How to Wear a Fascinator

Image credit Paul McMillan.

Fascinators! Those cute little things that can cost easily as much as the rest of our entire races outfit put together (and we often never end up wearing again). What’s the best way to wear them?

Current Trends

Firstly, it’s 2017 and we need to acknowledge current fascinator trends (or head pieces as they are probably more aptly referred to these days). Gone are the days of those feathery twisted mesh things that sat atop our heads like entries from Sculpture by the Sea. Metal head pieces or anything in headband form is the absolute rage!


                                From this (circa 2010)…                                                    To this! 2017

how to wear a fascinator how to wear a fascinator


How to wear them

How to wear a fascinator is essentially deciding how you’re going to wear your hair with it. The good news is most fascinators look great with a vast range of hair styles, so it’s really up to you to choose which works best for the vibe or look you’re going for a given occasion.


Hair Styles

See our how-to’s for some of the classic styles, from big oomphy waves to sophisticated buns (and more).

how to wear a fascinator how to wear a fascinator



Headband styles

Up-do or out? It’s as complicated as that. These styles look just as great with either. Do your hair in the desired style and put your headband in place. If it’s the elastic style headband that goes all the way around your head, conceal it under your hair at the back and sides.

how to wear a fascinator


Clips or metal hair pieces

Carefully secure these into a messy bun at the back of your head (you may need a friend to help you). You can also try pinning it to one side with your hair out and undone. Depending on the style you can also fix into place at the back with your hair out and straight. Typically these are fixed with little combs that allow you to sit the piece effortlessly in your hair. No strings attached!

how to wear a fascinatorhow to wear a fascinatorhow to wear a fascinatorhow to wear a fascinator

Image credit Paul McMillan


Bandannas and scarves

Bandannas or scarves allow a little more creativity with your chosen hairstyle. They can either be woven into a braid or plait (as per below), tied simply around the hair like a headband, or used to swathe your entire hair in an epic fifties throwback. If you have the skinny style tie, opt for weaving it into a braid or just tying it around your head. Once again, hair up or down is fine. If you have the full square style, go for the old school look and wrap it around an up-do to completely conceal your hair. Tie it at the front in a large knot, or at the back under the bun and let the ends traipse. Add statement earrings for max impact.

how to wear a fascinator
Image credit Elizabeth Lippman

how to wear a fascinatorhow to wear a fascinatorhow to wear a fascinator


Statement wraparound headband or headpiece

Again, up do’s or out-do’s are equally fine choices here. It’s up to you. The difference here is positioning the headband low down across your forehead, rather than way up on the crown of your head. This gives a real wow factor and allows a statement head piece to really take centre stage. This works best with the wraparound styles. You need to leverage the back of the band higher at the back to keep it in position at the front.

how to wear a fascinator how to wear a fascinator


Traditional Style Fascinators

The more traditional style fascinators work best perched on a side angle partially covering the forehead (à la the Duchess of Cambridge below). Either a classy up do or voluminous waves look equally great with these. Usually these type of fascinators are secured to the hair with a comb or discreet headband. If it’s the former, push the comb firmly into your hair against your scalp towards the back of your head to secure it into position. Pre-spraying this small section of hair with hair spray can assist the comb to stay in place throughout the day.

how to wear a fascinator

how to wear a fascinator

All images Pinterest (except where noted otherwise). 


In the market for a cool headband fascinator or headpiece? See our handy little guide

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