Know Your Fascinators

By the 1970s, the term fascinator had largely fallen out of use, but by the early twenty-first century, it had made a comeback, albeit with a slightly different meaning. Fascinators are now used to classify a delicate and, to some extent, frivolous female head decoration.

If you’re wondering how to choose a fascinator, this guide to fascinators and how to wear them has all the answers.

What Is a Fascinator?

A fascinator is a millinery headpiece commonly worn by women at formal events such as weddings and events. A fascinator is a millinery style used by hat makers or milliners to create what is primarily a decorative headpiece made with a molded and shaped fabric base that is then decorated with feathers and beads and attached to a hair clip, headband, or comb so that you can wear it on the head. These occasional headwear and millinery headpieces are traditionally worn at events, weddings, and races.

Types of Fascinator

There are many different styles of fascinators in the fascinating world of millinery, so here we take a glance at the most popular types of fascinators:


The most common fascinator for weddings and special occasions is a hair fascinator or fascinator hat. The hair fascinator is an evolution of a cocktail hat or formal lady’s hat, but the millinery process employed to make them is similar to hat making. Fascinators come in various sizes and shapes, ranging from small to medium to large, and can be bought in various elaborate designs and colors.

Disc Fascinators, Hatinators, and Saucer Fascinators


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Hatinators, larger than hair fascinators and have a disc or saucer-shaped base, are also known as hatinators. Although hatinators resemble wedding hats in appearance, they are worn with a hair clip or headband rather than on the head like a classic lady’s hat. Hatinators have also become popular as an alternative to wearing hats to the races.

Hair Flowers

Wedding hair flowers are easy to clip into your hair and are ideal for flower girls and bridesmaids, but they also make a lovely alternative to a fascinator. Incorporating a flower clip into your hairstyle will add floral charm to your look.

Flower Crowns

Hair crowns and flower crowns are lovely hair accessories for festivals, weddings, and other special occasions. These lovely flower hair bands are made to wear on the forehead like a browband for the ultimate fashionista, giving you a boho chic look.

Hair Garlands

Floral hair garlands are flower headbands that sit on top of the head and are typically made of a wire frame wrapped in foliage and embellished with flowers and leaves. These pretty floral headbands are a common pick for weddings, and the availability of a wide range of colors and styles makes them ideal hair accessories for flower girls and bridesmaids. A flower hair garland is another popular festival hair accessory for women.

Ladies Hats

Whether it’s a wedding, race meeting, cocktail party, or Royal Ascot, if a lady’s hat is your preferred style accessory, these glamorous occasions provide the ideal opportunity to show off your style and personality. Milliners have been making formal occasion hats for hundreds of years, from floppy hats, wide-brimmed hats, and cloche hats to race hats, boaters, and derby hats, and the variety of styles and color options is endless in these modern times.

Bridal Hats and Bridal Fascinators

a smiling bride wearing a bridal fascinator

A bridal fascinator or hat can be an interesting alternative to a formal wedding tiara. A bridal fascinator hat is usually embellished with diamante, sparkling crystal rhinestones, and embroidered details to add glamour and sparkle, making it the ideal wedding hair accessory for a bride-to-be.

Pillbox Fascinators and Pillbox Hats

A pillbox is distinguished by its flat crown, upright sides, and lack of a brim. Pillbox hats are smaller than traditional lady’s hats and are usually made from velvet or wool fabric and embellished with feathers and flowers by milliners.

Pillbox fascinators were a favorite accessory of the late Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex in recent years. A pillbox fascinator is crafted with a pillbox-shaped base to resemble a pillbox hat, but it is sported on the head with a hair clip or headband attachment to keep it in place.

How to Wear a Fascinator

The main distinction between fascinators and hats is that a fascinator is attached to the hair with a comb, hair clip, or headband, whereas a hat sits loosely on top of the head. The type of fascinator you choose will determine how you wear it, but you should also consider your hair parting, length, and thickness.

A fascinator headband or fascinator clip will suit most hair types and lengths, whereas a comb fascinator will suit someone with thicker hair because the comb will need to grip the hair to stay in place.

Which Side Do You Wear Your Fascinator?

The design and style of the hair fascinator you buy will determine which side of the head you wear it on, and although there are no strict etiquette rules today, traditionally, people would wear fascinators on the right-hand side of the head. This custom is thought to have originated from an old custom in which a gentleman accompanied his lady on the left side. Her face would be visible with open conversation by wearing her fascinator or hat on the right side.

You’ll probably find that trying it on and finding an attractive angle and flattering position that you like is the best way to decide what’s right for you.

Where Do You Put Your Fascinator?


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Fascinators have long been a popular fashion accessory for the Mother of the Bride and wedding guests, but you can also wear them at christenings, summer soirees, cocktail parties, and formal events. Hats and fascinators have become very popular race day accessories. Women’s hair fascinators became the fashionista’s go-to style accessory for a day at the races, from Derby Day to Ladies Day.

How to Select a Fascinator

The color is everything! The color is the most important factor when selecting a fascinator. Because wearing a fascinator conveys your delight in dressing up, we recommend matching the dress’ color or opting for an accent color if your dress has more than one color.


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