It started with a scrunchie—you know, those ruched-fabric-covered elastics a lot of us once color-coordinated to match our junior high wardrobes? (OK, maybe that was just me.) Well, sometime last year, I was doing a little light online shopping when I stumbled across one at Nordstrom, of all places.
My first instinct was to laugh, because this was a really expensive scrunchie. A $34 scrunchie, to be precise. Granted, it was made of silk, but it was also purportedly for little girls, so I simply shrugged it off as some overpriced nonsense for overprivileged children, and kept it moving. Scrunchies for bed? Yes (in fact, they’re my at-home protective accessory of choice). But as a fashion statement in this century? Nah.
Well, I suppose we have San Junipero to thank/blame for this, but clearly, I was ignoring a harbinger of things to come. When I searched for “scrunchie” at Nordstrom Thursday, no fewer than 11 options appeared, ranging in price from $3.99 (on sale) to $38 (again, in silk). And these weren’t just options for kids—in fact, scrunchies are just one of several ’80s-era hair accessories making their way back onto heads this season. Don’t believe me? Check out this $176 barrette-and-mini-clip set. (It’s French, y’all. That’s all I’ve got.)
So, come summer, should we expect to once again see banana clips sweeping hair up off of steaming necks?
Only time will tell, but retailers seem to be betting big on a renaissance in retro hair accessories. So, in addition to the usual summer-festival fare of flower crowns and scarves, you may also see a major uptick in embellished barrettes, claw clips, headbands and ponytail cuffs in a variety of options, from Target to Gucci.
As for me, I’ll be saving my scrunchies for the gym. But if you’re inspired to reminisce about the love you had for your junior high hairdo—or bring a little ’80s magic into your millennial life—hey ... do you, boo.