How to Wear a Tiara

How to Wear a Tiara

by Mary Grace Tacderas

Are you getting married soon or celebrating your 18th birthday? Then you may be thinking of wearing a tiara. The question that comes to mind is how to wear a tiara, or how to pull off wearing a tiara without looking tacky. Grand and aristocratic, tiaras can make or break a look. Choosing and knowing exactly how to wear a tiara is crucial in creating the regal bridal look.

What is a Tiara?

Tiara

Defined to be a version of a decorated crown worn by women on formal occasions. A tiara is commonly associated with various headpieces such as a diadem, a crown, and a circlet. We also typically hear of a kokoshnik worn by the monarchs. What is the difference between all these terms? 

Crown

Bohemian crown

 Bohemian Crown

By Allie Caulfield
Did you know that the oldest surviving crown is made of gold, embellished with precious and semi-precious gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, pearls, sapphires, and emeralds? The Bohemian crown is known as the oldest surviving crown dating back from 1370 to 1380. The Palatine crown came to the house of Wittelsbach in 1402 as a dowry. It was designed with a golden crown with hexagonal rosettes, and fleur de Lis embellished with diamonds, sapphires, pearls, and emeralds.

Difference between a crown and a tiara

  • The crown covers the entire head, while a tiara only covers the head's half frontal part.
  • A crown has a full circular base, while a tiara has a semi-circular with open ends.
  • Both men and women can wear a crown, while only women can wear a tiara.
  • Crowns are used on official royal events and coronations, while tiaras are worn in place of a hat during white tie events for the monarchs and are commonly used in weddings and pageants.
  • Crowns are designed with royal regalia, while a tiara design can range from symbolic to purely aesthetic purposes.
  • A crown signifies a direct lineage from the royal family while a tiara does not.

Gold or Silver Plated Floral Tulip Crown

Gold or Silver Plated Floral Tulip Crown 

A fashion crown replicating a luxurious royal crown encrusted with a series of brilliant white pear-cut crystals complemented small pieces of circular and marquise-cut sparkling white crystals. Available in 12-color combination, ensuring you will find the perfect tiara for you. Get from HERE

Papal Tiara 

Papal Tiara

By MatthiasKabel - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

A type of tiara that was only used for the coronation is called the Papal tiara. The papal tiara is actually a crown characterized by a high three-tier crown known as a triple tiara or Triple Crown. The oldest surviving papal tiara dates back to 1572. The use of triregnum was abolished during the reign of Pope Paul the sixth. 

The three-layered crown tiara symbolizes the triple authority of the Pope; as Vicar of Christ, as the father of kings, and as governor of the world. The bronze sculpture of Saint Peter is crowned during the feast of Saint Peter every 29th of June.

Kokoshnik

 

A kokoshnik is a type of tiara from Russia from drawing inspiration from the Scythian's version of a crown. Traditional kokoshniks started in the 12th century as cylindrical shape hat covering the entire head varying in size and shapes. In the 19th century, kokoshnik tiaras came to be a part of the royals and royal attendant's ensemble: 2014, when Cartier created a kokoshnik-inspired tiara for Queen Marie of Romania.

Diadem

 
By Unknown artist - own work by Wolfgang Sauber, CC BY-SA 3.0

A type of crown that is donned as an ornamented headband signaling a royal status. Diadems were initially designed using a white silk ribbon tied around the head, leaving its ends draped above the shoulder.

Tiara

A tiara came from a Persian term describing headpieces worn by kings characterized with high peaked tip. At present, the term tiara became a generic term for ornament headpieces. There is a set of etiquette on how to wear a tiara for the royalties. The tiara should be worn with the pieces of jewelry on the same plane as your face. This is to maximize the lavish and luxurious gems encrusted on the tiara. At present, modern brides prefer to wear it far back on the head.

Choosing a Tiara

  1. Choose a lightweight tiara.

Fashion tiaras are mostly lightweight and designed with an intricate wire filigree design using cubic zirconia crystals, rhinestones, simulated pearls, beads, and enamel. Most of the royals' tiara are said to likewise have a comfortable weight except for the Vladimir tiara and the Russian Kokoshnik Tiara that weighs about a pound.

Floral Stainless Steel Wedding Tiara Set

Floral Stainless Steel Wedding Tiara Set

Lightweight and designed with delicate and feminine crystal-encrusted floral vines, paired with a pair of stud earrings and a princess necklace. Get from HERE

  1. Choose a Tiara with a loop end

Brides choosing an updo chignon and a traditional wedding hair bun need a tiara molded with loop ends. The pair of holes are used to insert elastics and bobby pins to secure the tiara around the updo hairstyle.

