If you need help on how to choose a fascinator, our ultimate guide to fascinators and how to wear them will give you all of the answers you need. In this comprehensive guide you will learn everything there is to know about fascinators and we will try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about fascinators so you can pick the right fascinator for every occasion.
What is a fascinator?
Designed by hat makers or milliners as they are known in the trade, a fascinator is a style of millinery used to create what is essentially a decorative headpiece made with moulded and shaped fabric embellished with beads and feathers which is then attached to a headband, hair clip or comb. These millinery headpieces and occasional headwear are traditionally worn at weddings, events and the races. Learn more about the history of fascinators in our blog.
How to wear a fascinator
The main point of difference between hats and fascinators is that a fascinator is worn using a hair clip, hair comb or headband. How you wear a fascinator will depend on the type of attachment you choose but you also need to consider your hair length and hair thickness. Generally a fascinator clip or fascinator headband will be suitable for the majority of hair types and hair lengths whereas a comb fascinator would be better suited to someone with thicker hair as the comb will need to grip the hair in order to stay in place.
Here we look at the most common types of attachments and fixings used when wearing a fascinator;
A fascinator clip is a beak hair clip or alligator clip. This is the most popular choice because they are quick and easy to use and can be worn with most hair types and hair lengths. Our fascinators on hair clips are best used with small to medium sized fascinators because they are lightweight, for larger fascinators and hatinators we would recommend a using headband.
A fascinator headband is fixed in place with an alice band or hairband. These are usually wrapped in satin fabric to match the colour of the fascinator but we can also supply them in a colour to blend in with your hair. Just like on hair clips, fascinators on headbands are quick and easy to wear and will work with the majority of hairstyles and the narrow width headband can easily be hidden in the hair. Perfect for medium sized to large fascinators a headband fascinator is best for creating stability should the weather turn windy.
A comb fascinator is fixed to the hair using a hair comb slide. Comb Fascinator will work better if you have thicker hair because the comb will need to grip the hair but at the same time it can also be used a styling accessory to hold the hair in place. Our combs are made from clear acrylic so they can be discreetly hidden into the hairstyle and will stay in position throughout the day.
Which side do you wear a fascinator?
What side of the head you wear a fascinator will depend on the style and design of the hair fascinator you buy and although there are no clear rules as such, here are a few points to consider when deciding which side to wear it.
Smaller fascinators on clips can usually be positioned anywhere you like and will work well with shorter hairstyles. It is more fashionable to wear it at a angle on either the left side or right side of the head depending on your preference.
Our headband fascinators will still give you some degree of flexibility because you will be able to slide the fascinator up and down the hairband to find an angle and position which looks best on your head shape. For loose hairstyles a medium sized fascinator will work best, and for hair down, opt for a larger fascinator or hatinator.
You’ll probably find the best way to decide is to just to try it on and find a flattering position and attractive angle that you are happy with.
Where do you wear a fascinator?
Hair fascinators for weddings have long been a favourite hair accessory for wedding guests and the Mother of the Bride, but fascinators can also be worn at christenings, cocktail parties, summer soirees and formal events. Hats and fascinators have also become hugely popular for the races. From ladies day to derby day, ladies hats and hair fascinators have become the fashionista’s style accessory of choice for a day at the races.
Can you wear a fascinator at night?
Sure, why not! If your fascinator is lightweight and comfortable to wear there is nothing to stop you wearing all day and long into the night. Our fascinators are quick and easy to put on and take off when you want to.
How do I choose a fascinator?
It's all about the colour! For the majority, the most important thing to consider when choosing a fascinator is the colour and because wearing a fascinator expresses your delight in dressing up, we recommend either picking a colour to match the dress or opt for an accent colour if the dress has more than one colour.
Does the fascinator match the shoes or dress?
Another option is to match the fascinator with the shoes, clutch bag and jewellery so if you were wearing a black dress with silver shoes why not go for a silver fascinator and silver clutch bag to bring the whole look together. There are many colours hues which work well together, navy and cream, pink and black, red and black or blue and yellow to name a few.
Other things you should consider when choosing what fascinator to wear
If you have darker hair our bright colour fascinators will look sensational, think pink fascinator, purple, red, blue or green. Redheads will look stunning with natural and neutral tones such as cream, beige or nude fascinator, and if you have lighter or blond hair you might want to consider warm colour hues and soft pastel shades such as lilac, coral, gold or silver fascinators.
If it is going to be windy you might be better with a hair clip or headband because the fascinator will be more secure and there will be less chance the wind will tear it off your head.
