Why Should I Wear a Fascinator on the Right?


Camilla-fascinator-on-right

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.

Catherine-Duchess-of-Cambridge-wears-fascinator-on-right

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.

 

When did Groundhog Day Start?


Punxsatawney-Phil-groundhog

Punxsatawney Phil on Groundhog Day

On February 2, 1887, Punxsatawney, Pennsylvania newspaper editor Clymer Freas invented the idea of Groundhog Day. According to reports, he convinced a group of businessmen and groundhog hunters known as the Punxsatawney Groundhog Club to trek to a site called Gobbler’s Knob to hold an “official” ceremony. If the groundhog saw his shadow, it would be considered bad news.

In modern days, the February festivities that attract tens of thousands of spectators over three days are presided over by the Inner Circle, a band of local dignitaries who wear top hats and speak in the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dialect (supposedly this is called “Groundhogese”). This well-known groundhog is known as “Punxsatawney Phil.”

Tradition states that if the groundhog emerges from his burrow and sees his shadow on this day, six more weeks of winter will follow. If he does not see his shadow, it means an indication of an early spring. Maybe we shouldn’t rely on Phil’s forecast so much though, the National Climatic Data Center and the Canadian weather service report his accuracy at less than 40%. Yet still, it is a fun tradition that continues today.

Ancient Significance of February 2nd

The date of February 2nd falls midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and was noted for its significance by many ancient cultures. Continue reading

Victorian Inventions We Couldn’t Live Without Today | Meredith Sweetpea


Victorian-woman-on-sewing-machine

A fine Victorian invention

We see lines at the electronics store when the new smartphone comes out, and frenzies at the toy store when a popular doll is sold out.  Miss Meredith Sweetpea was wondering what inventions Victorians made that we couldn’t live without today.

Telephone

The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell and patented in 1876. He just barely Continue reading

Louisa May Alcott | Meredith Sweetpea


Miss Meredith Sweetpea loved reading Little Women and Little Men by Louisa May Alcott when she was growing up. Didn’t you? After coming across my dog-eared copies, I thought I’d share a little more about the Victorian author behind these beloved books.

Louisa May Alcott’s Youth

Louisa-May-Alcott

Author Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott was born November 29, 1832 in Germantown (near Philadelphia), Pennsylvania to Transcendentalist and educator Amos Bronson Alcott and social worker Abby May. She was the second of four daughters.

The family moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1838, where her father opened an experimental school and joined the Transcendental Club with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Her father maintained strict views on Continue reading

The Butler’s Guide to Living Like Downton Abbey | Meredith Sweetpea | Books


image-of-the-butler's-guide-to-running-the-home-by-Stanley-Ager-and-Fiona-St.AubynMiss Meredith Sweetpea is quite enamored with Downton Abbey (along with many, many other people) and was delighted to find a new book titled “The Butler’s Guide to Running the Home and Other Graces,” by Stanley Ager and Fiona St. Aubyn (Clarkson Potter Publishers, New York).

Relating to the popular British PBS series, the forward is written by Alastair Bruce OBE, historical advisor to Downton Abbey.

The Butler’s Guide shares butler Stanley Ager’s “skills acquired during his career, which was a sort of ‘calling’ dedicated in his own words, to ‘the three most important qualities for running a home [which] are punctuality, organization, cleanliness.  If you master these, everything else should fall into place,'” writes Bruce.

The book is written with co-author Fiona St. Aubyn, the granddaughter of Ager’s last employer, the third Lord St. Levan.

Just Like Downton Abbey

Ager became one of the few in his profession to actually record what he knew Continue reading

Ring in the New Year | Victorian History | Meredith Sweetpea


Victorian-New-Year's-Day-card

Happy Victorian
New Year

In Victorian times, on New Year’s Day, wealthy Victorians would invite eligible bachelors into their homes to meet their daughters in sort of a formal open house tradition.

Victorian open houses ruled New Year’s Day

The bachelors would receive engraved invitations and arrived to enjoy a feast buffet of fine foods like turkey, oysters, chicken, fruitcake, sweets, and liquor-laced egg nog, and to enjoy mingling with any eligible young ladies of the house. Traditionally, all ladies and boys under age ten remained at home to receive callers while the gentlemen went out to pay visits. Newspapers sometimes even printed lists of homes that were open and the times the family would receive visitors.

Rules dictated that the gentlemen callers Continue reading

How to Tie a Pashmina Shawl | Gracious Living


Meredith Sweetpea received a beautiful shawl as a Christmas gift and got to thinking how shawls have made a comeback in the past few years. How many of us now have our own Pashmina? I know I have them in all the colors of the rainbow.

Shawls Were Very Popular in Victorian Times

In Victorian times, shawls were wildly popular, and were worn throughout the 1800s. The most popular designs included Indian, paisley, and embroidered designs on fabrics of silk, wool, cotton, lace or chiffon.

How To Tie a Pashmina Shawl

Experimenting with the different ways to wear the Pashmina to adorn or warm your body is half the fun of owning one. Here are some ideas for you to try:

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Order this Pashmina. Choose from 100s of colors!

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