The gist behind the poetic mini-hats and the role they play in British etiquette and how Nigerians are keying into the newest trends…

Even if you aren’t invested in the lives of British royals, you’re probably familiar with their elaborate headgear. Fascinators—tiny, elaborate hats that are clipped to the wearer’s head—are a popular fashion choice among the women of the royal family today. The name may seem like a perfect fit for the eye-catching accessory, but as JULIBLISS will explain, the hat was called something entirely different until the 1960s.


The term fascinator first surfaced in the fashion world in 17th-century Europe. Back then, it referred to a lacy scarf women wrapped around their heads (or “fastened,” hence the name). Rather than attracting stares from across the room, this version of the hat was meant to give women an alluring air of mystery. By the mid 20th-century, a slew of new hat styles hit the scene, leaving both the term fascinator and the garment it described to fall out of fashion.

In the 1960s, a New York milliner named John P. John decided it was time for the fascinator to make a comeback. Instead of thinking about the headpiece in its original sense, however, he used the name to rebrand the petite cocktail hats that were known at the time as clip-hats or half-hats. The sexy new name helped the already-popular design become even trendier.



A fascinator is a small headpiece different from a hat because it has decorations mounted on a base like a comb, headband or clip, and attached to the head. They are made of various types of fabrics and materials, all of which are combined to create a unique design and can be worn to weddings, cocktail parties, Polo races, garden or tea party.

A few common materials used to create fascinators include:

Sinamay: A fabric made from banana plant fibers and is often used to make the base of a fascinator, as well as decorative loops or curls. Feathers: Such as goose, ostrich, guinea fowl, or peacock.

Crinoline: A stiff fabric that‘s used to create architectural decorative elements.

Lace: Which adds a delicate beauty to pretty much anything.

Silk flowers: A fairly traditional decorative element that adds a touch of femininity to a fascinator. Fascinators will usually come attached to one of three things: a comb, a clip, or a hair band.

Hair band: It is the easiest fascinator attachment as it sits across the crown of your head, and supports the fascinator. Once you wear it, your fascinator won’t move.

Comb: It is the most comfortable fascinator attachment an it works best with thick hair and updos, so that it has something to grip to.

Clip: It is the most versatile of the three attachments as it can be worn with any hairstyle and hair type. It is usually used for small, lightweight fascinators.



There are etiquette rules for wearing any type of fascinators. Remember that others cannot see through your fabulous headwear, so out of kindness for others who may want to watch the goings-on, do not wear a fascinator at the symphony, movie theater, or any occasion with stadium seating. Also, if you are taller than your escort, you may not want to wear a towering fascinator. Quick rules for styling a fascinator A fascinator is usually worn to the side, and traditionally it is the right side. If your fascinator comes with an elastic strap, don’t wear it under your chin. Instead, wear it behind your ears and fasten it to the nape of your neck with bobby pins. Keep it in proportion to your head, body, and hairstyle size. For example, if you have a big head or big hear, do not wear a dainty fascinator.


Keep your hairstyle simple so it does not distract from your fashion accessory. A simple ponytail, a slicked-back style, or a slightly-curled free-falling style look best. Keep it stylish and classy. There is no need to sport a 3-foot ostrich feather off the top of your head! Start small and simple. Consider the event you’re attending. If it’s the races, you can go as crazy as you like, but if it’s a friend’s wedding or a Christening, you may want to choose a more subdued fascinator. Think about what you are wearing, and choose a fascinator accordingly. Fussy dresses require simple fascinators, while a plain dress leaves more room for you to add drama with your choice of fascinator. Invest in a good hatbox to store your fascinator when not in use. This will keep it free of dust, and ensure it stays in perfect condition until the next time you wear it.



1. Decide where you want to place the fascinator. If the fascinator is on a headband, then your choice of placement is limited. If it’s on a comb or clip, then you can place it wherever you want. However, it will look best placed to one side of the head or at the back. If you put the fascinator right on top of your head, you may look like feathers or flowers have sprouted from the crown of your scalp.


2. Backcomb the part of the hair where the fascinator will go.

3. Place the fascinator in your hair.

4. Spray around the fascinator with hairspray, being careful not to get too much spray on the fascinator itself.

5. Use some bobby pins on top of the comb or clip if you want to guarantee an extra-strong hold.

Lastly and most importantly, always wear your fascinator with confidence and style! Contact Julibliss @fascinator_by_julibliss via facebook, twitter or instagram.


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