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What Is A Fascinator?

A fascinator is a head piece, or style of millinery, commonly made with feathers, flowers, jewels or beads that attaches to the hair by a comb, headband or clip. The word originally referred to a head covering similar to a shawl made from wool or lace. The term had become virtually obsolete by the 1970s.   In the early part of the 21st century, “fascinators” started to make a comeback but the meaning had slightly changed.  The new definition refers to a head decoration that often accompanies mainly formal or party attire but is frequently seen these days paired with casual-wear as well.  A fascinator may be worn instead of a hat to occasions where hats were once traditionally worn, such as weddings; brides increasingly choose to wear them as an alternative to a conventional bridal veil, particularly if their gowns or outfits are less fussy or non-traditional.  As  an evening accessory it is sometimes referred to as a “cocktail hat”, even when it doesn’t fit the standard definition of a “hat”. Stylish and fun, a fascinator can be worn on the front, side or, to showcase an updo or chignon, the back of the head.