Wishbone Pearl and Crystals Tiara with Loop Ends

Wishbone Pearl and Crystals Tiara with Loop Ends

Simple and ultra-feminine with nature-inspired goddess flair. Styled with a gold-tone frame, decorated with sparkling white marquise-cut cubic zirconia, circular beads, and simulated white pearls. Get from HERE

  1. Choose according to your face and body shape

Preparing for your wedding is truly an exciting journey, especially when you are surrounded by all these grand and brilliant tiaras. Breath and step back a little to remind yourself that you need a tiara to highlight your features and not overshadow you on your wedding day. Just like choosing a pair of earrings, choose the opposite of your facial contour. Meanwhile, regarding your body type, choose a smaller tiara with a tapering end. This way, it heightens and elongate your frame and complements your petite frame. You can opt to select tiaras with a higher crown for fuller-bodied brides with a full narrowing on the sides to balance your built.

Wishbone Black Crystal Pearl Tiara

Wishbone Black Crystal Pearl Tiara

Highlighting a regal wishbone tiara made from a lightweight copper-tone wire base. Decorated with a set of iridescent black marquise-cut cubic zirconia crystals and simulated white pearls. The set also includes a pair of floral-themed stud earrings and a princess necklace. Get from HERE

  1. Choose a tiara complementing your bridal dress motif

Lace is currently back when it comes to bridal gowns. Most lace designs exhibit a floral-themed embroidery creating a sophisticated look. Look for a tiara with the same motif; it does not have to be entirely the same; in fact, modern fashion creatively incorporated floral design on geometric accessories, which gives a vision of vintage style on a modern woman.

Heart Crystal Swan Wedding Tiara Set

Heart Crystal Swan Wedding Tiara Set

Look dainty and elegant as you walk down the aisle with this gorgeous stainless wire tiara. Covered with sparkling white microcrystalline zirconia stone, designed a scrolling filigree replicating a heart, highlighting a brilliant pear-cut white crystal pendant. The set includes a pair of drop stud earrings and a princess necklace. Get from HERE

  1. Add Colors

Use a tiara to add color to your overall look. Most wedding dresses are white, embroidered with the same or almost the same shade as the fabric. Wearing a tiara with colored crystals like emerald green or blue sapphire will break the monotonous white, creating a uniquely distinctive look. You can also use colored crystals to highlight the color of your eyes.

Gold & Red Crystal Tiara Set

Gold & Red Crystal Tiara Set

Exhibit an Asian empress vibe on your wedding day as you wear this glamourous gold-tone tiara encrusted with brilliantly cut simulated red sapphire crystals. Bold and demanding colors that will surely highlight your beauty and skin. Assembled with a pair of drop earrings with round-cut red crystals and a fringe necklace. Get from HERE

Tips on Wearing a Tiara

  • Placement of the tiara

The acceptable placement of a tiara is from one to one and a half inches from your hairline. More than this will look awkward from a viewer's point. Although wearing a tiara a little far back is considered the modern way to wear it, like how the current duchess of Cambridge is seen wearing her tiara.

  • Keep it sparkling

Clean and ensure that your tiara is sparkling, maximizing its grandeur and brilliance. If you are wearing an heirloom, have it cleaned and re-polished by a professional jeweler ensuring there are no loose gems and just to make it look in its top-notch condition. For fashion tiaras, warrant that the tiara you purchase is lacquered, so you only need to do a light touch up cleaning before your big day. Note that a light touchup means literally lightly polishing the surface with a dry cloth or cotton buds, taking care not to damage its crystals and other adornments.

  • Choose the opposite

Remember the rule in choosing a tiara based on the shape of your face. Pointy for the round, round for spiked. Circular tiaras will soften an elongated face, while tiaras with tapered ends will elongate a round face.

  • Keep it clean

Let us look up to the British monarchy, the most famous royal family, for guidance. Have you ever seen a hair out of place while wearing a tiara? An unruly hair is just not compatible with a regal looking tiara, unlike a floral circlet that can go well with a relaxed bohemian look.

  • To wash or not to wash

Conditioning and washing your hair before wearing a tiara is not advisable, for this will make your hair soft and silky smooth. Soft and silky does not go well will a tiara for you need dry and a day old hair to keep the tiara from falling off. A day-old hair will also provide a beautiful body for the tiara to sit on.

  • Elastics are fantastic

Do not forget your trusty elastics for additional support. You can weave it around your hair bun or chignon. Some stylists use a hair comb for tiaras with a high crown to keep the front part secure upright and in its place.

  • Check the Base

Take note of the crystals and the color of the velvet covering the base. You would want to get a base color as that of your hair.

  • Do not connect the veil to the tiara

The two mistakes that people often make is connecting the veil to the tiara and squishing the tiara to fit the hairstyle. These are a definite no for bending  will break or damage not only the base but also the body encrusted in gems. Connecting the veil will add weight to the tiara, however light it may be. This will slowly weigh down the tiara losing its grip, producing a messy hairdo.

