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Sunday Style: The Fascinating World of Fascinators

OK. So the royal wedding is over. We’ve drooled over the dress and speculated over honeymoon plans. We’ve gotten a little drunk on all the details. But there’s one fashion detail that I think needs a little more exploring: the wonderful world of the fascinator!

Whether you laughed out loud at them (I’m talking to you Princess Beatrice!) or kind of wished you had the balls to rock one yourself, they doubtlessly caught your eye.

Some are admittedly over the top and a bit ridiculous, but I just love the whimsical quality of others (ie just about any piece Kate Middleton has been photographed wearing). While not for your typical affair, why not get decked out in one on your wedding day? Or have your bridesmaids wear them!

hats! more hats


So there are really two categories that we should talk about here. There are hats and there are fascinators (sometimes the two categories even converge into one glorious masterpiece).

Hats generally have some sort of buckram base, while fascinators are usually a little less structured (the clips and combs that secure them serve as their “base”).

The distinction between the two can be minimal or it can be very clear, as with the Erica Koesler pillbox hat shown above (top left). With a very Jackie O vibe, this hat is the perfect piece for a bride going for a classic, retro feeling.

A little more modern but still holding onto a retro vibe is the veiled hat with ostrich plumes from Batcakes Couture (top right). Chock full of soft plumes and with a big, glittering handmade Swarovski crystal flower accent, this piece is the way to go if you want to amp up the drama in your look.

Another gorgeous, feathery beauty is this one-of-a-kind mini hat from Lo Boheme (bottom left). Soft and romantic, this stunner is made with ivory silk dupioni, hand-painted silk flowers, pale pink and fuchsia rooster feathers, and vintage leaves. It’s whimsical and feminine—and totally unique.

Stepping away from the feathers for just a second, I found an amazing piece that’s a bit “out of the box” for a bride. Handcrafted by Hello Strumpet, this little hat (bottom right) is made from vintage Shetland tweed with a lace overlay and trimmed with a silk flower and a silk velvet rosette. It also has a piece of Russian veiling for that extra little something. I love how different this piece is. Its colors and textures make it really interesting visually and it would be a fantastic, unusual piece for any bride!fascinators


Going back to those feathers, I’ve found another piece that’s big and fluffy but doesn’t really fall under the “hat” umbrella: this amazing headband from Boring Sidney (above left) Also available as a clip or comb, this bohemian beauty features a feather flower accented with a glittering beaded piece and surrounded by a bit of veiling and fluffy tufts of feathers. Romantic with a bit of an edge, you will certainly stand out in this fabulous piece.

If you like the feathery look of the pieces above but would like something a little more subdued, the feather and flower fascinator shown here (above center) may be more your style. It still features the soft plumes and sparkle, but it’s a scaled down version for brides who are looking for something a tad more traditional.

Not interested in feathers? Twigs and Honey (above right) makes an absolutely stunning pastel floral crown (the big section of vintage and reproduction flowers qualify it as a fascinator in my book). Perfect for a whimsical outdoor affair, you can wear this piece yourself or have your bridesmaids wear it. Bridesmaids are so seldom seen in eye-catching headpieces. Why not make your wedding the exception?

As you can see, fascinators don’t have to be outrageous and kooky (though they certainly can be if you want them to!). Here’s to hoping amped up headpieces find their way over to this side of the pond!

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