Why Should I Wear a Fascinator on the Right?


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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall wears a fascinator.

A number of kind readers have been asking Miss Meredith Sweetpea lately why a fascinator is traditionally worn on the right-hand side of the head.

The custom runs far back into history to when women were generally accompanied by men when they walked down the street. Women of any stature would rarely have occasion to walk alone; she was escorted by her husband, or if single, her father or brother. And of course, both men and women always wore a hat whenever outdoors.

Wearing the Fascinator on the Right Made Perfect Sense

Men traditionally carried their weapon, such as a sword, on their left-hand side, so it made sense that when walking with a woman (when armed), she walk on his right-hand side. Even when men no longer carried swords, the tradition of putting the women on a man’s right continued.

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wears her fascinator on the right.

Another reason to put the women on a man’s right was to position the man between the woman and the street to help protect her fine skirts from becoming splashed by passing carriages or horses traversing the often-muddy roadways.

Therefore, in order to have conversation when walking down the street, a women would tilt her hat to the right to offer a better view of her face to her companion. This also prettily framed her face perfectly for flirting, which only added to her fascination. The pert angle of the hat took on the name “fascinator.”

Today’s milliners often design a fascinator to sit on the right-hand side, in keeping with tradition. But many fascinators are made to suit either side of the face, or to be worn in the center of the head at a slightly forward angle toward. Some people even prefer to wear their fascinator to cover the part in their hair, believing it more attractive worn that way.

There is no hard-and-fast rule about which side is the correct side to wear a fascinator. It is simply up to you to choose.

Woman are Always Right

The tradition of having the women walk on the inside of the man on the street carries on today with polite men and women. Remember the catchphrase, “Women are always right” and it will be easy to remember.

Read More About Fascinators

For more information about fascinators, read our other posts:

Find Your Perfect Fascinator

  • Do you have a fascinator? Browse over a thousand darling Fascinators! You might just find one that’s perfect for your look.

 

How to Signal to the Waitstaff That You are Done Eating


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Fork and knife placement signaling the end of the meal – American style.

Miss Meredith Sweetpea had the rare pleasure of dining out this past weekend with a dear friend. We went to a local Italian restaurant, of the mid-range variety, nothing fancy.

This friend had plenty to talk about, and we were settling into a wonderful conversation as the courses began to arrive, but began to become annoyed by the constant interruption of the server. It seemed whenever we paused and put down our forks, and even while we were eating,  someone came over to grab the plate away–even though we obviously were not finished.

At first, the servers reached down to grab the plates and began to remove them without asking. We had to grab our plates back as they swooped past. After a few times of this, they at least began to ask if we were done yet. In addition, at two times, the managers stopped by our table to see how things were going. They too, grabbed at our plates.

At first, we laughed about the constant interruptions. Then they began to irritate us. What then should have been an enjoyable time out together, was spoiled. We took the rest of our meals to go. Continue reading

The Real Test of Good Manners | Meredith Sweetpea | Manners Quotes


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“The real test of good manners is to be able to put up with bad manners pleasantly.”

–Khalil Gibran

Life’s Little Instructions


planting-flowersThis wonderful list of William Snell’s “Life’s Little Instructions” was written when William was 95 years old, and shared in 1993.  Almost 25 years later, these instructions still ring true. They are timeless.

When you look through this list, note how many of these things you do or have done. If any are missing from your list, add them.

Your attention to these simple things of life will have far-reaching and long-lasting impact for both you and those with whom you interact.

Life’s Little Instructions by 95-Year-Old William Snell

  • Sing in the shower.
  • Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
  • Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
  • Never refuse homemade brownies.
  • Strive for excellence, not perfection.
  • Plant a tree on your birthday.
  • Learn three clean jokes.
  • Return borrowed vehicles with the gas tank full.
  • Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
  • Leave everything a little better than you found it.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Think big thoughts, but relish small pleasures.
  • Continue reading

Show Your Patriotism Through Proper Etiquette


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Statue of Francis Scott Key at Fort McHenry

Patriotism is defined by Wikipedia as the “emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as their homeland.” It can also indicate one’s love, support and defense of one’s country, and loyalty to it.

In the United States, certain rules of etiquette apply to patriotism, namely in respect to the National Flag and the Star Spangled Banner, our National Anthem. As examples, the Flag Code, adopted in 1923, stated that people who are not current members of the Armed Forces or veterans to face the flag with their right hands over their heart, and current Olympic recommendations state that military personnel should salute the flag and maintain that posture throughout the playing of the National Anthem.

Most of us, including Miss Meredith Sweetpea, learned about patriotism and its etiquette in grammar school. But it is always good to have a reminder.

United States Patriotism Etiquette

  1. Everyone (old and young) should stand and remain standing during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner.
  2. One should not chew gum, smoke or eat during the singing or playing of the National Anthem.
  3. Continue reading

What’s the Big Deal About Wearing Sweatpants?


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Actress Kate Walsh — sloppy or chic?

Miss Meredith Sweetpea grew up with a Southern grandmother who required certain standards for a lady. We were to smile prettily, be dainty, and look our best at all times. Why, she wouldn’t think of going to the grocery store without first applying lipstick. And remember the television show “Father Knows Best?” The mother always wore a dress–and pearls–even around the house. I know, it’s a glorified image of life in the 1950s, but why not uphold a standard?

When did we transition from looking our best to looking our worst? And when did it become okay? Continue reading

Which Comes First–the Dress or the Hat?


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Michelle Pfeiffer in the movie Cheri.

The hat or the dress…which do you choose first when selecting your outfit? Surrounding the Kentucky Derby and other high-end horse races where memorable hats are the vogue, it is a question Miss Meredith Sweetpea has been asked more than once.

Fortunately, either way is perfectly acceptable.

Some people believe you should choose your outfit first then select a hat to go with the outfit. ((The argument here is that it’s easier to custom design a hat than to “make” an outfit to go with a hat!)

Others believe you must buy, create or design your hat before picking out your outfit.

Miss Meredith thinks that one can take inspiration from the other. If you see a fabulous hat that you just can’t live without, buy it first and design your outfit to complement it. On the other hand, Continue reading

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