A Guide to Hat Fastenings


You're definitely familiar with hats you just plop on your head and leave the house,

but you're also definitely familiar with that hat blowing off, falling in your face, or devoting one hand to keeping your hat On your head rather than rolling away along the floor.

Most Millinery pieces made for style over sunshade will have a way of fastening to your head. This is advantageous not just for eliminating the pesky chore of defending your hat against the slightest breeze, it also gives more control of how your hat perches atop your hair.

There are 4 main fastenings a hat may have;


Hat Elastic,


or Clips.

Some hats may have multiple fastenings designed either to be used together, or provide choice of which to use.


Hair Combs, or Side Combs are probably the most common fastening seen on fascinators and larger hair accessories. There are three type of combs you'll see, Plastic, solid metal, and wire metal. Of these my personal preference is a plastic comb for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I find that a plastic comb just grips the hair better than its counterparts. I also find it causes less hair breakage, as the metal can be very sharp and rough on the hair. As for the metal wire, it looks very nice, but I find it not only falls out of my hair easily, but hair can also very easily get caught in the twisted metal.

Hat Elastic

A hat elastic is probably the fastening you're likely to be unfamiliar with. It's not used regularly in our day-to-day life anymore, and is commonly mis-used. A hat elastic is a thin elastic sewn on opposite sides of the inner-band. It is designed to be worn under the back of the skull, rather than under the chin as you might think initially. There's pros and cons to an elastic, it's a very simple fastening to use, and if your hair is particularly thin or slippery (like mine) it may be best for you if clips and combs have a habit of sliding out of your hair. It may also be easier remove and re-adorn you hat, which may be handy if you're catching transport and have a larger brim. Unfortunately it can be a little less secure depending on how your skull is shaped. This kind of fastening is most commonly seen on brimmed hats.


A headband is the most self-explanatory. It is most commonly seen on tilt hats, some fascinators, and sculptural head pieces. The hat is attached to a headband that you slip on, just like any other day-to-day headband. Personally I'm not a fan of a hat secured by a headband, I find the weight of the hat can easily tip your headband off-balance, and off your head, I also can get headaches from wearing headbands, but maybe I just don't have a head-band-shaped-head. A lot of people find this the easiest way to wear a headpiece, it doesn't pull on your hair, so hair-styles are unaffected, and it's very easy to put on and off.

Hair Clip

Finally, hair clips. Hair clips are seen on fascinators, hair accessories and occasionally bigger millinery pieces. Usually a crocodile clip, the clip is glued or sewn to the bottom of the hat, where it sits flat against your skull, and attaches directly to the hair. This kind of fastening can be quite damaging to hairstyles if you try take it on and off, and if your hair isn't tied up tightly, it may continually slip out. But for small fascinators, I think a clip is definitely the way to go.


I hope this quick overview of common Hat Fastenings has been helpful! Sometimes emerging into the world of millinery can be intimidating as it's a garment rarely worn any more, but no-matter your experience, preference of fastenings is usually highly personal. Dependant on hair type, hat type, chosen hairstyle, etc.

If you have any questions of comments, put them below and I'll get back to you!

What's your favourite way to fasten a hat?

See you next time,

Acacia Mary

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