By Jess Beech
We might not miss much from our school days, but the return of the headband is one piece of nostalgia we’re more than happy to get on board with. Searches for this stylish hair accessory have boomed in recent years, with a 28% spike in the last 12 months alone.
Since headbands are so versatile, fashioned everywhere from weddings to work, there are a few tips you'll need to master how to wear headbands. In these sartorial scenarios, headbands offer all the benefits of a hat, without the need to take it off when you’re indoors. A headband will not only help you steer clear of a bad hair day by hiding frizz, wayward baby hairs, and a skipped wash day but make your outfits feel more polished too. Suddenly your go-to best jeans and a t-shirt combo don’t seem so uninspiring after all.
It’s a trend that comes with the royal seal of approval, with Princess Eugenie’s padded velvet headband selling at record speed and the Duchess of Cambridge regularly wearing one atop her signature bouncy blow-dry. Even Princess Diana was partial to a hair accessory, allegedly angering the Queen by wearing her heirloom necklace as a headband.
The only drawback of wearing a headband? An affliction our fashion team affectionately refers to as the “3pm headband headache”, where the pressure of wearing something quite so firm-fitting around your head gets the better of you. To reduce the likelihood of this happening, give yourself a good stretch before wearing.
How to wear headbands: Key styles to look out for
The embellished headband
An embellished headband offers an easy way to make your work or weekend outfits feel a little more glamorous. How heavy or intricate the detailing on your headband is up to you, but keep the rest of your jewelry minimal to avoid overdoing it.
The knot headband
The beauty of a knotted headband is that it looks like just a scarf but negates the need for any fiddly adjustments. It'll add a little extra height, too, perfect for creating a statement look.
The padded headband
If you want to know how to wear headbands just like a royal, a padded style is the way to go. Choose one in a jewel tone for extra regal points.
The jewelled headband
A great choice for weddings or special occasions, trade in a traditional hat for something a little less bulky. Wear with your hair tied back to let your new accessory take center stage, or use to crown a head of curls.
The flat headband
While some headbands might blend into the background, this flat style is quite the opposite. Wear pushed back for a look to rival Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf or further forward to distract from day-three hair.
The fancy headband
Not sure how to wear headbands for a day at the races? This street style influencer has found the perfect solution with the addition of delicate netting.
The patterned headband
If you tend to favor a minimalist, monochrome look, a patterned headband is a nice way to tip-toe out of your comfort zone. They work just as well if you're a print lover, too, letting you clash colors for a unique look.
The front-and-centre headband
Reminiscent of dancing days, wearing a stretchy fabric headband at the front and center of your forehead will create a ballerina-worthy look. Style this look with stretchy leggings and a sweatshirt for a just-left-class feel.
Fashion team approved headbands to shop now
Ready to invest in a headband of your own? Here's our fashion team's top picks...
Anthropologie NamJosh Beaded Headband
Zara Pack of Headbands
Boden Knotted Headband
Mango Resin Combined Hairband
Accessorize Diamante Headband
& Other Stories Ruched Alice Headband
Accessorize Estella Crystal Knot Headband
Jess Beech is an experienced fashion and beauty editor, with more than eight years experience in the publishing industry. She has written for woman&home, GoodtoKnow, Now, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own and Chat, and is currently Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC.
She caught the magazine bug during a stint as Fashion Editor of her university newspaper alongside her English degree, and hasn’t looked back since. As for the fashion bug, that came as part and parcel of growing up in the 90s, but the less said about that the better!
Jess’ average day in the office is spent researching the latest fashion trends, chatting to industry tastemakers and scouring the internet to bring you this season’s must-buy pieces - as well as advice on how to wear them. Weekends are equally fashion-focused, and Jess has been known to visit no less than five Zara stores in a single day in search of the perfect occasion dress.
The only thing that comes close to a buzz of finally tracking down that much-coveted dress is the joy of discovering a new beauty wonder product or hero ingredient. A beauty obsessive, Jess has tried everything from cryotherapy to chemical peels (minus the Samantha in Sex and The City-worthy redness) and interviewed experts including Jo Malone and Trinny Woodall.
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