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With balletcore and ultra-feminine fashion at its peak this year, it’s no surprise that bows and ribbons of many forms have had a major resurgence. If you’re wondering how to wear a hair bow in 2023, you’ll love these 12 chic and trendy ribbon styles. I know what you’re probably thinking: aren’t bows a little bit… juvenile? Sure, they can be, but a key intention behind this trend is a concept that people are coining as “healing your inner child.” While hair bows may be closely associated with childhood memories for some of us, this nostalgic classic can actually be edgy and experimental while still maintaining an air of maturity.
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Look no further than influential figures such as Sydney Sweeney, Elle Fanning, Margot Robbie, Hailey Bieber, and Jennie Kim to see how fashion-forward a hair bow can be. You can dress them up or dress them down, play with colors and textures, and simply have fun—the more creative your bow hairstyle is, the better! The summer 2023 hair bow trend transitions seamlessly into the holiday season, so sit down, grab a snack, and get ready to add a whole lot of ribbon to your shopping cart.
The ’70s-Inspired Long Barbie Bow
If you’ve yet to see Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie, let this be your sign to hit the theaters and enjoy the iconic looks that Margot Robbie rocks throughout the film. Wearing a whopping 48 different wigs across her 30 outfit changes, Robbie’s character of “Stereotypical Barbie” is truly the fashion icon of my dreams. When she appeared onscreen in this ’70s-inspired, bow-adorned updo, I was immediately itching to try it for myself. To achieve this adorable look at home, grab some ribbon of your choice and wrap it around your ponytail, leaving the tails of the bow much longer than the loops. If you don’t want to tie the ribbon yourself, try clipping a long bow barrette above your ponytail, like this one from Urban Outfitters.
Did somebody say ballerina sleaze? Yes, please! As the queen of making hair bows look effortlessly cool, Sandy Liang is a major bows and ribbons innovator. Continuing the trend of super long bows, these double bow barrettes fastened right at your temples are the perfect combination of cute and edgy. Add a super smudged smokey eye and sun-kissed blush to finish off this badass look.
Baby Braids ‘n’ Bows
From traveling the world for BLACKPINK’s Born Pink World Tour to making her acting debut in the highly controversial Max series The Idol, K-pop legend Jennie Kim is truly having her moment this year. During the group’s most recent tour, hair bows became the star’s staple accessory. Try out this Jennie-inspired hairstyle by braiding small sections of hair all around your head, then adding bows throughout your braids. If you want to go the extra mile, take a 0.5” barrel curling wand to the ends of your braids for added movement.
Add Some Texture
If you’re a fan of the frilly and feminine coquette aesthetic, this style is just for you. Mixing a lace patterned bow with a dainty pearl chain like this piece from Urban Outfitters perfectly embodies the romantic, soft girl essence of coquette fashion. Pop Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die vinyl into your record player and you’re ready to gracefully frolic around your room.
Super High Half-Up
Channel your inner high fashion queen in this Chanel-coded, super high half-up style. To keep this look sophisticated and not too “cheerleader,”opt for a super luxurious ribbon material, like velvet or satin. Style your hair with soft waves for a classy old Hollywood vibe.
If you’re looking for a more subtle way to incorporate bows into your hairstyles, bow barrettes are the way to go. These adorable pearl bow barrettes from Emi Jay add that glamorous feminine touch to your hairstyle while still keeping it minimal. Style your barrettes with an oversized scrunchie in a slicked back bun to achieve the classic prima ballerina look.
Decorate That Bubble Braid
Elevate your Y2K-inspired bubble braid by adding a bow between each bubble shape. Get creative and play with different colored ribbons to make this look stand out.
This ballerina is ready to hit the barre. If you’re not a fan of tying your own bow, opting for a bow-laden headband is a great choice. This scrunchy silhouette mini bow headband from Urban Outfitters is the perfect piece to throw on with your ballerina bun or braid to create the ultimate soft and feminine balletcore look.
Put It In A Bun (Or Two)
This sleek twist on the classic ballerina bun is my new obsession for greasy hair days. When in doubt, slick it out! TikTok hairstyle guru @siriohsuri shared this super helpful tutorial showing exactly how to achieve these bow-adorned space buns at home, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Also, you can thank Millie Bobby Brown for the inspo above.
Crochet & Knit Bows
Did you know that crochet can’t be authentically recreated by a machine? As crochet and knitting continue to evolve from your grandma’s hobby to an actually cool and sophisticated trend, copping a handmade crochet or knit bow is an easy way to support a small business. If you’re on a tight budget, they’re so easy to make yourself, too. Grab your crochet hook or knitting needles and some yarn, and assemble a long rectangle that you can tie into a bow shape.
Mini Bow Mania
Want to really stand out from the crowd? Go for this mini bow maximalism look that Sandy Liang sent down the fall/winter ‘23 runway. The best part about this hairstyle is that the bows truly speak for themselves, so you can keep your hair super simple by styling it straight or with a subtle wave. To achieve this bold look, invest in some mini bow barrettes like these adorable clips from Forever 21 or these satin bow hairpins from Urban Outfitters. Alternatively, create your own baby bows by tying ribbon onto bobby pins that you already have lying around at home.
Tie Your Bow Into A Braid
Add a pop of color to your traditional pigtail braid by incorporating vibrant ribbon into your plait in this Jennie-approved style. To assemble your lovely locks, tie a long piece of ribbon into one of your strands and braid your hair like normal. Check out this tutorial by @siriohsuri, which shows exactly how to assemble this style.
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