Accessories

How to wear the hair accessory trend that’s dominating this season

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If you like it then here’s how to put a ribbon on it.

It’s the hair accessory revival you never saw coming. No, we’re not talking scrunchies – forget 1990s nostalgia.

This season we’re throwing it back to the 1890s, with the very Victorian-inspired return of ribbons and bows, revamped for the 21st century.

How so, you say? Let us count the runways. For Spring 2019, Emilia Wickstead gave us elegance, with a double dose of bow barrettes serving to streamline long ponies from top to tail. Then there was romantic at Rochas, where beaded bows and satin ribbons sat haphazardly among whimsical nests of hair, and at Miu Miu and Prada a more modern approach saw afringes and androgynous crops.

On the red carpet and out and about, celebrities such as Emily Ratajkowski are sexing up this once stuffy accessory, ridding it of its good-girl image and proving that a piece of frayed ribbon is a new bedside essential (for tying your bed hair into a sultry side-pony, obviously).

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At the other end of the spectrum, leave it to the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and the Duchess of Cambridge to show that the height of sophistication is in a voluminous pony secured with a velvet ribbon.

Not just pretty, this hardworking addition to your hair arsenal has the ability to correct proportions and hide a multitude of sins. An oversized bow will add volume to hairstyles lacking in oomph, and a long, trailing ribbon can lend the illusion of length to shorter locks.

A slim ribbon balances a bushy mane, and don’t underestimate the power of strategic placement to disguise unsightly hair ties and bobby pins.

The best thing about this trend? As much as we’d love to spend two weeks’ pay on a bow-embellished designer headband, a length of grosgrain from your local haberdashery will let you get the look for a few bucks. Or simply stash the ribbon from the next professionally wrapped gift you give or receive. Your presence is a present, after all.


This article originally appeared in Fashion Quarterly, Issue 1, 2019.

Words: Phoebe Watt
Photos: Getty Images

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