In hindsight, I’ve named the first Tuesday in November – ‘Fascinator Day’. This is Melbourne Cup Day when every Australian celebrates Australia’s richest horse race. This week, woman everywhere were wearing a Fascinator to breakfasts, lunches, parties and to the races nationwide. The Fascinator is the accessory of the day. It’s a Modern Classic ie the modern version of the dressy hat.
I am not sure when Fascinators became this popular. You only seem to notice what’s popular when you decide to be part of the parade. So this week I became part of the ‘Fascinator Parade’.
You can’t teach women how to dress well unless you observe how and why they dress as they do.
Stylish Baby Boomers – If you want to join the trend, here’s my loving and slightly irreverent tribute to The Melbourne Cup Fascinator.
How I Joined ‘The Fascinator Parade’
It started last month at a business breakfast Meetup when it was decided that, as our next meeting was on Melbourne Cup morning, we’d have a Fascinator Parade with prizes. I’m competitive and I love a bit of fun. I also wasn’t going to spend a fortune on a once-off item. I scoured a few charity shops with no luck. I was going to make one but there seemed to be no supplies left. Then I found some in a new dress shop near me. I had colours I could co-ordinate with my choice. (What else do you expect of the Baby Boomer Personal Stylist!) Before the big day, I noticed Fascinators everywhere. My hairdresser said she used to sell them when there was a betting shop nearby, since gone.
When my business breakfast participants couldn’t decide by popular vote who would win, they resorted to the good old Aussie tradition of handing out raffle tickets. My number was drawn first.
I’m now moving forward in this parade. And I’m noticing things I hadn’t before.
Fascinators Tell a Visual Story About the Wearer
Unless you are dressed by a stylist, the fascinator tells a visual story about you, the woman who is wearing it. Some are carefully chosen. Some are ‘this will do’. Some are colour-co-ordinated. Some are individual. Some are fun. And some use it as a chance to go over the top with showing their personality.
I lovingly noticed them all.
Some are on hair combs. Some are on head bands. These are the easy ones to wear.
Some are on a single clip like mine was. Clips slip off soft, smooth hair. My hairdresser came to the rescue. She showed me how to attach it securely. A bobby pin is essential.
Secret Tip – Decide where it will go on your head. Grab a chunk of your hair. Twist it round and bobby-pin it to your head. Now you have a solid, thicker bit of hair to clip the Fascinator to. It works.
Am I Going to Look Silly in This? – Where exactly do I wear it? On top? To the side? It must be at the right angle to look good on me. Do left-handers put it on the opposite side to right-handers? (I missed noticing that one.) Do I keep it on when I stop at the supermarket, garage etc on the way there or home? Ah! Men simply do not understand what we women go through for fashion.
She’s Wearing the Same One – Yes, it happened to me. Not at the business breakfast. At a lunch with only eight women. We bought them on different sides of town. Her’s was $10.00 cheaper. I saw the funny side.
All was Good Til I Got in my Car – How do other women get to their events without their Fascinator going askew? Not being used to something high on my head, mine hit the car door frame as I got in and out. It banged on the headrest when I turned my head to back out of the garage. I thought it was because I am short and sit close to the steering wheel. No. My 6-foot tall colleagues had those troubles too.
Am I Ever Going to Wear You Again? – It’s the age old fashion dilemma – what to do with the one-off dress or accessory? I’ve checked the Social Pages. The Fascinator is Race Dressing. I’m not a regular racegoer. If I keep it for next year, I have to find a place to store it. As a Baby Boomer Woman, I’m getting more ruthless about what I keep. I have decided. I had fun with it. Wore it twice. I’m saving some photos (see above). My Fascinator is going to a charity shop for some other woman to enjoy.
I’m hooked. If I can’t find at least one event to go to on Melbourne Cup Day next year, I’ll have my own lunch at home. I’m definitely moving closer to the front of The Fascinator Parade.
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