A-to-Z of Accessories: Alice Band

I thought it was about time I started another A-to-Z on Rarely Wears Lipstick, but was all out of inspiration for potential topics until I asked Twitter. Amanda suggested accessories – because I own accessorising, apparently! – and a few folk agreed this would work well, as long as there’s something for everyone. So, here we go… if you claim you can’t accessorise, hopefully there will be something here that proves you wrong!

The first letter of the alphabet is quite a tricky one, as far as accessories go. I’ve got something for pretty much every letter and A was surprisingly difficult, until I remembered the classic alice band. Named after Lewis Carroll’s Alice, because she is often depicted wearing one, an alice band is a horseshoe shaped headband that helps keep hair out of your eyes. However, far from being simply a practical accessory there are many options that will brighten up an outfit, or bridge the gap between hair clips and hats. Well, as long as femme is your thing. Anyone who rocks the masculine look will just have to wear it like Beckham, I’m afraid.

You can get plain alice bands from high street shops like Boots for only a couple of pounds. They may seem a bit boring, but you’d be surprised how different you can look if you have long hair and usually have it hanging in your face or tucked behind you ears. Go for a wider one to look innocent like Alice, or a padded velvet one to become an 80s Sloane Ranger. Avoid kids’ ranges unless you have a tiny head or they’ll give you a nasty headache because they’ll be far too tight and, if all alice bands seem to poke you behind the ears, check out the Scunci comfort head band. It curves away from your ears which also means it doesn’t fight for space with your glasses. If you’d rather not stay plain and want to dress things up a bit for spring (should it ever arrive), the easy way to put flowers in your hair is with an alice band. Crown and Glory do some very pretty dainty ones, and Loulou Loves You have some with larger flowers that are more like a crown. For those of you who are creative, haberdashery shops like MacCulloch and Wallis often sell everything you need to make your own ‘one of a kind’ floral alice band.

Attach anything too large to your alice band (other than a bow) and you’ve suddenly got yourself a fascinator. If you’re making one yourself, remember that there are other ways to attach those to your head – such as clips, combs and elastic – which allow for far more positioning options than an alice band. Still, it’s not as if big doesn’t work. The tropical bird chorus head band from GG’s Pin Up Couture (see image above) is definitely on my wish list! If you think you can carry off a bold statement piece, beware anything with pearls or diamante as they can look a bit ‘weddingy’ which, of course, is fine if you’re actually going to a wedding but might be a tad sparkly for everyday. Or you could just throw caution to the wind and go completely over the top with something like Janine Basil’s glittery bunny ears or triple bow alice bands. Wear with pride and a look of “yeah, I know! Isn’t it great?” on your face. No one will even remember what the rest of your outfit looked like.

11 thoughts on “A-to-Z of Accessories: Alice Band

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  1. first thing to say: I love this topic and its very relevant to my interests! Have you ever seen the ones that are like a scrunchie but work as an alice band? its really big and you put it over your head, and it holds a bit of the front of your hair back, with with the shape of an oversized scrunchie?

    As a long haired guy I really want to find those I see people with it sometimes and I don’t know if it counts as an alice band, a scrunchie or what! Maybe you might know Lori?

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