Thursday, April 19, 2007

What to Wear: Headbands

Marissa emailed earlier this week with a fun accessory question. Here's what she said:
I have recently discovered the joy of fabric headbands/wraps! They are so much fun. I think that you love them too.

Do you have any guidance on how to wear them? Are they appropriate for the office (where one has to wear a dress everyday)? Are they any good websites/stores where one could find some cute ones to add to their collection?
a) Your office makes you wear a dress everyday? That's kind of awesome. b) I definitely love headbands and really anything in the the hat/tiara/hair accessory category. c) Yes, you can wear headbands to work.

I like headbands best when combined with hair pulled up or back in some way. A loose bun, french twist or ponytail is a great match with a headband or scarf for the office. Most headbands fit into three categories, each with distinct rules:

Traditional - Usually about two inches wide, this includes fabric bands you can find at a drugstore or basic plastic bands. Forever 21 has 10 colors of plastic headbands for $3 a pop. Because these bands are wider, it's often a good idea to balance them out with bangs or side swept hair. Here's a perfect example on Nicole Richie.

Scarves - A great alternative to traditional headbands, scarves work with hair up or down. I have a couple vintage scarves that are headband favorites. Any scarf at least 12" wide can be folded in a triangle and then into a band for your hair. Urban Outfitters makes it even easier with their collection of tieback scarf headbands. Or you can cheat with a fabric covered headband.

Skinny - Two skinny bands worn close to the hairline is my latest favorite. Scuni sells elastic versions for cheap, Urban Outfitters has the metal variety and you can find fancier versions at department stores. This gold band from Anthropologie would be perfect with a jewel-toned cocktail dress. Wear skinny bands with loose hair pulled straight back. Channel your inner Grecian goddess.

Whew! This turned into a mini dissertation on hair accessories. There are just so many fun headbands for sale right now. I want them all!


Marissa said...

I am so excited! Headbands are so lovely. I like the skinny ones, but haven't tried them yet.

I remember wearing headbands as a little girl, the plastic ones that hurt behind your ears . . .

I love the variety out there now.

Wouldn't it be fun to MAKE headbands? Maybe to buy a simple plastic one and then attach a piece of beautiful fabric to the band or even to attach beads to it?

Thanks Emily! You have great style.

MissEm said...

Ooo! Making headbands is a great idea! I forgot to include simple ribbon headbands on this list. That's a really quick and easy way to make your own.

Anonymous said...

how do you make it stay... my problem is that my hair is very silky, and anything I put on it slides right off... that includes all varieties of headbands. Any recomendations of keeping them put?

MissEm said...

The trick is to use a couple bobby pins on the band in the back and to use some hairspray before you put it on. Also, you might want to go for plastic bands instead of elastic.

love.boxes said...

I love a pretty scarf, glad to hear they are wearable again, things seemed to go so stark and plain there for awhile.

Love this post Miss Em!

MissScientistSF said...

A great way to keep the ribbon on is to tie both ends of it to a hair elastic so it stays on your head without slipping so much.

Emily said...

i love headbands. they open up such fun possibilities for accessorizing. i like to tie each end of a piece of cute ribbon to a pony-tail holder/rubberband--that way the headband has a bit of elasticity in it and stays on my head better. I hope that made end up with a full circle of rubberband and ribbon, the ribbon meeting the rubberband at the bottom of your head. i just linked my way over here and your blog is darling.

Kristin Barnett said...

Great post! Skinny elastic headbands are all the craze right now - especially for babies and toddlers. I've enjoyed making my own for my two girls. It's hard to find the colored elastic but a great source is