stan or ban: scrunchies
At the risk of sounding basic, we’re here to suggest that the scrunchie is truly the most functional accessory.
Left: Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images Right: Photo by Jackson Lee/GC Images
If vsco girls are the new tumblr girls, or better yet, e girls, than scrunchies are the new tiny sunglasses. And at the risk of sounding “basic,” we’re here to suggest that the former is one of, if not the most functional accessories.
Every few years, a fashion week trend piece suggests that the 80s and 90s hair band is back. Historically, the scrunchie has appeared on the runways of Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton and Rag & Bone, and in 2017, Mansur Gavriel adorned models with fancy pastel scrunchies, made of vintage Italian fabrics. While their more recent resurgence might be tied to an internet phenomenon, the scrunchie endures! It’s backed by influencer friendly brands like Ganni and Stine Goya, and championed in sparkly multipacks sold at Urban Outfitters and American Apparel.
The playful, sometimes fluffy hair piece, first came about in the 60s, but the scrunchie was not patented until 1987 by Rommy Revson, who named the hair elastic engulfed in too much fabric after his toy poodle Scunci, later to be called the scrunchie. If that’s not a fitting origin story, we don’t know what is. From there they’ve tied up the tresses of 80s movie heroines, burgeoning pop stars, and even pop stars turned actresses like Madonna’s velvet number in Desperately Seeking Susan. Let us never forget Cher Horowitz in Clueless or Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, who despite proclaiming them fashion faux-pas to Berger, donned one herself in the season prior.
The scrunchie is a statement-making hair tie, with personality and attitude, but it has many styles. Whether you’re inspired to channel a baby-faced Michelle Tanner all grown up in a suitably babydoll Cecilie Bahnsen dress, Friends’ Courtney Cox or Jennifer Anniston (take your pick!) in a 90s revival look—the Marc Jacobs Redux Grunge collection, perhaps?— gymnasts past and present (I too was one, perhaps that’s why we’re here), or are simply looking to have an athleisure moment à la Bella Hadid or Hailey Bieber, the scrunchie might be for you.
In the cult film Heathers, the red scrunchie takes on an addition quality. It is a symbol of power worn by the most popular girl in school. Similarly IRL, they’ve been worn by fearless leaders like Hillary Clinton and Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
The modern scrunchie is not only about style and status, but functionality, coming in a variety of sizes and shapes to attend to your various hair needs. There are teeny tiny scrunchies for topping off braids, giant scrunchies to create the overly obnoxious top knot of your dreams, and their soft exterior won’t ever put a dent in your style or cause damage. Untie your scrunchie, let down your hair, and reveal a slightly unkempt, but never creased, new ‘do.
Furthermore, you just never know when Peter Kavinsky a.k.a. Noah Centineo in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is going to do just that for you—reaching for your scrunchie whilst your putting your hair up and insisting it looks pretty as is—minus the frills. Though, we clearly stan the frills from time to time.
The best part is that anyone with mediocre at best sewing skills could make their own scrunchie in a lush, eye-catching fabric of their liking. Or you can buy one made out of vintage Chanel silk for $180 from Comfort Objects. The choice is yours, but the scrunchie is here to stay.