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Women's Fascinator

A women's fascinator is a smaller version of a hat. These easy-to-wear accessories are essentially headpieces you clip into your hair, or they come attached to a headband. Not as heavy or large as women's hats, they are fun to wear for special occasions and come in many distinct designs. Popularised by the Royal Family, fascinators have a formal elegance about them suited for dress-up occasions and events, such as weddings or the derby.

Styles

Fascinators run the gamut as far as styles. They come in different sizes, ranging from small to elaborate, and styles vary from miniature versions of popular hats, like the pillbox, or simply flat pieces of fabric decorated with embellishments. Fascinators come in different colours and designs, and there are even plaid options as well as striped or neutral shades. Some simply look like oversized headbands, while others mimic the exact shape and size of a hat. Vintage-inspired designs are popular, as are headbands that bring to mind the 20s with a flapper-style look.

Materials

Designers make fascinators with the most luxurious materials that make each accessory stand out. Select lightweight straw fascinators that won't weigh you down or opt for the glamourous look and feel of satin styles. Net and felt are frequently used fabrics, whether they work for accents or for the hats themselves, and many headpieces come from sinamay, which is a popular hat-making fabric that adds strength and durability to each design. There are wool pieces perfect for cold weather while premium velvet designs give a more formal feel.

Accents

The most fun part of picking a fascinator is looking at how designers embellish their creations. Feather fascinator hats for women are some of the most popular styles, but headpieces also feature faux flowers, ribbons and bows, netting and contrasting trim. Look for sparkly fascinators that include crystal details, sequins or pearls. You can also opt for lace-embellished hats that add texture to your look. Some accessories feature pretty barrette accents or light layers of tulle fabric. Choose a hat based on personal preferences, as they range from simple to over-the-top styles.

How to Wear a Fascinator

Anyone can wear a fascinator no matter how long or short your hair is. However, to keep the fascinator in place, especially if you wear a clip-in or comb design, use a bit of hairspray to create texture in your hair and anchor the piece in place. Fascinators look beautiful with an updo or with loose hair, and experts recommend placing the accessory right above your eyebrow and to the side. Avoid placing the accessory on the very top of your head, especially if your fascinator offers multiple embellishments. Smaller people should not wear large pieces; pick the accessory that fits your frame and hairstyle.

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