  • Not decorated? Hide it.

Hide the undecorated portion of the tiara. If it is not decorated, then it is not meant to be seen. These parts are used to steady and secure the tiara under the hair.

  • Ensure that the tiara is centered.

Make sure that the high point is in the middle area. Use your nose as a guide for a displaced tiara looks is just not acceptable. Centered tiaras complete a clean and regal looking bride.

  • Have a pre-wedding hairstyle do

To prevent unwanted surprises, bring your tiara, and have your hairstylist create your wedding look. This will give both of you the time to look for the perfect hairdo using the tiara to highlight your bridal look. This will also tell you if the tiara you picked complements your beauty or do you need to look for something else.

Facts about Tiara

  • Tiaras are traditionally worn at weddings as a signal of losing one's purity in exchange for love.
  • Only married women are permitted to wear a tiara as it represents the loss of innocence.
  • Tiaras are not heavy to wear except for the papal tiara weighing 8.2 kilograms.
  • Wearing tiaras in the olden times does not mean royalty; it was a part of a tradition.

How do you secure a tiara?

  • For women with short hair who prefer to wear their hair down, insert the tiaras undecorated portion inside a hair leaving only the decorated part above. Use a tail comb to adjust and hide the end of the tiara. Use a Kirby grip or a bobby pin to secure the tiara's end portion (the hollow loop design).
  • For brides with a pageant bun hairstyle, wear the tiara like a crown placing it around the hair bun and not like a hairband. Secure both ends together with a pin or a transparent elastic before attaching the end with a bobby to your hair for a secure fit.

When to Wear a Tiara

  • Weddings

More and more modern-day brides are choosing to wear a tiara rather than the traditional veil. It is a nod to tradition as well as that one day where the bride is ultimately the center of everyone's attention. Grand looking tiaras shouts "look at me" and "I am his queen." Does wearing a tiara on your wedding day look tacky? Only you can answer that. Wearing a tiara will not be tacky when used and worn correctly. This means you have to choose a tiara that is not too over the top yet giving a luxurious flair. Wearing one is also based on how confident you are when wearing a tiara and being in the spotlight. A tiara will ensure that all eyes will be on you, and you have to embrace the moment and be the star of the day.

  • Birthdays

It is your birthday! You can wear a tiara if you want as long as you are the celebrant. Wearing a tiara means you are that highlight of the event; it's like having a sparkling star on your head flashing to everyone, saying that you are the celebrant. Tiaras are particularly preferred and adorned by debutants as they step on to adulthood.

When not to wear a tiara

  • Prom

It is not appropriate for you to wear a tiara, especially the grand ones on a prom night, as events like this usually crows a king and Queen later in the night. Wearing a tiara at a prom is seen as an attention-deprived person or an egotistic individual. Although a simple diadem hairband is better suited for these events as a diadem creates a more relaxed and youthful vibe. 

  • Formal Events

This seems to need no explanation. Unless you are a member of the royal family, it is not applicable to wear a tiara. 

Famous Royal Tiaras with its Fashion Counterparts

Queen Sofia's star and pearl tiara

The tiara originated in Denmark, created for Sophia of Nassau as a wedding gift from his half-brother Adolphe. Characterized by a set of twelve pointed stars, alternately arranged with pearl top spikes. The tiara came to Sweden when Sophia married King Oscar the second in 1857. It was passed on to Queen Victoria, Queen Ingrid, to Princess Benedikte.

White and Blue Crystal Sun Tiara

White and Blue Crystal Sun Tiara 

Replicating Queen Sofia's star and pearl tiara's starburst design, this exquisite wedding tiara displays a large circular centerpiece encrusted with sparkling circular-cut zirconia, emphasized by twelve pointed rays like a starburst. Its silver-tone base is lavishly decorated with glittering pear-cut blue cubic zirconia and small round-cut white crystals. Get from HERE

Gold and Crystal Crown

Gold and Crystal Crown

Replicating a royal crown without a cap, this fabulous gold or silver-tone tiara will surely provide a king and queen look. Highlighting a micro paved lustrous surface covered with white microcrystalline stones. A medieval cross surmounts the arches of the crown giving height and an imperial appearance. Get from HERE

Halo Tiara

From the house of Cartier in 1936, the halo tiara was bought by the late King George the sixth for Queen Mary before he was crowned King of England. Characterized by sixteen pieces of scrolls meeting at the middle and surmounted by a diamond. The tiara is embellished with a total of seven hundred and thirty-nine brilliant diamonds and one hundred and forty-nine baton diamonds. It was passed by queen Mary to queen Elizabeth in 1944 as a birthday gift. Queen Elizabeth then gave the tiara to her daughter, Princess Anne, in 1972. The Duchess of Cambridge last wore the tiara during her wedding in 2011 as Princess Anne lent her the tiara.

