The costumes in Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby (which finally opens today) are gorgeous confections with an over-the-top 1920s sensibility. In almost every scene, those outfits are topped off with headbands, headwraps, or barrettes–and we were absolutely captivated by the look. (Downton Abbey and the recent spring couture shows have also recently showcased some amazing ’20s style head gear.)
The good news is that you can totally work this trend without looking like Daisy Buchanan’s BFF or the fourth sister from Downton Abbey. “The key here is to make sure that you’re owning your look. So make sure that you’re wearing the headband and the headband isn’t wearing you,” headwear designer Eugenia Kim told us. Ah, but how do you do that exactly?
Well, to start with, don’t pair it with a drop waist, fringed flapper dress. “[A headpiece] can be such a statement piece that you don’t need to put too much thought in your outfit, just throw on a headband and a pair of heels,” Kim said.
Also, don’t go overboard and redesign your whole look–just add the headpiece nonchalantly on top of your regular ‘do. “I tell people to think of headpieces as jewelry you are adding into the hair,” headwear designer Jennifer Behr told us. “So wear your hair naturally as you always do. Don’t push back bangs or rearrange things too much–simply add a piece on top.”
The size of the piece you choose is important too. Behr recommends trying several on to get a sense of proportion. Frederic Fekkai stylist Jordi Martinez Fenoll has a simple formula. “My philosophy is the bigger the hair, the bigger the piece,” he told us.
Still nervous about putting such a big accessory in your hair? Daisy Buchanan also demonstrates a very sweet low barrette on one side. Cate Blanchett wore this look to a premiere of The Hobbit and got a bit of flack because some thought it wasn’t ‘age appropriate.’
Forget age. “A 50-year-old confident woman can pull off a cat-inspired headband more than a twenty-something that lacks confidence,” Kim said. “If you’re going to go for it, go all out and just wear it. It’s your headband and your moment!”
So with that as your rallying cry, we’ve rounded up some of the cutest 1920s-inspired–yet modern–headpieces to try this spring. Click through to check them out.