Royal Baby Watch

Royal Wedding Attire: What is a Fascinator?

Celebrity Style Apr. 29, 2011 AT 5:41AM
Royal Wedding Attire: What is a Fascinator? Credit: Indigo/Getty

Similar to the Kentucky Derby and church-going women, wearing a fancy hat to a royal wedding is essential. But these over-the-top headpieces aren't just feathers, blooms, and netting springing off of heads -- they're called fascinators, a style of formal millinery that is popular among British women.

PHOTOS: The royal family's best hats and fascinators

As the world watches Prince William, 28, and Kate Middleton, 29, (soon to be the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) tie the knot, a sea of fascinators will be in the backdrop. For such an occasion, a woman would ensure that a fascinator would sit atop her head. (Victoria Beckham was spotted wearing a navy pillbox creation.)

PHOTOS: Celebs at the royal wedding

The fanciful headwear became popular in the early 20th century and is often worn to the side or the front of the forehead, making the accessory look oddly bird-like at times.

PHOTOS: Get Kate Middleton's style

A popular London milliner who specializes in fascinators is Philip Treacy, who's work has been seen in Sex and the City. Middleton is rumored to be such a big fan, that she's commissioned him to create the headpieces that her bridesmaids will wear today.

Commemorate Will & Kate’s big day with our Us Collectors Edition: Royal Wedding with all the photos, anecdotes and details of the wedding. Available for pre-order now and on sale May 6.

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