It's official: We're halfway through November and party season is already in full swing with Christmas lights being switched on all over the capital and festive invitations flying through the door. Luckily, from party shoes that look good and are genuinely comfortable to vintage dresses that you won't see anyone else in this season, we've started the party wardrobe prep early to take the hassle out of this busy time of year. But what about beauty? For me, it's always deciding how to style my hair that causes me the most stress around party dressing. Mainly because I'm a total hair styling novice but also because I don't want to spend hours coiffing my strands into a style that doesn't feel like me at the end of it.
Luckily, there's one thing that can make you look like you've put in major effort with little skill required: hair accessories. In fact, hair clips and headbands are going to be so popular for party season that John Frieda have launched in-salon sessions where they style your party ponytail, topknot or half-up, half-down hairstyle with a vintage hair ribbon. Best of all, wearing a hair accessory will add interest to a basic hairstyle without adding loads of styling time.
"A simple side parting with the hair tucked behind the ear accompanied by a hair clip is the perfect way to simply take your look from day to night," explained Maxine Cooke, stylist at John Frieda Salon. And if you only have 10 minutes? "A topknot is another favourite of mine," said Cooke. "It's super quick and gives off that effortlessly cool vibe."
Keep scrolling to see our editors' top hair accessory picks for party season. (And big thanks to John Frieda for their hairstyling prowess.)
1. Pearl Headband
WHO WHAT WEAR
"I wasn't really into the headband trend when it first came out, and I still find that some versions can look a little too 'Tudor queen' for my liking. It also doesn't help that I have quite fine hair, so anything too chunky or oversized can overwhelm things. This cute pearl headband, however, is the perfect balance of subtle yet stylish, and I like how it blends in with my hair. I'll be using it as a finishing touch (no need for additional jewellery) with this stunning tulle Zara blouse."—Joy Montgomery, Who What Wear shopping editor
"Historically, I've been a little wary of hair accessories. Given the fact I already look younger than my years, I tend to steer clear of anything that has the ability to make me look less than my age—full skirts, the colour pink, and hair bows are all included on this very specific this list. After trying these ASOS hair slides, I must admit I've changed my tune. Not only are these a fun addition for party season, they also look stylish, instead of childish. I think I'll be investing in a few more sets of hair clips after this."—Zoe Anastasiou, Who What Wear fashion editor
"Normally, I'd go for a headband during the festive season. However, given that my party top is very OTT, I decided to opt for some simpler diamond slides. I have a fringe and sometimes it can get a bit annoying (fringe girls, you get me), so using them to pin my fringe back not only looks cute (if I do say so myself) but is also practical for a night out of dancing too."—Alyss Bowen, associate social media editor
"I went full Blair Waldorf with this party outfit and had my hair curled and lightly brushed through, so it felt big but still felt soft and relaxed. I then added this rainbow coloured gem headband I found on ASOS. It's the perfect partner to my leopard-print velvet Kitri top."—Emma Spedding, Who What Wear editor
My hair is notoriously dishevelled at all times so when it comes to party season, I like to mix things up with a sleeker look. These clever hair pearls can be twisted into buns and topknots for an unexpected way to accessorise a basic hairstyle. I love the contrast of texture between them and my heavily embellished sequinned blouse from the ASOS Maternity range.
"If I'm being brutally honest, I like the build-up to party season more than the actual events themselves. But this year, I'm determined to have as much fun as possible, and that means making sure I feel fabulous. These hair grips aren't something I'd usually go for, but I saw so many people wearing similar during fashion week and I was sold. Also, they make this 'Jessica Rabbit in top form' feel more fun and less sassy."—Nell Block, Who What Wear assistant editor