The Fascinator

The word "fascinator" is derived from the Latin verb Fascinare "To Fascinate" A fascinator is a formal headpiece, a style of millinery. Since the 1990s the term has referred to a type of formal head-wear worn as an alternative to the hat, it is usually a large decorative design attached to a headband or clip. In contrast to a hat, its function is purely ornamental, it covers very little of the head, and offers little or no protection from the weather.

Fascinators – When To Wear Them Fascinators can be worn to a variety of events, though they’re often worn during formal occasions. It’s not unusual to wear a fascinator to a wedding, funeral, religious ceremony, cocktail party, or refined sporting event. You can wear them with clips or headbands to keep them stable.

“Learning when and how to wear a fascinator can help you pick the best option”.


During the 1500s, many women in high society began to wear small, feathered headpieces, which were the first true fascinators. Over time, royal and noble styles grew more ostentatious, leading to ornate, oversized fascinators.

But as many in the working class slowly developed into a wealthier middle class, fascinators grew in popularity. Still, most women capable of purchasing such a hat could only afford a petite option with few feathers. Those with larger purses might be able to buy fascinators with lace and more prominent, more exotic feathers.

In modern times, Nearly every British Royal Wedding features guests wearing fascinators, and at the Royal Ascot which is on the 14th till the 18th of June 2022, are hardly caught without one. Today, fascinators are primarily worn to formal events.

Fascinators are far easier to wear than they used to be. In the past, women had to use long, dangerous hairpins to keep their hats from blowing away in the wind, but modern fascinators almost always include hidden clips, bands, or pins for easy placement.

Hatinator The term "hatinator", which emerged in the early 2010s, is used to describe headgear that combines the features of a hat and a fascinator. The hatinator is fastened on the head with a band like a fascinator, but has the appearance of a hat, while a fascinator is much smaller and normally does not go over the sides of the head.

How To Wear Fascinator Most fascinator are designed to go on one side of the head so you won’t want to park your fascinator squarely in the middle of your head, best to choose the same side as your parting. Headband Fascinators Headband options work well for individuals, that struggle with fascinator placement. To wear a headband fascinator, you need only slip the headband over your hair. Fortunately, headband fascinators don’t give you much choice when it comes to precise placement.

Hair Clip Fascinators Hair clip fascinators require a little more finesse and to wear these fascinators, you’ll need to prepare your hairstyle. If you’re planning on wearing your hair in a bun, go ahead and pull it up. Once your style is secured, you’ll want to unclasp the hair clip and slip the long edge beneath a thick lock of hair.

Coordinate the size with your hair style.

If you want to wear a fascinator with your hair slicked back, then go with a smaller one.

If you’re going to wear your hair loosely pulled up, then a medium size is probably best.

Wear a large fascinator if you’re wearing your hair down and in a voluminous style

Pick the material based on the season.

If it’s warmer outside, you’ll want to go with a fascinator that’s made of a lighter, more breathable material, such as straw.

In the winter time, wear a fascinator made of a heavier, thicker material, such as wool or felt.

Pick a colour that matches your outfit.

Your fascinator will give off a more subtle, classy boldness if it looks like it belongs with the outfit you're wearing. To ensure this, wear a fascinator that’s the same colour as the clothes you’re wearing.

Complement your hair colour with your fascinator.

Redheads look best with a fascinator that’s an earth tone, such as beige, brown, or deep green.

If you have blond hair, try wearing a light warm colour like coral or a neutral like taupe.

Finally, opt for bright, deep shades such as hot pink or emerald if you have brown hair.

Get a fascinator that complements your face shape.

It looks best to create a contrast between your fascinator shape and your face shape.

If you have a more round face, opt for a slightly taller fascinator.

If you have a longer or thinner face, a spherical or disc-shaped fascinator looks best.

For heart, rectangular or square face shapes choose a curved fascinator so it complements the angles of your face.

Back comb your hair.

For added security, take a section of your hair where you’re going to put the fascinator and comb the hair back toward the centre of your head. This back combing, or teasing, will create knotting and volume, which will make the fascinator hold better.

Wear the elastic band behind your ears.