How to wear headbands: These are the key styles to shop this summer

How to wear headbands for all occasions, from weddings to work and more

how to wear headbands: 3 pictures of 3 street style influencers wearing different headbands
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to accessories, working out how to wear headbands is a common style conundrum. Offering a fashion-forward twist to any look, this nostalgic piece is less school playground and more runway than you might have imagined. 

Experiencing a boom in recent years, headbands can work for multiple occasions. Adding instant polish to any capsule wardrobe look, you can easily update wardrobe essentials with hairbands in on-trend colors, prints and embellishments. Fashioned everywhere from work to weddings, it's all about learning how to wear headbands and the different types available. Adding a feminine finish to any outfit, a padded hairband with your best blazer immediately softens tailored ensembles. Got one of your best dresses on for an evening event? Opt for a jeweled hairband for a more regal feel. 

But it isn't just when you want to feel fancy that a headband comes into play. A headband can help you avoid bad hair days, or easily disguise a skipped hair wash. From your best skinny jeans to your best joggers and trainer combo, adding a fun and printed headband will make you look and feel more put together too. The only drawback of wearing a headband? An issue our fashion team 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 one.  

How to wear headbands: Key styles to look out for

3 Images of street style influencers wearing embellished headbands

(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Embellished headbands

If you love adding a little sparkle from the best jewelry brands then an embellished headband, similarly, 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, take note of one of the best Coco Chanel quotes and remove the last accessory you added before leaving the house to avoid overdoing it. 

Wear with...

3 pictures of 3 street style influencers wearing knotted headbands

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2. Knot headbands

The beauty of a knotted headband is that it looks like just a scarf but negates the need for any fiddly adjustments. And if you're looking to elongate your figure, then a knotted headband also adds a little extra height. The bolder and brighter you go, the more statement a look you can create. Often slightly more casual, this is an ideal design for everyday wear. 

3 pictures of 3 street style influencers wearing padded headbands

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3. Padded headbands

The most regal of headbands, a padded headband is ideal for more formal occasions. Keep to neutral tones for a sophisticated look for work, or opt for jewel tones for summer garden parties and weddings.

3 pictures of 3 street style influencers wearing jewelled headbands

(Image credit: Getty Images)

4. Jeweled headbands

Worried about having to wear a hat for a formal occasion this summer? Trade-in and up and opt for a jeweled headband for a much fresher and more youthful feel. Wear with your hair tied back to let your new accessory take center stage, or use to crown a head of curls.

3 pictures of 3 street style influencers wearing flat headbands

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5. Flat headbands

While some headbands might blend into the background, this flat style is quite the opposite. Often less structured with adjustable fabric ties, this is ideal if you struggle with tighter-fitting leather or plastic bar designs. Wear pushed back for a look to rival Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf or further forward to distract from day-three hair. 

3 pictures of 3 street style influencers wearing fancy headbands

(Image credit: Getty Images)

6. Fancy headbands

When it comes to what to wear to the races, a headband can be a fantastic alternative to a more formal hat. Offering formality with greater practicality and style. When it comes to how to wear headbands for race days, it's important to check the event's dress code as some will have a minimum coverage requirement for headpieces. 

3 pictures of 3 street style influencers wearing patterned headbands

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7. Patterned headbands

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.

3 pictures of 3 street style influencers wearing front and centre headbands

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8. Front-and-center headbands

With an '80s aesthetic, this headband has a much sportier feel than many of the other styles in this list. Team with your best hoodies and leggings to lean into the look, or use it to at a sports-luxe feel to a summer midi dress.

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 a former Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC. 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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