I’m Fascinated by Fascinators

I’m hoping that in the fashion world, 2010 is the Year of Fascinators.

In case you don’t know what they are, don’t worry. I think most people don’t. I ordered a fascinator from Australia and had to go to the post office to sign for it. I told the nice postal clerk woman that the package contained a fascinator. She said she didn’t know what that was, so I described it to her. She replied, “I knew there was a reason I came to work today.

Fascinators are a hat/headpiece. They have been described as:

–       small fancy hat;

–       extravagant hair accessory;

–       slightly to frivolous head decoration;

–       elaborate hair ornament.

But a picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to fascinators. So check out these photos. AAphilliptreacybluehat


For you history buffs, fascinators were invented in England in the 1700s as an alternative to a hat worn by upper-class ladies. Today royals and regulars to sporting events and weddings wear them there. They are a mini-hat made usually from feathers, artificial flowers, ribbons/bows, and netting—all of which are attached to a comb, clip, or headband.

I ‘ve seen fascinators start to creep into America—one head at a time. The first time I saw one on an American celebrity was Sarah Jessica Parker at the London premiere for Sex & the City. Although I wouldn’t wear this one around town, I thought SKJP looked great in it.  AARev.CarrieUnderw


The second time I saw one was on Carrie Underwood in March 2009. She wore a really cool one during her duet with Randy Travis on American Idol. Being the AI fantard that I am, I remember reading blog site comments about this performance and people asking, “What was that ugly spider-thing on Carrie’s head.” I thought Carrie looked fabulous.

Recently I saw Eva Mendes wear a fascinator to an event. I have also seen them listed in magazines (like Life & Style) as a “hair accessory.” You can purchase very inexpensive fascinator variations online at Forever 21. There are all kinds of embellished headbands, clips, and combs. They aren’t called fascinators, but that’s definitely their origin.


The British royals wear fascinators all the time, especially Princess Beatrice, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s daughter. She wears the Phillip Treacy label—a famous London milliner. He calls them “sculptures.” They are quite pricey. The more far out, the more they cost! (SJP’s is wearing a Philip Treacy.)



I’d like for fascinators to catch on—because I own a bunch and want to wear them without causing a spectacle. Believe me, if I were a famous writer, I would be wearing them everywhere (including the grocery store when I buy my one bottle of apricot ale and say to the checker lady, “Hi, remember me?” But that’s another blog….).

Right now, since I don’t go anywhere fancy enough (Author book readings? California Pizza Kitchen? Pick up the drycleaning? Don’t think so.) to stick one on my head. And since I’m not a Lady Ga Ga  type trendsetter, I’ll wait for more sightings.

So c’mon ladies, spruce up those hair-do’s with a lovely fascinator! I’d like to recommend an EBay store where I have purchased several fascinators. It’s called Baskers Designs. The fascinators are hand-made by Anne Baskers. They are gorgeous, creative, feminine, and affordable! In addition, Anne provides excellent customer service and fast shipping. What more could you want?


Here’s an update on Kate Middleton’s hats and fascinators and a gallery of fascinators from my personal collection:



  • Maggie said:

    I’m so with you on the fascinators and headbands, I make them and wear them all the time….another LOVE of mine.

    Saturday, February 26, 2011
  • Hi, Came upon your site while surfing the web, very nice blog. I started making them a couple of years ago, they were slow to start as they are new to Americans but they have been catching on since Miss Kate Middleton came on the scene. Stop by my Etsy site and take a look at mine, they are beautiful. http://www.etsy.com/shop/thefascinatormaven.

    Thursday, April 7, 2011
  • MaryM said:

    Okay, I first laughed my tail off at Beatrice’s with the rest of the country and then ridiculed it. Now, I am fascinated! I LOVE the fact that they are intended to be frivolous and fun. Why not add whimsical charm to a stately affair. I saw one that looked to be four feet in diameter and made of feathers. I think we Yanks have become staid and too serious. Mary

    Sunday, May 1, 2011
  • Hi Mary,
    I completely agree with you: we need more whimsy! I have a collection of fascinators that I never wear. (See pix in my blog dated 4/27.) The Royal Wedding has inspired me to finally wear them — for any occasion. So I purchased a wacky orange feather creation that I intend to wear — instead of a visor or cap — to a SF Giants baseball game. Can’t wait. But I hope I don’t get bopped in the head with a foul ball — or irate fan.

    Sunday, May 1, 2011
  • Natasha said:

    Love the fascinators! But I have a question..
    My sister is getting married this summer and I’m so in love with the fascinator that Eva Mendes is wearing in the picture above that I was wondering where I can buy it or something like it anyway..Does anyone know?

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011
  • Hi Natasha,
    Aren’t fascinators cool?! If you want to find one like the one Eva Mendes is wearing, I highly recommend an Australian designer named Anne Baskers. She has a shop on EBay. Her creations are gorgeous. I put several photos of Anne’s fascinators (that I purchased from her) in my post on April 27, 2011. There is also the url for her shop. If you don’t see what you like, Anne will custom-make one for you. Delivery is fast. Customer service outstanding. And prices very reasonable. Good luck!

    Thursday, May 26, 2011
  • You have fabulous design of fascinators. Thanks for sharing.

    Sunday, September 18, 2011
  • Marilyn said:

    I just made my first fascinator! I didn’t know what they were called until recently.lol I’m going to wear it as much as I can since it is October and I can blame it on Halloween, but then I’m going to make some less over-the-top ones to try to get away with wearing them year round. I found this site while looking for ideas and the caption under google images got my attention… “They aren’t called fascinators but that’s definately their origin.” It grabbed me because last night I thought, “Some things I already wear are consideres fascinators by some people’s standard…like hair flowers..and things I already use can be incorporated into fascinators, like hair sticks.” I want to make a facinator atop a hair fork with victorian clock hands! Squeeeee!

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012
  • Jessika said:

    Nice blog! Found your site by looking for design inspiration for my new season hats, headdresses,veils & fascinators. It’s amazing how technology has evolved. To share : I started out making fascinators and headpieces 2010, round about the same time fascinators were catapulted back into the limelight by high profile celebrities including the Royal Family who has undoubtedly done so much for Millinery on the world stage. Please visit my accessories website http://www.jessikahillaccessories.com I recently launched my millinery website http://www.jessikahill.com as I am now a full fledged Milliner,hatmaker/designer. Inspiration comes in all forms! Well done to the ladies who have started off making their own fascinators and headpieces. That’s where it starts:)

    Thursday, September 19, 2013
  • Sharon said:

    Hi just came across this blog, and noticed you were showing one of my fascinators from Dec 2nd 2009, the ivory lily feather one. Just in case anyone wanted to know where to buy it. http://www.fascination-online.co.uk

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014
  • Hi Sharon,
    I checked out your site. You are so creative. Your fascinators are fabulous — especially the feathery “Rhianna” one — fuchsia-colored, of course. 🙂

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014