Wednesday, 19 October 2011

How to wear bridal hair accessories - Part 1 - Headbands

As an accessory designer I always get lots of queries from brides regarding how to actually wear the bridal hair accessories they have purchased or are considering purchasing. Sometimes the questions are about size, but most often the no1 query I receive is how to actually position the piece, and whether it will stay in place. So I have written this quick and simple guide to answer these questions. This is Part One, covering bridal headbands. I hope it helps.

Charlie xx

1. How to- headbands.

Types of Bridal Headband

Bridal headbands come in two main styles

- Alice band (traditional)
- Forehead bands (encompasses crowns, garlands, anything worn across or close to the forehead)

Within these two categories are a huge spectrum of different styles again, from crystal pieces, vintage headbands, floral crowns... and a mix of some or all of these.

When to opt for a headband

Because of their wide range of available designs, you will almost always be able to find a headband to suit your dress, theme, personality and personal style.

If you are totally lost in the wedding minefield and have no idea, as a rough guide,

Alice Bands

-plain Swarovski crystal alice bands suit either very simple dresses OR very elaborate dresses. In the first case the crystals work to softly enhance the dress and works to pull the whole look together- creating an elegant, refined style. They have the opposite effect with a big or elaborate dress- they let the dress do all the talking, and work with the other accessories as an added enhancement.

- vintage style alice bands- have become very popular recently with the trend towards more relaxed, vintage-style weddings and the rise of the lace or vintage dress. If you are having a vintage themed wedding and having a similar style dress, opt for one of these, but be warned; shop around! Some are much nicer than others and generally, you get what you pay for.

Under no circumstances buy one that is a plain silver band with a simple 'vintage-style' finding- not only is it likely to look a bit tacky, it is also most likely to be a cheap import which will turn brown over time (no beautiful heirloom), oh and you're probably supporting very un-fairtrade in one country or another. Some crystal elements, of course, even in the very highest couture pieces, will be manufactured outside of this country but a general rule is to invest in something beautiful and detailed for your special day- at least then part of it will be quality, handmade, long lasting, and look perfect.

-floral alice bands- are beautiful, and are having a bit of a 'moment' in bridal fashion. They add a pretty, romantic feel and can be as dramatic or as refined as you choose. The advantage with having a floral headband as opposed to a floral clip or comb is that you can be confident they will not budge throughout the entire day! And also, positioning is easy. Place the alice band on, and you are all set, Belle. Perfect for all wedding styles but especially outdoor ceremonies- whether that is within the quintessential English Garden or on a breezy beach somewhere.

Forehead bands

-Pearl/crystal forehead bands- sometimes known as headchains - will have a post of their own.

Crowns/garlands- are generally floral or floral based, and are worn across the forehead. These are very definitely gaining in popularity and one to watch- they were an American grass roots trend (but let's face it, stem from the simple childhood joy of wearing daisy chains around your head) and initial versions were floral and simple, but now more luxury materials and intricate designs are creeping in. The original floral pieces add a touch of whimsical romance and are perfect again for outdoor ceremonies; the new 'luxe' pieces which feature pearls and crystals suit Jenny Packham's luxe-hippie aesthetic wonderfully.

How to Wear & Secure your headband

Alice Bands- are easy to wear. Pop them on across the head and voila, instant beautiful accessorising. You probably won't need to secure them any further. The best thing about alice bands, whether floral or vintage or crystal, is that they suit almost all hair styles.

Garlands / Crowns- Will they fit? Generally, garlands and crowns from high-end accessory designers will either be custom made to fit you, just like your perfect gown, or they will be adjustable in some way via ribbon ties, etc.

To secure these, position on your head- get someone else to check the back doesn't look crooked- ideally your hairdresser. To prevent these from slipping or changing position throughout your day (no one wants a crown hiding an eye in their photographs) see if your crown has any visible 'gaps' in it which a bobby pin / kirby grip can slip over. Ask your hairdresser to invisibly pin it into place as much as possible, and then use lots of hairspray. Also, if your piece has ties, tie them tightly - it's what they are for.

If you have a lace or fabric based piece, again look for the holes- but your hairdresser will have to be careful when pinning as these laces can snag easily, being so delicate. If the fabric has no noticeable gaps but has ties, pins can be used on the fabric underneath the bow, so that they are hidden.

And that's it, how to find, wear, and secure your bridal headband.

Please share this if you have found it useful- especially with any brides-to-be!

Coming very soon, our guide on how to wear, position, and secure bridal combs.

Charlie @ House of Istria xx

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