Fascinators, yes or no? Three experts tell.


Even the most confident fashionista can be at a loss come Spring Racing season.

What is the dress code for Oakes Day? Can you wear a coloured hat on Derby Day? Are fascinators in or out?

So many questions, so many rules.

For us, the term ‘fascinator’ conjures up images of those Fountain Lakes fillies, Kath & Kim, so we asked some of Australia’s most qualified fashion experts to weigh in on what we should be wearing on our heads this year.

David Jones Racewear Ambassador (and racing royalty), Emma Freedman:381e2195d60810fd_emma.preview

So I guess the term ‘fascinator’ conjures up images of lots of mix matched fluffy feathers, heaps of different trims like netting and flowers and straw all rolled into one mismatched monstrosity… but it doesn’t have to be like that.
I think fascinators have evolved into headpieces.

You can still wear something smaller than a hat (a fully fledged hat might not go with your outfit) but it’s all about editing the trims and keeping it simple. Choose something with one kind of feather, or that only uses flowers. I wore a piece to the Caulfield Cup on Saturday that I would deem to be a headpiece – it was on a headband and only used one kind of feather. Similarly, for Derby Day I am going to wear a piece that is quite simple in structure but will work really well with my outfit…Less is more sometimes!

Television presenter, columnist, fashion & beauty expert, Charlotte Dawson: web headshot

I love fascinators! Nothing worse than donning a big ol’ hat on a crowded course and having it knocked off your noggin’ exposing hat head hair and the telltale red rim around your forehead. I’ve seen some really cute headpieces lately (Jen Hawkins with the fluffy bunny ears was deeeevine) and even just little ribbons or mesh adorning racegoers heads. I will hurl myself into Nerida Winter for a piece this season, I love how each year she designs the most intricate and cute designs.


Style commentator, Paula Joye:Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 4.17.09 PM

Fascinators are back. Not sure they ever really went away but they are having a renaissance this season. The newest styles are Nicole Richie inspired and nothing like the more common feather duster varieties. I predict lots of delicate gold headbands wrapped through plaits or draped over the forehead. Also lots of crowns in matte metallic and rose gold – check out Mimco and Kookai for cool versions – and ornate floral headpieces. Think Midsummer Nights Dream with large exaggerated blooms.

One more tip: If you’re not going to be trackside this year but will be celebrating in the office or at a restaurant a hat or OTT headpiece is probably going to be too much. Instead opt for a floral headpiece, head jewellery or simple fascinator.

Heading to the races this weekend? Shop our Spring Racing favourites below.


The Iconic Ella Fascinator BUY HERE.


Mimco Sacred Bow Veil BUY HERE.  2360_4260_7076

Mimco Dino headband BUY HERE.


Mimco Plisse and Pleats headpiece BUY HERE.181165240_181165690_fs_3

Morgan & Tyler aqua headpiece BUY HERE.

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PL by Peter Lang rose gold headpiece BUY HERE.


Gregory Ladner Belle fascinator BUY HERE. 186258070_186258250_fs_3

Max Alexander headpiece BUY HERE.


ASOS Bunny Ears Fascinator BUY HERE.morgan-taylor-4545-254121-3-zoom

Morgan & Taylor Sienna bow BUY HERE. morgan-taylor-4606-054121-3-zoom
The Iconic Eva fascinator BUY HERE. (Also available in pale pink here.)
ASOS jewelled cat ears BUY HERE.morgan-taylor-4908-215121-3-zoom
Morgan & Taylor Isla Fascinator BUY HERE.
The Iconic Floral headband BUY HERE.
Mimco Dino Chain headpiece BUY HERE.
PL by Peter Lang earrings BUY HERE.
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Karen Walker sunglasses BUY HERE. Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 5.19.25 PM
Evan Evina Black perspex headpiece BUY HERE.
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Evan Evina Crystal Winged Ear Cuff  BUY HERE.
Mimco snake headband BUY HERE.
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Sass & Bide Interlude clutch BUY HERE.

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