Ever since the wedding of Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William of England in April 2011, there seems to have been a renewed fascination with fascinators. But who knew there were so many things to know about them…
What is a fascinator?
A fascinator is a small headpiece that is generally worn on the right side of the head. It is often made from beads, ribbons and feathers and can be attached to headbands, combs or clips.
A fascinator is not a hat
A fascinator differs from a hat because a fascinator is a decoration mounted on base like a comb, headband or clip, and attached to the head.
How is a fascinator worn?
A fascinator can be worn in many ways, but generally is affixed to the front or side of the head. It looks best when worn just above the eyebrow. If a veil is attached, the veil may fall just below the eye.
It can also be worn as a tiara or towards the back of the head is the hair is dressed in an updo or has a chignon or curled style.
A fascinator looks best when worn to the side or back of the head. If it is placed on the top of the head it would unfortunately look like the person’s head sprouted feathers or flowers!
Quick rules for styling a fascinator
- Keep it in proportion to your head, body, and hairstyle size. For example, if you have a big head or big hear, do not wear a dainty fascinator. You would look better with a larger style.
- Keep your hairstyle simple so it does not distract from your fashion accessory. A simple ponytail, a slicked-back style, or a slightly-curled free-falling style look best.
- Keep it stylish and classy. There is no need to sport a 3-foot ostrich feather off the top of your head! Start small and simple.
How to wear a comb-based fascinator
- Back comb or tease the hair slightly on the side of the head upon which you intend to place your fascinator. This provides a stronger and thicker base on which the fascinator comb can grip.
- Push the comb slightly in the opposite direction before you slide it into place. This picks up more hairs and weaves them between the comb’s teeth, ensuring a firmer grip.
- Spray hairspray onto the area around the comb, avoiding spraying the fascinator itself. This will help the comb and hair stick together.
- If necessary, place a few hairpins to strategically hold the comb in place.
How to wear a headband-based fascinator
Generally the headband-based fascinators attached securely to the head and are small enough to be discreet. Prepare the hair by pulling it back away from the face before attaching the fascinator.
Where to wear a fascinator
Wondering where to wear your fascinator? Here are a couple of ideas. It works as a stylish alternative to the usual hat and serves as a great conversation starter!
- Cocktail Party
- Art Opening
- Kentucky Derby
- Garden or Tea Party
(view our post on Wedding Fascinators)
Etiquette of wearing a fascinator
Yes, there are etiquette rules for wearing any type of hats or fascinators. Please remember that others cannot see through your fabulous headwear, so out of kindness for others who may want to watch the goings-on, do not wear a fascinator at the symphony, movie theater, or any occasion with stadium seating.
Here’s another rule of thumb. If you are taller than your escort, you may not want to wear a towering fascinator.
Miss Meredith Sweetpea was delighted to have tried on a wide variety of fascinators on her trip to Ireland just prior to the royal wedding.
FIND YOUR OWN FASCINATOR
- Do you have a fascinator? Browse over a thousand darling fascinators! You might just find one that’s perfect for your look.
Here are just a few of the styles available:
Send us a picture of you in your fascinator!
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