Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Fascinate Me

I’ve been really frazzled over the last few weeks.  As a result, my usual creative energy has been a bit muted.  So today, I thought I would answer a bunch of Ask Belles that have been piling up in my inbox.  

Dear Belle:

I have been invited to a friend’s afternoon autumn wedding and she has requested that female guests wear fascinators. This is a first for me, since I am not a member of the British Royal Family. But I want to honor her wishes; it’s her day, and I aim to please. Where can I find them in D.C.? How should I wear my hair (it’s straight and shoulder-length, no bangs)? Any suggestions?

Sincerely,  Francine

If possible with a fascinator, I’d like to opt for something classy and elegant, understated, not insane and Princess Bea-ish. 
Wow, fascinators…that’s a new one.  But my sheer surprise aside, I think it’s great that you’re trying to be a good wedding guest.  So here are some ideas.

Fascinators strike me as more of a springtime item, so I don’t think you’re likely to find one in a store this time of year.  The only exception would be a vintage store or perhaps one of those teeny-bopper stores at the outlet malls like Papaya.  I would suggest looking for one online.

Basic black seems to be the most popular color.  Charlotte Russe, Nordstrom and Ulta have a selection of black adornments.  (I also liked this champagne one from Nordies, but it might look too bridal.)  And while not technically a fascinator, I love this large feather clip from Tasha.

But if you want to go all in, and I mean ALL IN, you need to go to Etsy.


After flipping through the sheer awesomeness that is on Etsy, I am kind of wishing that someone I know would temporarily lose their mind and have a fascinator wedding.  The maple leaves on the left are perfect if you’re Canadian.  The one in the middle is the definition of architectural elegance (my bad, this listing is for the ribbon, not the hat made with it, but I think you and a hot glue gun could make that happen).  And the one on the right has understated Victoria Beckham written all over it.  

I know it sounds like I’m kidding, but I am not.  If you want a fascinator, take yourself over to Etsy, even I would wear this hot pink one.



  1. Lindsay says:

    Hi Belle and Francine,

    The Proper Topper in Dupont Circle generally has a good selection as well! Although I'm not sure what they have in season presently.

    Good luck!

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  2. Usha says:

    I had to wear one recently when I attended a wedding in San Sebastian – It is tradition to wear a headpiece.

    I found a lovely piece on sale at BHLDN. There are still a fair few on their sale site now.

    Good luck!

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  3. An says:

    I attended a hat / fascinator wedding last October, and despite the initial WTF, it was a ton of fun. Belle is right, Etsy is the way to go! I can personally vouch for Ashley at Poppycock Vintage, who helped me to pick out the perfect hat for the wedding last year. It's also worth taking a look if you don't feel comfortable going full-on fascinator :-). Her shipping was particularly speedy.

    Tip: A friend helped me sew hair combs into the hat so that it would sit on the side of my head (and stay there).

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  4. Francine says:

    Thanks SO MUCH, Belle and commenters. This gives me lots of good leads.

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  5. nicci says:

    I got a fascinator for my cousin's (legit) European wedding at Claire's! It was simple, cheap and totally didn't look like it came from a teenybopper mall store. I was very pleasantly surprised.

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  6. L says:

    There is a kiosk in the Pentagon City Mall called Accessories with a good selection. They are decent quality and at about $30 the price is right for something you will only wear once.

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  7. The New Diplomat's Wife says:

    Leah C Millinery in New York does an absolutely fantastic job with handmade fascinators but they are a pretty major investment – she has some that are already made, else you can describe your dress and she will design for you.

    BHLDN also has a good collection of legit hair adornments as well, esp fascinators and hats so that's a good place to check, look in the sale section as well.

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  8. Leigh says:

    Try Burlington Coat Factory, Hot Topic (not kidding on this one, I found some there a few years before fascinators were made popular) and definitely Etsy.

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  9. Kate says:

    There is an absolutely lovely woman, Marylin, who is occasionally at the flea market in Eastern Market, who runs Treats for Tresses ( I've bought a fascinator from her and it was a really fun experience, trying on everything to find something just right. She's working on a website but you can see her stuff and contact her through FB. Much of her stuff is made out of vintage, reclaimed goods.

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  10. RB says:

    Try Bedford Falls Headwear. I stumbled upon these gorgeous handmade fascinators (many of which are simply headbands embellished with beads and feathers for those of us who are slightly intimidated by extreme statement-making headwear) and accessories at the French Market in New Orleans. They have a small selection available online at and I believe they told me they had recently contracted to sell their products in Urban Outfitters stores.

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  11. JKC says:

    I know this sounds weird, but most major malls have kiosks that sell fascinators (if you can get over the fake hair and rhinestone clips). I got mine at the Pentagon City Mall that a previous poster, and everyone loved them at the weddings I went to.

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  12. Lexi says:

    Proper Topper in Dupont also has several that are fun!

    October 11, 2012/Reply
  13. Marilyn Rickards says:

    Just read the nice comment about me and fascinators from Kate. Thank you.
    Finally have web site but have switched to Bridal Hair Pieces but will do a couple of markets in the Spring with little hats for “The Cup””

    December 13, 2012/Reply
  14. Susan Jones says:

    Mad Hatter in Fuquay-Varina, NC always carries fascinators.

    August 17, 2014/Reply