Hutchinson, owner and designer of The Beaufort Bonnet Company, had always dreamed of dressing her daughter in the kind of classic bonnet she and her sister sported in their early years, but her search for the perfect style for her little one on the way proved surprisingly difficult.

“Every bonnet I found was really dressy and frilly but not practical,” Markey recalls. “I wanted something Betsey would be able to throw on for the pool or beach or show off on Easter morning.”

By chance, in a photo of a friend’s baby, she spotted what she had been searching for—a pink gingham bonnet from a children’s store in Beaufort, South Carolina. The expectant mother obtained her own, and once Betsey arrived and began modeling the bonnet, Markey quickly realized others shared her instant affection for the piece. “Everywhere I went, women expecting babies, women with grandbabies, and even women who wanted grandbabies were asking where to get it,” she says.


After passing along a plethora of referrals, Markey, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, reached out to the store owners about teaming up, and in 2012, Markey bought the business from them. She renamed it to reflect its roots, despite her plans for development. “I always had intentions to add clothing and grow the brand, but wanted the name of the business to honor the bonnet that started it all,” she explains.

Since 2012, The Beaufort Bonnet Company has moved from a basement to a 2,500-square-foot office space in downtown Lexington—complete with a pink door. Clothing, swimwear, sleepwear, and accessories in seersucker and broadcloth have joined the original bonnet in the product lineup. “We offer classic styles and fabrics,” Markey says. “From bonnets and bucket hats to bloomer sets and Jon Jons, we have the sweetest looks for children that will continue to be in style year after year.

“I never imagined this little bonnet would build our company to where we are today,” Markey continues. “We truly love and value our customers, we love what we do, and that seems to have taken us a long way.”

 Did your babies wear bonnets?

Comments 18

  1. My mother in law, made a tiny bonnet, for my daughter her only granddaughter, so she received so many home made dresses too. She even knitted a blue and red hat for my son. I have kept everything she made for them who knows one day their children could be using them..

  2. So adorable! I always put caps and hats on my boys and they had their own “bonnet” when they were newborns to protect them from the sun. Wishing Markey the best in her business!

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  3. I love baby bonnets and the one shown is adorable. I had a boy so no bonnets for him, back in 1972. However, I collect Teddy Bears, among many other antiques. So of course, some of them have to be wearing darling baby dresses as well as bonnets. I also have displayed bonnets hanging from the posts of a 4 poster bed as well.

    Congratulations to Markey and her business. I will look for it if ever in Beaufort.

  4. What a sweet revival of these charming baby bonnets! As a milliner myself, of course I am happy to see baby girls (and yes even the tiny baby boys) in these darling bonnets. I feel that it is never too early to get them started wearing hats! There isn’t anything cuter than a little girl in one these darling bonnets. And the babies seem to love wearing them too. Very nice to know about this lovely shop.

  5. I love bonnets, even on old country Grannies. They are perfect on baby girls. If you don’t have girls, look for Little Boy Aprons for boy babies. I wish more mothers let babies be babies for a while , they have so long to be grown up.

  6. Thanks for the bonnet information. My sisters and I always wore a bonnet outside when we were little.

  7. These are wonderful, Phyllis. I only had one son, and I don’t remember putting a bonnet on him…he did wear bucket like sun hats! I, on the other hand wore all kinds of bonnets…I see them in my baby photos. I don’t have any grandchildren yet, but I have grand nieces so maybe I’ll look into buying them some bonnets. Again, bravo to Markey and thank you Phyllis, for introducing us to such creative people.

  8. My baby girl, now age 45, wore bonnets! I even made one to match her Holly Hobby dress one Easter. It and the dress were a pink plaid. The outfit was adorable, and so was the little girl wearing it. Her nearly black hair and that pastel plaid were perfect.

  9. Thank you to Phyllis who discovers the most amazing, adorable items. Wish I had a
    little lady again, or a baby girl
    grandchild for whom to purchase a lovely Beaufort Bonnet. What a great story
    of entrepreneurial success!
    Melanie Breckner

  10. Oh my goodness these bonnets are absolutely the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time. I remember a picture I have when I was little and wearing exactly that!

    Thank you for the name of the company!!! My grandchildren are now too old but I will remember as a gift for showers etc. (I’d like one for me)

    Have a lovely day and again thank you for the information!

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