Dating back as far as the 18th century the hair bow has been a style aid for decades of hair stylists and casual fashionistas, but it was the autumn/winter 2017 New York Fashion week which has brought the trend back into wider circulation. Models from Tory Burch and Marchesa to name a few strutted down the catwalk sporting the style set to become an important summer trend. It is a perfect style for any hair type or length as it involves only minimum effort for maximum effect. So let loose those tight French braids and complex fishtail twists and get your texture spray ready for a far more casual do.
Loosely tied back. If you have mid-to-long hair this is the style for you. It is achievable in its simplest form by using a hairbrush to tease your locks back out of your face and into the ribbon loop. Wear a low pony for a casual just-out-of-bed look. To achieve this look, use a texture spray to add an extra dimension and let some hairs around your face free so they frame your cheeks. Or if you want a more statement style use a hair bobble to fix a high pony in place before completing tying it together with your ribbon. If you’re going for a high pony, when you’ve tied up your hair try curling the ends for a softer look or straighten it to counteract the childish bow. When it comes to colour and thickness of the ribbon the choice is entirely up to you, there are so many options!
On top. This is a more difficult look to pull off as there is a danger of resembling a pre-teen who has just spent the last of her Claire’s accessories giftcard or hello kitty. Yet get it right and you have a wave of Instagram likes to look forward to. I would say the key to nailing this look is in the size and colour of your ribbon- choose bows in classic black or nude velvet over diamanté’s and aggressive pinks. Although you can keep your ribbon in place by tying it around your head like a headband and clipping it in, it can be easier to use a clip on bow. Fasten it in off centre and watch it transform your face or use it to adorn a high bun.
Backstage at New York Fashion week hair stylist Guido of Tory Burch advised ELLE ‘Don’t worry if it’s not perfect,’ ‘If it’s a little undone, floppy or asymmetrical it just adds to the charm.’ This is the beauty of the style- there is little room for error, so just experiment and see what works with your face shape.
To stop ribbons from fraying use a flame to seal the ends- although bear in mind this only applies to ribbons made from synthetic materials (not velvet). Go into a safe environment with a bucket of water nearby and using a lighter hold the ends of the lengths to the flame, this should seal the ends. If you don’t have a safe space to do this though fraying can add an extra element of degrade chic.
Finally, where to buy your ribbons. The best places to find ribbon are online- eBay or amazon for example or there is a wide range of colours, thicknesses and textures at the haberdashery store in Grainger Market.