Fashion Wedding Halo Crystal Cluster Tiara

Fashion Wedding Halo Crystal Cluster Tiara

Look like the Duchess of Cambridge as you wear this lightweight fashion halo tiara. See the iconic round-cut white crystal clustered with smaller crystals. Magnificently rounded frames emphasize and protect the series of crystal clusters that will indeed impart its brilliance and upgrade your wedding look. Get from HERE

Lover's Knot Tiara

Popularized by the late Princess Diana and is now lent to the Duchess of Cambridge. The lover's knot tiara was inspired by the tiara of Queen Mary's mother commissioned by Garrard & Co requested by the late Queen Mary herself. The original lover's' knot tiara has a sequence of suspended oriental pearls and a lien or upright pearls giving height to the tiara. In 1913, the set of upright pearls were replaced by brilliant round diamonds. It was passed on to Queen Elizabeth, who presented the tiara to the late Princess Diana. The tiara was given back to Queen Elizabeth after Diana's divorce and is not usually seen by the Duchess of Cambridge Kate.

Pearl Drop Tiara

 Pearl Drop Tiara

Here is a similar-looking tiara of the lover's knot made from a 316L stainless frame, decorated with a collection of simulated white pearls suspended under a round pearl bead. Get from HERE

Queen Mary's Diamond Fringe Tiara

 

By Bundesarchiv, Bild 199-1992-089-19A / CC-BY-SA, CC BY-SA 3.0 de

It was initially created for Queen Mary in 1919. Unlike other royal owned tiaras, this can be transformed into a necklace. The tiara was passed to Queen Elizabeth. It was the crown used by Queen Elizabeth on her wedding with Prince Phillip in 1947 and during Princess Anne's wedding in 2020.  

Pearl & Crystal Fringe Tiara  

Pearl & Crystal Fringe Tiara

Replicating the queens diamond fringe tiara, this stylish wedding tiara is guaranteed to provide a regal flair. Exquisitely made with a 316L stainless frame, embellished with brilliant pieces of white crystals, topped with a set of simulated white pearls. The set includes a pair of floral-themed crystal and pearl stud earrings and a princess necklace. Get from HERE

The Baden Royal Wreath Tiara

Originally owned Princess Theodora, the eldest sister of Prince Phillip. Currently owned by the Margrave Archduchess Valerie of Austria. Designed with a wreath-shaped frame, adorned with diamonds and rubies.

Roman Wreath tiara

Roman Wreath tiara

Simulating the diadem and tiara inspired by the Roman Empire, This fabulous wreath tiara gives a youthful and modest bridal look. You can choose between yellow gold, rose-gold, or silver, adding color to the innocent bridal look. Get from HERE

Lotus Flower tiara

 

Created by Garrand in 1920 for Queen Mary, embellished with pearls and diamonds. A tiara was usually worn by the late Princess Margaret and now by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Crystal and Pearl Lotus Tiara

Crystal and Pearl Lotus Tiara

Here is a wedding tiara set inspired by the lotus flower tiara of the British monarchs. Highlighting a fan-like theme decorated with round white crystals and simulated white pearls. Perfectly paired with a pair of pearl and crystal stud earrings and a necklace. Get from HERE

The Devonshire Diamond Tiara

Another iconic diamond tiara created for the duchess of Devonshire in 1893 presented a year after her marriage. The famous tiara is characterized by 13 pieces of scrolled fan-like leaves called palmettes. Cushion-cut diamonds cover the entire silver and gold frame. The diamonds used were taken from a collection of Devonshire heirloom, having one thousand forty-one diamonds plus eight hundred forty more.

Crystal Gold-tone Devonshire Tiara

 Crystal Gold-tone Devonshire Tiara

Inspired by the glorious Devonshire diamond tiara, here us a palm leaf-themed crown made with a gold or silver-tone base highlighting a series of crystal-encrusted spades surmounted by a dazzling circular-cut white cubic zirconia crystal. Get from HERE

The royals' lives have always amazed us since childhood and for most of us, even until adulthood—the fantasy of living luxuriously, wearing beautiful gowns, sparkling crowns, and tiaras. Fairy tales have revolved around princes and princesses ingraining a happily ever after idea giving hope that, maybe, one day, a prince will sweep us away and make us a princess or a queen. Sadly, that notion is nearly impossible to happen. Therefore, we should just make this dream a reality ourselves. Hustle as hard as we can and be successful. We are queens in our own right, and wearing a tiara is not against the law. We can purchase our own tiaras and wear them proudly whenever and wherever we want to. We live in the modern world where we are free to be ourselves and express our individuality without judgment. Wear a tiara proudly, and never ever let anyone stop you from being yourself.  

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