Like matching sweatsuits and house dresses, hair accessories remain one of the defining trends of pandemic style over the past year. And why not? When you’re scrambling to look presentable on screen — or lacking the gusto for a thoroughly put-together outfit — hair accouterment is one of the few ways you can almost effortlessly adorn yourself while looking the part. Silk scrunchies and bows, pearl barrettes, and even throwback claw and butterfly clips are recent favorites among enthusiasts. But lately, headbands are the MVP. So much so that outfits featuring headbands are one of the freshest ways to flex your styling muscles this season and beyond.
“Headbands have always been a key accessory for me. We started selling our signature headbands in 2019, and they’ve slowly become one of the most popular items we sell,” Nell Diamond, founder and CEO of Hill House Home (aka the label behind 2020’s viral Nap dresses), tells TZR. “In the Zoom era, headbands have really taken off. There’s no easier way to elevate a ‘shoulders-up’ look than with a great hair accessory; it adds instant polish.” Adding, “I love how Amanda Gorman wore her headband at the inauguration; her styling was impeccable, and she’s our new reference point for the glamour of a good hair accessory.”
Designer Jennifer Behr, whose hand-stitched embellished headbands are prized by hair accessory fanatics, says that as people dress differently while working from home, they crave special touches even without leaving the house and realize how the right headband can transform an outfit. “I personally noticed a red lip was a bit too strong on Zoom, but headbands are the perfect pop of color and the accessory you didn’t know you were missing,” Behr shares. Babba Rivera, founder and CEO of the clean hair care brand, Ceremonia, similarly tells TZR, “I think many people are seeking low-maintenance accessories for above-the-shoulders appearances, as that’s ultimately all that’s shown in this new work culture!”
While some are newly dipping their toe into the trend with a single headband that’s perhaps more classic and versatile, others are building headband wardrobes and going bolder, which ethical designer Autumn Adeigbo (whose styles have been worn by Amanda Gorman) says is another form of self-expression. “Just like a great dress, pair of statement shoes, or earrings. [Headbands] are another way to adorn yourself,” she tells TZR.
Behr says, “Starting in 2021, our customers have been seeking out even bolder and more striking designs and colors.” Adding, “Years ago, we started the fashion headband trend at a time when headbands were very rare, and we are thrilled that so many other people are now obsessed with headbands as well. Our customers are buying everything from super delicate crystal and pearl headbands to dramatic silk pleated styles.”
If you consider yourself a headband person or are slowly becoming convinced to try the trend, ahead, eight headband outfits to inspire your next look, from cozy to elegant.
The Headband Outfit: A Headband + Sweats
“With loungewear being everyone’s go-to in this new work-from-home environment, a headband is a quick and easy way to elevate a look and make you feel instantly put-together,” Rivera says. “I basically live in sweats these days, and a big headband adds the perfect level of style for Zoom calls.”
Diamond also favors an elevated sweatpants moment, telling TZR: “For a more casual look, I’ll wear our Teddy Top and Pant and Halo Headband in Pink Moiré. The Halo Headband is lightly padded and super comfortable and feels like a crown.”
The Headband Outfit: Match Your Headband To Your Dress Or Top
“I love a matching dress or blouse and headband. It shows you’ve taken your look to the next level,” Adeigbo tells TZR. “I love how the prints can communicate with each other across the two parts of the body and come together to frame the face.”
The Headband Outfit: A Headband + Tailoring
“I love adding a statement headband into the mix when wearing something that feels a bit more masculine; it adds a nice contrast,” Rivera tells TZR. Her go-to formula: a white shirt with suit pants and a coordinating oversize headband.
Another tailored look Behr suggests is a blazer with jeans for a fresh take on WFH style. “A classic padded design like our Tori or our sophisticated leather Cruz headband will instantly pull the look together,” she says. “For something super fun, try our crystal-embellished Medici!”
The Headband Outfit: A Headband + A House Dress + A Turtleneck
“For work from home in the winter, I wear a Wolford turtleneck bodysuit under a Nap Dress,” Diamond tells TZR. “I love a good matching moment, so I usually pick a headband that coordinates with my Nap Dress. Recently I’ve been pairing the Noor Headband in powder blue with the Ellie Nap Dress in light blue glitter check.”
The Headband Outfit: A Voluminous Silhouette + Chunky Boots
For a playfully voluminous look, Rivera likes a puffy-dress-and-statement-headband pairing for dressed-up moments. “I would usually balance it out with a chunky boot to make it less cute,” she adds.
The Headband Outfit: A White Dress + Colorful Headband
“Now that spring is on the horizon, I love the idea of an airy white dress or blouse paired with a colorful headband,” Behr tells TZR. “Such a simple neutral gives you the freedom to try a bunch of different styles and colors.”
The Headband Outfit: A Floral Headband + Romantic Ruffles
If spring’s romantic trend speaks to you, Behr says, “Our hand-stitched rosette headbands have been some of our best-sellers for years, and we love them with romantic ruffles.”
The Headband Outfit: A Fanciful Headband For Evening
“For a more dressy evening look, I always love a statement headband, something like a beaded variety, or a silk variety like I designed for our Fall/Winter 2020 Collection,” Adeigbo says. “It’s an interesting texture to play with in your hair and makes the trend feel even more elevated. Pair it with your favorite evening gown so long as there is a conversation between the headband and the dress — usually with the color or print.”
Behr loves the look of fanciful headbands with delicate golden butterflies, Swarovski crystal, and pearls for a daintier look. She says, “These pieces are something you can wear multiple ways, alone or stacked to make it look like the jewels are floating in your hair.”