Beauty Beat

Fascinated with fascinators: Has Princess Kate brought hats back in style?

Fascinated with fascinators: Has Princess Kate brought hats back in style?

News_Kate Middleton_Prince William_engaged
Has the Duchess of Cambrige singlehandedly brought hats back in style?
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 Hot pink hat by Phillip Treacy, $950, at Neiman Marcus Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_Veronika Javor Romeis_wedding_hat_fascinator
The author had a fascinator specially for her wedding. Courtesy Photo
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Black feathery fascinator-style hat, by Kokin, at Neiman Marcus. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Hats for spring come in all sizes and shades.... Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
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Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_women's hats_April 2012
Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News_Kate Middleton_Prince William_engaged
News_women's hats_April 2012
News_Veronika Javor Romeis_wedding_hat_fascinator
News_women's hats_April 2012
News_women's hats_April 2012
News_women's hats_April 2012
News_women's hats_April 2012

As the one year anniversary of the royal wedding looms, it’s a good time to honor one of the best trends that emerged from Will and Kate’s union — a new appreciation and love for hats and fascinators. And with Easter this weekend and wedding season just around the corner, no time is better than the present to revel in my love of this growing trend.

Though the Brits have been donning hats on the regular for special occasions, Americans didn’t quite embrace the trend until more recently, no doubt more comfortable with the idea after the Duchess of Cambridge’s outfits were that much more polished with a little something on top. Whether her hat was a feathery concoction or a nod to the Canadian Maple Leaf (on Canada Day, no less), she always seems to find the perfect topper for her elegant ensembles.

 Women on wedding planning forums and websites were in a tizzy trying to find the perfect hair accessory to match their gowns — and I was one of them.

 It was right around the time of my own 2009 nuptials that hair fascinators became all the rage. Women on wedding planning forums and websites were in a tizzy trying to find the perfect hair accessory to match their gowns — and I was one of them.

Having always been a fan of something floral or feathery in my hair (I was known to hot glue a bobby pin to a silk flower just to pin it into my hair), I knew I wanted a little something extra to complement my wedding-day look. I commissioned California-based designer Lo Boheme to custom-make me an ivory, ostrich-feather fascinator with art-deco style crystals. I recall being flooded with emails from brides after our wedding photos hit the web about who made my hairpiece and where they could get one.

It was official — hair accessories, from fascinators, silk flowers and birdcage veils were no longer an option, they were a necessity. As Duchess Kate continued to be widely photographed during her public appearances, the public became more and more enamored with hats, fascinators and feathers (oh my!).

Houstonians have long appreciated hats — and not just to shield our precious skin from the summer sun’s burning, premature- aging rays. Attendees of both the Hermann Park Conservancy’s "Hats in the Park" luncheon and the Easter Seals’ aptly named “Hats Off to Mothers” luncheon celebrated in style, sporting anything from wide-brimmed and colorful “notice-me” numbers to more subtle, but beautiful fascinators.

With hats on my mind, I decided to scout-out our city’s best hat offerings, starting with Neiman Marcus.

Carrying hats by designers such as Philip Treacy, Marzi, Eric Javits, Kokin and Angiolo Frasconi, Neiman's has a delectable collection of hats priced from $450 to $3,500. My favorite, a hot pink number by Treacy, retails for $950. Neiman’s hat department rep Richard Lee told me that they sell about “10 hats a week, sometimes more, if it’s a good week.” Another favorite was a black feathery fascinator-style hat by Kokin and a ballet slipper pink hat featuring elegant modern bows on the top and undersides, retailing for $1,780.

Other area shops for ladies on the hunt for the fairest hat (or fascinator) of them all include More Than You Can Imagine, Tootsies and Nordstrom.

If you’re seeking something a little more customized, visit Etsy.com, a website that offers hand-made and custom creations.  Designers can create a hat that perfectly complements your attire and is super affordable to boot.  Some of my favorite Etsy designers include VioletPeacock, ToucheHatsCouture, EyeHeartMe, DesireeSpice, BoringSidney, BelledeBenoir, MarcusArtandFashion and AwardDesign.

With all of these incredible hats available in our city, I had to wonder, how many stylish Houstonians re-wear their hats? Luncheon attendees pointed to a number of occasions where hats would be appropriate such as events at the polo or country club and outdoor weddings, of course.

Most attendees admitted that their special hats don’t see the light of day as often as they should.  I often wonder if I showed up at a wedding in a hat or fascinator, if I would get strange looks, or be applauded for attempting to push the British trend into mainstream America? 

What do you think?