An Ode to Headbands


I have always been exceptionally lazy when it comes to my hair; it either hangs long and lank when I am out and about or is piled up on top of my head when I am at the gym or going to sleep.

Given this sad state of things, one of my New Year resolutions was to make more of an effort with my hair. Rather than opting for more extravagant hairstyles (or any hairstyle for that matter), this resolution has instead translated into me sticking a whole bunch of accouterments atop my head, one such being the humble headband.

We owe this item of headwear to the ancient Greeks who popularised the wearing of wreaths in their hair. Flash forward to the early twentieth century and the ‘headache band’, a tight band worn across the forehead, believed to relieve and prevent headaches, was all the rage. Next came the Alice band (named after Lewis Carroll’s Alice), bandanas, deely boppers and sweatbands.

Over time, various incarnations of the headband have spanned both the utilitarian and ornamental. For me, they are purely the latter — I like my headbands thick, juicy and covered in beads.

The desire for a headband first struck me when I chanced upon a picture of Leandra Medine Cohen wearing a Miu Miu tiara. A few days later she backed it up with a thick black number and my appetite for headbands was truly awoken.

After going on the hunt for a couple of months and finding nothing to satiate my appetite for head adornments, a trip to the Handmade Markets and a sighting of my favourite local milliner gave me an idea — I would have the headbands of my dreams custom made!

Jade from Sovata and I traded inspiration pics and soon my headband dreams came true. I had become the proud owner of three: a thick black velvet number, one that is equally thick but burgundy velvet adorned with pearls and a halo of pearls that floated around my head reminiscent of a Madonna.

I find that the humble (well, not so humble in my case) headband elevates even the laziest of hairdos, transforming my unwashed locks into something infinitely more polished. Maximum style output for minimum hair input.

I have embraced headbands so much that I have plans for having a few more made ready for summer. If you see a woman wearing fruits attached to a gingham headband it will very likely be me.


Emma Batchelor

Emma Batchelor

As well as a near obsessive interest in fashion, Emma is a former scientist, occasional contemporary dancer, avid reader and self-confessed cat lady (she has three). Emma lived in Leiden in the Netherlands as a baby and Leiden ought to have been her middle name had her mother thought of it at the time and not chosen Louise instead.

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