The only thing you want to do with your hair during the summer is get it off your face. More often than not, that means resorting to a struggle bun (we’ve all been there), but there’s a chicer alternative currently trending among Instagram’s most-followed: thick headbands.
Perhaps you haven’t thought about wearing one since 2008. At the height of Gossip Girl‘s popularity, Blair Waldorf’s (s)c(h)ool girl aesthetic was peak fashun. Now headbands have returned thanks in part to Miuccia Prada who incorporated them into Prada’s Spring 2019 runway show. Every ’60s and surf-inspired look was topped off with a satin or bejeweled number that looked less juvenile, more regal and polished. And they were thick. Padded. Giant.
In the wise words of Miranda Priestly’s and her famous “cerulean” monologue from The Devil Wears Prada, high fashion always trickles down. And lately, you can’t scroll on Instagram or walk down the street without seeing a version of these padded headbands. I’m here for it—after all, not everyone can pay $240—or for an embellished one, $970—for the Prada accessory.
Kate Middleton was an early adopter, wearing a padded headband back in November 2018 for a service marking the centenary of the Armistice at Westminster Abbey. Her black, velvet one is so thick and tall it may as well be a tiara.
Beyond the royal, the headband has become an It-accessory on the feeds of major influencers like Camila Coelho, Leonie Hanne, and Chiara Ferragni. I totally understand the appeal: the headband is a low-effort way to look like you’re really trying. It keeps your hair back, easily hides second-day grime better than a cloud of dry shampoo, and instantly makes you look put-together without all the labor of styling with hot tools. It’s also a conversation starter—I’ve witnessed many a “Where did you get that????” directed at folks wearing the look. If you’re looking to make a statement this summer, this is it.
Here’s how some stylish folks are wearing their padded headbands: