Fascinated By Fascinators

Anthony: It’s no secret that I love hats. I don’t know what I can attribute that to other than looking really, really good in one; I suppose it’s due to my large head. Hat culture – yes, it exists – is an interesting little subset that is best celebrated by the English. You know what I’m talking about: those proper English ladies who rarely leave the house without a chapeau donning their heads, strutting through the town constantly humming “God Save the Queen”.

Said Queen, who is rocking this mint green feathered number.

There are only two events in British life that require the most lavish, ridiculous, ornate hats that a lady’s neck can bear: The Grand National and a wedding. In summer 2009, I went to Ireland for a cousin’s wedding and let me assure you there was no shortage of hats. Granted they weren’t as…fashionable…as their British counterparts but they did not disappoint. I emailed one cousin for a photo of her hat, but suffice to say she was less than flattered when I told her why I needed the photo. If I can paint a visual picture, imagine Tom Sawyer’s straw hat on speed. With peacock feathers. You think I’m exaggerating but I’m not.

Now, unless you live in a cave in an undiscovered part of the world, you’ve heard the royal proclamation that Wills and Kate are getting hitched. As soon as the news was announced, everyone I knew was instantly recalling the grand spectacle that was Princess Diana and Charles’ wedding back in ’81.

This image is ingrained in my mind and I was born four year AFTER the fact.

You know, if I was a member of the Royal Family, I’d be eternally pissed that I had to follow Diana’s act. Yeah, she was beautiful and glamourous and kind and funny and…OK, she’s untouchable. A royal wedding is exciting news but it seems everyone has already forgotten about Charles and Camilla’s wedding five years ago.

Right. That's why.

I’d like to take this moment to offer my advice on hat choice for the ladies who will be attending the wedding and the Anglophiles who will be watching every minute on television.

My word, she loves horses.

1 – Try to refrain from adorning your hat with a fresco. We get it – you always want to upstage the bride even though you repeatedly assure everyone that’s not your intention. British women excel at two things: keeping a stiff upper lip and plotting elaborate passive aggressive revenge against those who have socially wronged them.

There isn't one witty caption I can put here that will outshine this hat.

2 – Feathers are fun. Too many feathers are tacky. Seriously, what are you doing? No one is going to be able to see around that hat and if you stand in the garden where you know the after wedding tea will be held, you’re just going to blend into the shrubbery.

“Have you seen Tamsyn?”

“Oh dear, perhaps we lost her in the scuffle.”

“My mistake Reg, she’s over there by topiaries.”

Nana doesn't know where she is, but at least she's having a great time.

3 – If you time it just right, you can look like a mentally unstable nana who thinks she’s in an Alice in Wonderland reenactment. Of course this can only be accomplished with ribbon that has been starched within an inch of its life. I understand why these hats are called fascinators but I think desperate-cry-for-attention-ators fits.

Cute Explosion.

4 – Try as you might, you will never look as cute and matronly as One herself. One does love a broad brimmed hat and One should always take hipster-esque photos with an umbrella. It really captures One’s whimsical side. (queen umbrella)

Nobody rocks a hat like the Queen and I’ve witnessed a litany of queens who have tried. I wish that hats would catch on in our little city but I suppose it would be hard for the ladies around town to find a hat as slouchy as their yoga pants. Pants tucked into socks paired with Birkenstocks do not exactly pair with a fascinator. I’ll leave you with a group of ladies who clearly have no idea that the Grand National is a sporting event. Ta-Ta.

Quality Street. Quality Fascinators.

L-A: I knew there was a reason I like Anthony, and it’s not just his wit or sense of style – it’s that he can wear the hell out of a hat.  His fascination with the fascinator was quite timely, considering that Santana wore one while singing Valerie on Glee last night:

Nice try kiddo, but the Brits outdo you on hats & on singing Valerie.


Little known fact: I too can wear the hell out of a hat. I really should wear them more. I need someone to get married so that I can wear something giant and feathery and British on my head.

Just kidding! (or am I??)

Ideally, what I need is for a friend that both Anthony and I know to get married and then we can BOTH WEAR HATS  to the SAME WEDDING (yes, that required all caps).  This calls for a new venture in the new year: FPQT’s Dating Service. We find you a husband/wife and you invite us to your hat filled wedding (that’s the catch to our service: your wedding invite must say “hats mandatory”).  Or maybe I’ll just wear a hat to watch the royal wedding.  Anyone know where I can get one of those Quality Street hats?

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