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Royal wedding helps hat shop

Viewers worldwide tuned in to watch The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on TV. While many were interested in watching the romantic wedding, there were other eye-catching moments apart from the actual ceremony, like the headwear of the attendees.

Over My Head, a hat boutique located at 1987 Guilford Rd. in Upper Arlington, has seen an increase in demand for hats that are similar to the style worn by Middleton and wedding guests.

Hat trends are changing because of Middleton and the royal wedding, said Bethany Golden, owner of Over My Head.

Golden said her boutique saw an increase of almost 50 percent in sales from last year during the hat season, which includes the Kentucky Derby, Hat Day at the Franklin Park Conservatory and wedding season.

The hat style that is dominating now is the fascinator, worn by Middleton, Golden said.

Fascinators are small hats or headbands worn on one side of the head, Golden said. They are often embellished with feathers, flowers or veiling.

Unlike regular hats that have a brim, a fascinator must be attached to your head, Golden said.

The definition of a fascinator is that it changes your profile, Golden said.

“With a big hat, you see mostly hat (when a person is wearing it),” Golden said. “But with a fascinator, it kind of adds to you, versus getting covered up by a big hat.”

Golden said Over My Head sold four fascinators for every one regular hat this year. She said the boutique sold one fascinator in 2010 and has sold 38 in 2011.

Golden said she thinks the increase in demand comes from women wanting to wear Middleton’s style.

“With the popularity of the Royal Wedding and Kate Middleton, I think that femininity is starting to come back,” Golden said. “So you see dresses coming back, and you see headbands and flowers and hair adornments coming back. I think that’s all part of it.”

Hilary Burkhard, a fourth-year in fashion merchandising and the former public relations chair of the Fashion Student Organization, said she has seen more embellished headbands at retailers like H&M and Forever 21.

Burkhard said those stores are interpreting the fascinator style.

Demi Moore wore a hat that was similar to the Middleton-style on the red carpet at the MET Ball, Burkhard said, “which is something you’ve never really seen until now.”

Golden said the majority of the fascinators in her store, which range in price from roughly $150 to $450, are made by Brenda Risacher, a local hat designer.

Risacher said she does not try to copy the exact hats worn by Middleton.

The designer said she makes the hat base, then “starts playing with the feathers and trying to get that whole Kate Middleton look.” 

Golden said she thinks fascinators should become a fashion staple.

“If Kate Middleton continues to wear hats, then I think we’ll see everyone else follow suit,” Burkhard said.

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