They were everywhere in the 1990s, and now headbands are back. Beyoncé and Jay Z have been photographed sporting matching his and hers, and Vogue has recently hailed them as one of this year’s standout trends thanks to nostalgia-loving supermodel Bella Hadid.
The “headband of the day” has even become a mini-series for model Chrissy Teigen’s 19.7 million Instagram followers as her husband, the musician John Legend, makes up a song about her latest headgear.
The hair accessory is in the midst of a designer revival and has featured on the catwalks of top brands such as Facetasm and Batsheva. Prices vary, with Tom Ford glass-crystal version coming in at a cool £2,500, while Asos and Topshop versions start at £7.99.
“Headbands are driving sales on jewellery, which are up 70% in the last year,” said an Asos spokesperson. “We are seeing really good reactions, particularly to florals. We have sold out of animal and geo print styles, and last week vintage prints were our bestsellers. We have 73 new styles about to drop online.”
Experts say the look is definitely making a comeback. “The headband is a key accessory that designers are embracing, and it’s a quick fix that keeps hair chic and tidy for the summer,” said Tina Outen, a stylist used by Vogue and i-D magazine.
The trend is back in fashion because of its nostalgic feel. “A thinner band that sits further back on the head brings a 1960s vibe, while a piece of colourful patterned fabric knotted on the side evokes the 1970s girl look,” said Outen. “The huge 1980s revival sees polka dot hairbands ruched to imitate a scrunchie, and the 1990s look is a wide band worn low on the hairline.”
Caryn Franklin, fashion commentator and professor at Kingston School of Art, agrees. “From Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy onwards, the headband has had so many key moments. Wearing one allows us to channel the energy of grace under pressure,” she said.
Social media platforms have also helped, in part because headbands photograph well. Hannah Almassi, editorial director of Who What Wear UK, said: “In a super-visual age it makes sense to add to an outfit with look-at-me headgear. Floral headbands peaked due to their overuse at festivals, but tweak them a little and you have something that can feel entirely current.”
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