I’ve never once looked in the mirror and thought, You know what would make this outfit better? A headband.
It’s the accessory equivalent of that friend we all have who’s super nice and fun and sweet, but for whatever reason is never part of the group. She’s invited to birthday parties — “Hey! You know who we haven’t seen in a while? Becky. Invite Becky!” — and though you wouldn’t text her to hang out one on one, you’re happy to see her if she randomly shows up. “She’s so nice,” you think to yourself. “I wonder why we don’t hang out more often.”
I consistently find myself lingering by the tortoise-shell accessories section of J. Crew near the cash registers, rubbing my thumb over the black and brown mottled plastic hair-things while considering how I’d look with my hair pushed back. But then just as I remember Becky’s voice grows shrill and annoying with each glass of wine she consumes, I’m reminded that headbands offer a specific kind of headache, one that’s exclusive to having both sides of your scalp pressed in by a plastic torture device.
Right. So this is why we don’t hang out with Becky more often.
Save for Blair Waldorf in 2007, a strong case hasn’t really been made for the headband for quite some time. But then just last night Lupita Nyong’o dropped jaws at the Oscars with a simple gold band. The woman is a goddess so she wore hers less like an accessory and more like a crown, but it called to mind the fact that just a few weeks ago headbands popped up on the runways at Helmut Lang, MBMJ, Dolce & Gabbana and Marc Jacobs.
So even if they were never “around” enough to be noticeably gone, they’re clearly coming back. The question is, can your average headed-human make them look cool?
Leandra, Charlotte and I tried it out. Our model was a rose gold headband by headwear extraordinaire Eugenia Kim, embellished with pearls and flourished with a spiky garland, just funky enough that we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least try.
Leandra went first with her pea-head and denim dress — legs covered in leather to add false warmth and extra edge. Charlotte was next, punking up the sweetness of it all with a plaid suit, a vintage tee, and what else but…more plaid. I went last, figuring that if I just really went for it (it meaning a Blair Waldorf headband salad in my ODLR jacket, J. Crew shirt plus boyfriend jeans) I’d look unlike myself but at least like I belonged to the thing upon my head.
I did not. At no fault whatsoever of the headband itself, I looked like I’d been stuck at the bar — alone and for too long — with Becky.
Since this is an experiment in style more than it is a declaration of trend, what do you think: can a headband off the runways or divorced from Lupita Nyong’o’s perfect face ever look cool? And as for Charlotte and Leandra’s attempts, you guys tell me.