Fascinators: The Official Royal Wedding Hat

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What: Fascinators are headpieces made out of feathers, flowers, lace, etc. that have been traditional worn in the UK and other countries like Australia, as a replacement for a hat to formal occasions like weddings and horse races and other formal occasions. Lately the fascinator hat has become a global trend thanks to Sarah Jessica Parker wearing one to the British premier of the ‘Sex and The City’ Movie.

fascinators - woman wearing fascinator

Johnny Loves Rosie Fascinator with Blue Flowers, $39, ASOS

What I Think: Love, Love, Love them. Fascinators are a great alternative to traditional hats, which can get quite hot during the summer. Be careful not to go overboard or else you’ll end up looking like you have a peacock on your head (although that might not be such a bad look).

Where to Buy Fascinators: In the UK, Marks and Spencer has a sizable selection of fascinators for around 25 pounds. In the US, head to eBay to score one for less than $20.

How to Wear a Fascinator

  1. Keep it in Proportion. Make sure the fascinator is in proportion to the size of your head and features.  If you have a smaller head, don’t wear a fascinator with a 10 foot peacock feather. If you got a big head, don’t wear a dainty Fascinator with a 1 inch miniature top hat.
  2. Keep Your Hair Simple. Keep your hair styles very simple, so it doesn’t distract from the hairpiece.  A nice chignon, slicked back do, a simple ponytail, etc all work well.
  3. Keep it Styled. There’s a tendency for those who are new to fascinators to go a bit overboard (aka a 10 foot tall whopping crane with pink bows and a 3 inch replica of Big Ben on your head). Start small and simple- a basic black straw Fascinator will do.

Where to Buy a Fascinator

  • Forever21.com: Super Cheap, but sometimes cheesy, Fascinators
  • Etsy.com– Stylish and amazingly affordable Fascinators
  • New York Fascinator Company: basic Fascinators for newbies.
  • eBay: Vintage Fascinator Hats
  • Asos.com: Contemporary Fascinators from the British version of Bluefly

Want to make your own fascinator? Try this advice from Angela Coupe:

(Editor’s note: Updated 9/2016)

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  • Fascinators add a touch of class to the right outfit and speak volumes about you even before you say a word. I heart heart them.

  • christianay

    I love looking at them and I think it’s awesome when women wear them—they look so regal. I don’t know if I can pull the look off, though.

  • I LOOOOOVE fascinators. LOVE THEM. I can’t take my eyes off SJP’s either. It’s a work of art.