Fascinators, or cocktail hats, are decorative trappings made of fanciful materials such as feathers, flowers, lace or beads.
They're typically attached to hats or worn in one's hair in lieu of a hat, along with formal attire. The word originally referred to a fine, lacy head covering akin to a shawl and made from wool or lace. The new Duchess of Cambridge has sparked a trend in that accessories, say industry observers and entrepreneurs who specialize in the niche. Some American hat retailers say the accouterments have been selling strong ever since photos of Ms. Middleton wearing them began to surface a few months ago. Serendipity Tiaras generates most of its traffic—31%—from organic Google search results, followed by Google Adwords, which brings in about 18% of sales, says Ms. Lyons.