What are fascinators made of?
Fascinators can be made of various types of fabrics and materials, all of which are combined to create a unique design. A few common materials used to create fascinators include:

  • Sinamay, which is a fabric made from banana plant fibers and is often used to make the base of a fascinator, as well as decorative loops or curls.
  • Feathers, such as goose, ostrich, guinea fowl, or peacock.
  • Crinoline, which is a stiff fabric that‘s used to create architectural decorative elements.
  • Lace, which adds a delicate beauty to pretty much anything.
  • Silk flowers, which are a fairly traditional decorative element, and add a touch of femininity to a fascinator.

How much are your fascinators, hats and hatinators?
Cost will vary depending on materials chosen, size and complexity. However, as a guide line, prices generally range from $50.00 – $200.00.
How much are your fascinators, hats and hatinators?
Cost will vary depending on materials chosen, size and complexity. However, as a guide line, prices generally range from $50.00 – $200.00.

Do I have to pay upfront?
Yes. You can purchase one of the items online as is, (color, design, etc) if it is still available. Alternatively, you can ask for a custom made design (bespoke) which is what most customers go for, given that they are looking for a specific color/design to match an outfit. Either way, you will have to pay upfront (1) to secure your place on The Design Board if ordering a bespoke design, and (2) to have your item shipped to you. Nothing with be shipped without prior payment.

What is a bespoke design?
A Bespoke design is the place to be if you need something created to compliment your outfit. All bespoke designs are priced on a client by client basis, as everyone is individual and materials will differ from piece to piece.

How do I place an order?
For your convenience, there are different ways to order:

By telephone – call Janet Andoh at +1(207) 409-0692 or +1 (207) 221-5461 to discuss your order.
Email – Please send an email to: info@byalphacouture.com, with any questions you may have on placing your order.
In person – Please make an appointment to visit our South Portland Workroom. Appointments are generally available week days, week nights and also on a weekend (Saturday only).
Via SKYPE – If distance is an issue, then an alternate would be to undertake a consultation by SKYPE so that I can fully understand your requirements. My SKYPE name is Janet Andoh.

What is your time frame?
Depending on the time of the year and your location, your order can be completed anytime between two to four weeks. If you need a made-to-measure hat or fascinator for a particular function and need this sooner than specified, please call – in some instances, shorter timescales can be met (workload permitting).

What do you charge for postage and packaging?
This depends on several factors:
Shipping Time. We offer three shipping options to accommodate the urgency of your order:

Express Shipping – estimated shipping time 1-2 business days.
Priority Shipping – estimated shipping time 2-3 business days
Regular Shipping – estimated shipping time 5-11 business days
Distance – Approximate pricing.
Priority Mail within the US is anything between $12.00 and $40.00, depending on the size of your order.
UK – $16.75 to $ 24.00, depending on size of package.
Canada – $10.75 to $18.00, depending on size of package.
Rest of the World – postage will have to be determined, depending on size of package and/or distance.
If you are within reasonable distance from Portland, Maine you can collect your item at ByAlpha Couture’s Workroom in South Portland.

What sort of Payment options do you have?
Online – you can pay by secure online credit or debit card payment through PayPal.
Email –If ordering by phone or Skype, I will email you a PayPal invoice, from which you can make your online payment.
By telephone – you can phone in your credit card details. This method will attract a 3% increase in your payment, just so you know!
In person – you can pay by credit card (Visa or MasterCard), check or cash, if visiting the Workroom.

Can I try before I buy?
If I have a sample, then yes; this provides you with reassurance. I have a few samples at the Workroom that you are welcome to try. Otherwise, if a piece has been custom-ordered, then for hygiene reasons, it would be unfair to let you try these.

I like a piece but want it changed a little. Will you customize it for me?
Yes. I will typically customize a piece for no additional charge, unless it substantially changes and adds cost in which case I will let you know ahead of time. Just contact me and I will work with you to create the perfect design.

Could you copy a design I’ve seen?
No, this would be against the original designers’ copyright and would be both unethical and illegal. The design can, however, be altered or tweaked, if you so desire. If you have a specific idea in mind this can be used as a source of inspiration but no direct copies of other people’s work will be undertaken.

Can I email a picture of my dress to you?
While I can color match via pictures on email it is best if you can send in a piece of your outfit’s fabric or similar color (if applicable). Screens differ tremendously and my perception of what your outfit color is could be deceiving. Alternatively, I could mail you swatches of colors I have available. This will ensure we get the whole look perfect for you.

Can I wash my hat or fascinator?
No. Washing such items will make them lose their shape and sometimes even wash away the colors. From experience, I know that even applying a damp sponge is not advisable as this can create permanent staining – I once tried to clean make up stains on the brim of my hat – bad move! Tip – to avoid make up stains, place a small piece of carpenter’s tape (the color of the fascinator, if possible) directly under the brim to avoid it touching your forehead before (or even whilst) wearing – good luck!

If you need to clean your fascinator or hat, we recommend removing any dust or particles with a low tack adhesive tape.

What types of weddings can I wear a fascinator to? Is wearing a fascinator (or hat) necessary?
Wearing a fascinator to a wedding is always appropriate, unless the bride has specifically mentioned not to in the dress code. If you are uncertain about whether of not to wear a fascinator to a wedding, contact the bride and tell her you would like to, and if that is appropriate for her dress code.

If the wedding you are attending is in the evening, a hat may not be appropriate but a fascinator will be. It’s not necessary to wear a fascinator, but it can be a lot of fun! Fascinators can add color and personality to your outfit, and help pull together a look. Only wear a fascinator if you feel comfortable doing so, and enjoy the experience!

Is there anything I should know about wearing a fascinator to a wedding?
Unlike a hat, there is no need to remove your fascinators if you are indoors, or when you enter a church (or other religious building, unless specified).

Mother knows best

The mother of the bride dictates when other ladies may remove their hats and fascinators. If you are attending a traditional wedding hosted by the bride’s family, only remove your fascinator if/when the mother of the bride removes hers.


If you still have questions unanswered, please contact ByAlpha Couture.

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