You might want to contrast your fascinator with your face shape, so if you have a more rounded face, opt for a taller fascinator. Wearing a tall fascinator is also a clever way to make yourself look taller. If you have a longer thinner face then a disc fascinator or saucer fascinator would look best.
Fabrics & Trimmings
Most fascinators are made with sinamay but other popular millinery fabrics include horsehair braid netting which is a woven polyester sometimes called crinoline or crin as we call it.
To create our fascinators we will start with either a disc or saucer base which can be moulded and shaped on a hat block and then we trim the finished shape with flowers, decorative loops, mesh, netting or veiling fabric and the most important of all, feathers. In our feather fascinator designs we use a variety of feathers such as peacock, ostrich, coque, rooster hackle and goose biot.
Styles of Fascinator
In the fascinating world of millinery there are many different styles of fascinator so here we look at some of the most popular types of hats and fascinators.
A fascinator is also known as a hair fascinator or fascinator hat and is the most common type of fascinator for weddings and occasions. The hair fascinator is an adaptation of a formal ladies hat or cocktail hat which has evolved over the years but the millinery process used to make them is very similar to hat making. Fascinators come in all shapes and sizes from small fascinators to medium and large fascinators.
Hatinators, Disc Fascinators & Saucer Fascinators
Larger than a hair fascinator, a hatinator uses a disc or saucer shaped base and are also known as hatinators. Although hatinators look more like a wedding hat in appearance, you wear them with a headband or hair clip rather than being worn on the head like a traditional ladies hat.
Perfect for weddings, disc fascinators and saucer fascinators can be purchased in lots of colours and styles to compliment your occasion wear outfit. Hatinators have also become a popular alternative to a hat for the races.
Our hair flowers and are flower hair clips which can be worn as a small fascinator. Simple to clip into your hair, our wedding hair flowers are ideal for bridesmaids and flower girls but also make a pretty alternative to wear instead of a fascinator. Adding a flower clip to your hairstyle will bestow your look with floral charm and we stock a variety of beautiful flower designs such as orchids, peonies, chrysanthemums and daisies.
Flower Crowns and hair crowns are a beautiful hair accessory for festivals, weddings and occasions. Our floral hair crowns are adorned with gorgeous oversized flowers or large roses which are attached to an elastic headband or hair band. For the ultimate fashionista these pretty flower hair bands are worn on the forehead giving you a boho chic style.
A floral hair garland is a flower headband which sits on the top of the head and is usually made from a wire frame which is wrapped in foliage and decorated with leaves and flowers. With a style befitting to a greek goddess these pretty floral headdresses are a popular choice for weddings and the availability of a big choice of colours and styles makes them perfect hair accessories for bridesmaids and flower girls. A flower hair garland is also a popular women's hair accessory for festival goers.
Whether it’s a wedding, cocktail party, race meeting or Prix de Diane, if a Ladies hat is your style accessory of choice then these glamorous occasions give you the perfect opportunity to wear a sensational headpiece which shows off your personality and style.
From wide brimmed hats, floppy hats and cloche hats to boaters, race hats and derby hats, milliners have been making formal occasion hats for hundreds of years and in these modern times the choice of styles and colour options is endless.
In our online shop you can buy occasion hats in a variety of colours and styles from the Classical timeless French style to Modern Parisian style.
Pillbox Hats & Pillbox Fascinators
A pillbox has a distinctive shape with upright sides and a flat crown and no brim. Crafted by milliners, pillbox hats are smaller than formal ladies hats and are traditionally made from wool or velvet fabric which is decorated with embellishments such as feathers and flowers.
Our women’s pillbox hats are a popular hair accessory for weddings and occasions due to their smaller size and elegant simplicity and were a favourite choice for Princess Diana too. A pillbox fascinators is a similar in shape to a pillbox hat but are worn on the head using a headband or hair clip attachment to fix the pillbox fascinator in place.
Bridal Fascinators & Bridal Hats
A bridal fascinator or bridal hat can make a unique alternative to a traditional wedding tiara. Available in sought-after bridal colours including cream, white, ivory and blush our milliners have created a stunning range of bridal fascinator and bridal hats using luxurious fabrics such as lace or satin, trimmed with netting, veiling fabric or birdcage veils.
To add glamour and sparkle, a bridal fascinator hat is often embellished with sparkling crystal rhinestones, diamante and embroidered detail making them the perfect wedding hair accessory for a bride to be.
We hope you have found this guide useful and if you’re ready to buy and know what you are looking for you can view our Hat Collections here but if you have any questions or need some advice then please do not hesitate to get in touch.