stan or ban: padded headbands
Please let them die before the algorithm shows me so many of them that I find myself half-asleep and ordering one of my own.
Right: Photo by Douglas Mason/WireImage Left: Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Headbands are having a moment, which would be fine, if they weren’t the strange, velvet-y, especially thick (dare I say puffy?) headbands that traumatized many of us who grew up in the 90s. I’ll accept the return of Juicy tracksuits, and I didn’t even complain about the jelly sandals or the people who tried to convince me that flip flops could be chic (they can’t). But headbands are meant for the bottom of your hair-supplies-I’ll-probably-never-need-but-just-in-case, drawer. Not on your head.
Sadly, Prada made extra-padded headbands A Thing on the spring 2019 runways, and then it was really over once Kate Middleton donned a black velvet headband last winter. From there, the influencers took flight, wearing puffy headbands alongside everything from oversized sweatshirts and bike shorts to flirty peasant blouses and flared denim. It most seems to appear in outfits that are aggressively made up of throwback fashion in a sort of blending of time period pieces.
The headbands haven’t quite exploded into a mainstream trend yet, but are soon to do so. Why? Because more and more retailers are carrying them. Scrunchies helped usher in the return of 90s hair accessories and are now at the center of endless cultural trends—think: VSCO girls and Laura Jean and Peter Kavinsky. Now, puffy headbands are creeping up too, and are popping up at places like Brandy Melville and American Eagle. While you can buy them for upwards of $200 if you want (though, again, why), you can also now find them on Amazon for $5 or $6, or find one studded or bedazzled ones on Etsy.
Puffy headbands are a deep dive into maximalism, while our closets have yet to sidestep the minimalism of our capsule wardrobes and five-of-the-same Everlane tops. Sure, headbands are, admittedly, very functional. They keep your hair out of your face. They tend to require very little effort, as you just slip them on and then you’re done. You can even scoot them back and then forward for a little volume. I get it. But do we need them to stand an inch off of our heads? What are we accomplishing by making them so large? Why are we accepting a look that is so “New York media girl with money?”
I blame Blair Waldorf. Why do we keep wanting to look like prep school white girls who spend endless amounts of money on their clothes and are clearly not stressing about what they’re going to do with all of these headbands once this trend rolls over in a month or two or three? I know that this deep-seated love for her is why headbands just will not die their rightful death. But, please. Let them die before the algorithm shows me so many of them that I find myself half-asleep and ordering one of my own. Instagram shopping comes for us all.