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BRIANA: Today’s topic is right in the middle of the Venn diagram that is design and fashion: Fascinators. They made splashy appearances at William & Kate’s royal wedding and the Design Happens crew spotted them all over Alt, so you know they’re hot with the design blogging set. They’re certainly attention-grabbing, but that can be a good thing or a bad thing. So, what do you think? Are fascinators fantastic or frightening?

royal princess fascinators

LILI: People are doing this?

bridal fascinator

On purpose?

colorful fascinators

Picture: Stuart Wilson/Getty Images

Brian Patrick Flynn, you must have something to say about this.

LEANNE: No. Just no.

DEANNE REVEL: As a dedicated fan of Gossip Girl and Blair Waldorf’s headbands, I am pro anything that uses a headband as a foundation.

gossip girl fascinator

But let’s not go crazy. The ones with the mini top hats are just ridiculous. By wearing a fascinator you’re already saying you couldn’t commit to a real hat.

MARIANNE: I…think I’m too old for this. Unless someone wants to invite me to a royal wedding. Otherwise, no.

CAMILLE: It’s wrong, just wrong. I can’t imagine (and probably don’t want to know) what the interior design equivalent of a fascinator is. Ugh – found it:

feather lamp

JESSICA: Cookie Monster…is that you?

GRANT: I think they’re amazing (but maybe more in photos than in real-life?)!

cherry fascinator

SARAH: Even if it is admittedly tacky, here’s what women donning fascinators have in common — they came to party. I support them all. I have one that I wore to a garden party benefit a few weeks after Kate and William’s wedding in 2011. I would wear it again in a heartbeat. My hat’s (and fascinator) off to anyone who has fun with fashion and brings life to the party.

sarah fascinator

LIZ: As a hat lover, I have a certain respect for a woman who wakes up and says…I’m going to make a giant Easter basket…and wear it ON MY HEAD. It’s the tiny ones I find less than fascinating. I think my American Girl doll wants its hat back:

new girl fascinator

KAYLA: Agreed. Tiny American Girl doll hats are a no-go. But, I could just look at pictures of Kate Middleton in feathery fascinators all day long.
kate middleton fascinator

kate middleton fascinator

kate middleton fascinator

Bombshell.

LEANNE: Now here’s a fascinator I’d wear. If you’re going to wear a tacky hat, wear a gloriously tacky one.

carmen miranda fascinator

JESSICA: I love all the lace and feather fascinators! And I would also pretty much wear anything Carmen Miranda puts on her body. Princess B. on the other hand…

princess b fascinator whoville

Whoville is all I see.

LEANNE: Kayla has hit on a key point. Kate Middleton is a gorgeous woman who would look good in a Ted Nugent t-shirt. Princess B, um, needs to stay away from anything that isn’t working overtime to enhance her appearance.

HANNAH SLAUGHTER: Poor Princess B.’s will never be okay. Ever. But, in general, I adore them! The gal that wears a fascinator knows she’s stylish enough to stand apart, which you’ve gotta respect.

We’ve tossed our hats (and opinions) into the ring…now take a vote and tell us what YOU think:

32 Responses

  1. CplusE says:

    I'll be blunt here — ugh, as in ugly! Of course, when it comes to fashion I am hopelessly out of touch, but here is a link that agrees with my assessment:

    http://www.broadsheet.ie/2011/06/27/finally-someo

    Surely there are better ways to be stylish!

  2. Joyce G. says:

    I'm not a fan of those crazy hats.

  3. Up In The Sky says:

    I wouldn't wear a fascinator in public for any occasion.

  4. Mary says:

    I think they're off the charts, but in a neat sort of way.

  5. Maria Elaina says:

    I think it depends on the fasinator. The small feathery ones in the Kate Middleton pics add the right amount of drama without being an eyesore.

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Briana MowreyBriana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey,...

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