November 29, 2011

A beautiful example of 1940s headband inspiration

Day 333 of Vintage 365

Headbands are a marvelous accessory, if you ask me. No doubt due in part to my 1980s and 90s childhood (when they were frequently all the rage - especially in the pre-scrunchie days), I've had a long standing love of headbands. Between grades four and seven in particular, I sported them more days than not to school and amassed a collection of a dozen or more, all of which saw heavy rotation.

By the time high school rolled around and I was actively experimenting with a range of hairstyles (including my first solid attempts at vintage hairdos), headbands took a bit of a back seat, but I certainly still reached for them sometimes.

Hop ahead to my twenties; gone are most of the particular updos and hairstyles I wore as a teen (oh the horrors of some of them!) and instead, nearly every day, I opt for vintage 40s and 50s looks instead. The one main exception to that statement is that I will sometimes wear a ponytail, but even then I try to give it a fun late 50s inspired vibe.

Interestingly, I've found that it's by no means impossible to combine mid-century styles with that beloved childhood hair accessory of mine, headbands.

Now granted, the 30s, 40s, and 50s did not see an abundance of headbands (be they soft fabric or sturdier plastic/metal band styles), however I have encountered some images of gals from those decades looking positively lovely in headbands, such as the elegant blonde who appeared on the July 1945 cover of Cornet magazine pictured below.

{Vintage Cornet magazine cover featuring a sophisticated looking woman, complete with a pretty blue headband, via What Makes the Pie Shops Tick on Flickr.}


Here a relatively simple, completely classic curled hairstyle partners with an understated royal blue fabric headband to which a glistening bejewelled pin of a bird (an eagle, if you ask me) has been attached for a delightful dose of unexpected bling.

The wearing of headbands is by no means a twenty-first century novelty, in fact cultures stretching back as far (if not earlier) than the Greeks and Romans used both strips of fabric and wreaths of greenery as headbands.

During the last century however, headbands (generally speaking) didn't really come into major vogue until the Mod looks of the swinging 60s appeared. However prior to that, styles ranging from plain black bands to feather and flower adorned examples did indeed exist, sometimes paired with a wisp of tulle to create a sort of hat/headband combo.

Over the last few days headbands have (like most fashion accessories) waxed and waned in popularity, yet never completely fallen off the radar (in fact in very recent years, due in no small part to a rival in preppy fashions alla Gossip Girl, they've become a hit once more with fashionistas everywhere), and I suspect they're unlikely to ever completely vanish.

Not, of course, that I'd stop wearing them if they did! These days, inspired by images like this beautiful vintage magazine cover, I enjoy wearing headbands with second or third day pin curls, as well as Veronica Lake inspired waves. Sometimes, I'll swap a headband for the more classic bandanna look, and channel my inner WW2 factory worker with a roll or mini pompadour of hair adorned with a cute polka dot (or solid hued) stretch fabric headband.

To all those who enjoy both headbands and vintage 40s/50s hairstyles, yet may have been hesitant to pair the two, I hope that this post helps put your mind at ease and that it inspires you to try pairing these two together for a stylish, completely old school approved look that radiates beauty and timeless charm.


  1. Thanks for the lovely picture and the post! I wear headbands at least 3-4 days out of the week and I love them :)

  2. I love this magazine cover!! She's a stunning beauty, isn't she?

    I am really in the market for a new hairstyle. I have extremely curly hair, and I have been staightening it daily for close to 30 years now. I am growing weary of doing that and am trying to come up with a new style which incorporates my curl. (My hair is TOO curly for these lovely vintage styles, at least as far as I can tell.)

    Have a wonderful day,