Throughout the decades, teenagers have attempted to prove their coolness by wearing questionable accessories, hairstyles and items of clothing. Hindsight Fashion is a section about those trends that, in Hindsight, we probably wish we hadn’t worn.
This week’s Hindsight Fashion is: The Bra-Strap Headband.
At some point in 1999, someone very stylish decided to tie their hair back with a bra strap. We cannot be sure who. We cannot be sure why. We cannot be sure how said person’s bra strap wound up removed from their bra in the first place, or how it wound up in their hair. What we do know is that the Bra-Strap Headband quickly became the must-have accessory of the late nineties. Women everywhere (and frighteningly, men, albeit the same crowd mentioned in the last Hindsight Fashion) bought Bra-Strap Headbands in every shape and fabric and wore them with both casual and dressy attire.
The benefits of the Bra-Strap Headband were many: It did an excellent job of keeping one’s hair out of one’s face. Because it was so tight, is also naturally created a little volume behind it, closer to one’s ponytail (this being years before the invention of the “Bumpit”). And of course, it was rather cheeky. Not many years prior, women were reprimanded for wearing clothing that exposed their bra straps. The Bra-Strap Headband was indeed a statement piece.
The trouble with the Bra-Strap Headband was that, though it claimed to be adjustable, once it was on your head, it was impossible to adjust without taking errant strands of hair with it. The headband had to be tight enough to stay in place on your head, but not so tight that it gave you a headache. And you had to reach this balance instantly upon placing it on your head, lest you adjust and mess up the hair beneath. This was a balance that I found impossible to reach. When it was secured comfortably, it would begin to slip toward my ponytail as soon as I moved my head left or right. When it was secured tight enough not to move, it would cut off the circulation to my brain. The choice was either to place it loosely and remain staring forwards at all times, or to place it securely and risk passing out. After several attempts, I decided to retire my Bra-Strap Headbands altogether.
Like all trends, the Bra-Strap Headband had its moment in the spotlight and then slowly began to fade into obscurity. Though I cannot say that I loved this trend, I will admit to casually combing the depths of my frighteningly disorganized hair accessory bag of late, looking for something with which to keep the hair off my face during Mommy/Baby swim lessons. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find my collection of Bra-Strap Headbands. But when I do, I plan to single-handedly bring this trend back to the world of aquatic fashion. Or at least pass out trying.