9 Barrettes That Will Make You Look Like You Put In Effort

Halfway through there is a soundtrack because I couldn't help myself.
Publish date:
December 23, 2013
barrettes, Forever 21, sloppy Joe, asos, Valentino, j. crew

When Mandy started working at xoJane she made a point of letting me know that the stains on my sweater made me “way less intimidating and more accessible.” I walk around with stains on my clothes often because I’m not perfect (I’m listening to Free To Be You And Me right now and I am feeling very accepting, even of myself.) I try to be all shiny and nice on the outside (I’ve given up on the inside) but sometimes these things happen to my outside that are, well, wrong.

For instance, one day I was talking to Emily. I was in her office trying to get her attention/approval/love. She listened to my jokes and let me ask her questions that I didn't need to ask which was all I needed to feel momentarily whole, so I started gliding away (because, I glide, obviously.) Emily shouted after me “You know you have a huge chunk of hair hanging out of your bun right?”

Usually, I can convince Emily that everything I do is some cool kid thing and that I’m this mindblowingly progressive trendsetter who totally thinks for herself 100 percent of the time and does things like leave giant chunks of hair out of my expertly tussled top knot because it’s the next hip thing.

Between you and me though, I had no idea. In my brain, my bun was principal ballerina status. Not even a flyaway. However, in the real world (which sucks, by the way) I looked like this:

That was what I was working with. My hair is thin, but what it lacks in volume it makes up in general unmanageability. I gave up right around the time I started working at xoJane and was all “Yep, this is what I got and it’s not even going to try to compromise.”

Sorry, before we get any deeper you guys have to get on my level right now because Marlo Thomas is making me feel very real feelings. Just press play and keep reading.

Even though I love my hair, I’d like to be presentable. I don’t want it to be messy like that. It’s one thing to be awesomely shagged out, it’s another thing to just be letting yourself go.

So, I fixed it.

BOOM. Spruced all that mess right up. That was it. Problem solved.

No matter what I do, my hair will be messyish. It's my look, whether I like it or not. It's my THING: Crazy Hair. The nice thing about fancy barrettes is they don't just sit there and stay invisible on the back of your head doing their job. They are doing their job putting a little extra sartorial effort in. They are both utilitarian and superfluously pretty. Just like me. Statement barrettes are pretty much the personification of me.

Can we talk about the word "Barrette?" It's one of those words that kind of oozes old world fancy beauty. They are actually somewhat new world, having only being patented in 1972. You don't need to know this but I Wikipedia-d it and I'm really into patent plans, so here are the ones for the barrette.

Now you try. I have split this up into groups by price range, because you guys seem to think about the money things. What are you POOR or something? KIDDING. I eat seltzer for dinner. So there.

Practically Disposable

You should just have handfuls of these lying all over the place. So you step on one by accident? Who cares you have a million everywhere all the time because they are like three dollars at most. Just have some of these on hand. Always. NOW.

Treat Yourself

A little more cash will give you a few more options and probably clips that will not crumble after you open and close them a few times. Also, everybody should have a tortoise shell clip. I think so at least. They are very useful and (I hate saying this, but...) they go with everything!

Grocery Money In Your Hair

Yeah, I'd love a Valentino hair clip. It is just so completely fancy punk. I love. I would totally not eat for a week to wear this bad bad boy.

OK, just one more 60s learning song for the road because my parents were hippies and gave me really awesome records to play when I was a wee babe and they taught me not only my times tables but what a sick bridge that actually shatters negativity was. Big ups to Elisabeth and Howard.