Make Room for Fashion: Vintage Headpieces

This week I went wedding dress shopping with Tara, a decidedly stylish friend with a penchant for vintage/deco details and major glamour. Our destination was Gabriella, an intimate bridal boutique tucked away in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. But instead of looking at the full-skirted, fairy-princess wedding gowns that I used to drool over in my wedding planning days, Tara headed straight for the sleek, sexy, Old Hollywood-inspired styles. I was in heaven, brainstorming ways to get my husband to agree for us to get married all over again just so I could wear one of these dresses. The most exciting moment, however, was when Tara narrowed her choices down to one or two dresses and the salesgirl busted out the accessories.

I’ve already written about my fascination with Downton Abbey, but these vintage-looking headbands, combs and headwraps (delicate strands that circle your head like a halo) were right out of Lady Mary’s dressing room. As Tara tried on several options and I played at the accessories table, I couldn’t help but wonder how I could wear something like this in the real world without having to walk down the aisle all over again.

The next day, I called celebrity stylist Jen Atkin, who’s styled stars like Khloe Kardashian in a variety of vintage-inspired headpieces by designers including Jennifer Behr and Amanda Judge.

“I love to style with headpieces when I can. Wearing a hair accessory is a great way to dress up your look,” says Atkin. “When it comes to picking out the right piece for my clients, I always look at the total package. I like to see what the outfit is, what the makeup is going to be, and go from there.” For the X Factor finale, she styled Khloe Kardashian in a gold Amanda Judge headband paired with a short, tight leather dress for a look that was anything but bridal.

Next, I reached out to Amanda Judge to learn more about the recent resurgence in antique-inspired hair accessories. “After Lady Mary was married onscreen, we had a surge of brides interested in a vintage-style headpiece like she had worn on the show,” says Judge. “The ornate detailing of the '20s era is going to become increasingly popular this year, especially with the upcoming release of the Great Gatsby movie.”

When asked how to pair the look with jeans, a t-shirt and heels, Judge suggested throwing the headband on with messy waves or a loose, low bun to give it more of a weekend feel. “But remember,” she advises, “Go light on the jewelry if you decide to wear a statement headpiece. Try one in gunmetal, gold or rose gold for less of a bridal feel. But you can rock the silver headbands after the wedding, too.”

Click through to shop some likeminded accessories!

For an everyday approach, try this thin leather headwrap with bubble brass studs, available in white, camel or black.

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