Buy Vintage Hair Accessories for That Touch of Glamour

by HollieT

A Vintage hair accessory can add a touch of glamour to any outfit. Choose from a range of vintage style hair accessories to suit every occasion.

Lovers of all things vintage know that some hairstyles not only define specific eras but are also meant to be worn with vintage hair accessories to complete the look. Who would attempt to replicate that classic updo worn by Audrey Hepburn in the opening scenes of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', without finishing this iconic style with a tiara?

And what about the fabulous beehives of the sixties, how did women manage to prevent those huge bouffants from collapsing altogether? Was it copious amounts of hairspray? Well, in part, yes, but also by using the beautiful, yet functional, Spanish mantilla combs.

Retro Chic for Any Occasion.

Whilst vintage inspired hair accessories are favoured by many brides to be, the truth is that retro chic is not just appropriate for weddings, fancy dress parties or when one is attempting to replicate a look favoured by women in bygone decades. Not at all, vintage style hair accessories remain popular because of their classic designs and the touch of glamour that they lend to any outfit or occasion.

Retro hair adornments not only make stunning gifts, but are also collectors items. And rightly so, because not only do they bring an air of nostalgia, but also reflect the trends of a particular period in modern history.

Whether you are preparing for a Christmas party, a special anniversary, or just hoping to add some vintage inspired style to a casual outfit, you are sure to find a number of beautiful classic accessories which are perfect for the job.

Vintage Mantilla Combs.

These elegant combs do, in fact, have a lengthy history before being claimed by the lasses sporting beehives in the sixties.

Spanish Mantilla combs, or a peineta as they are otherwise known, have been used since the 19th Century by Spanish women to hold a mantilla, a silk or lace veil, in position. 

A traditional Mantilla comb is usually a tortoiseshell colour, however, over the years, white, amber, beaded and jeweled mantillas have become increasingly popular.


How to secure a 'French Twist' or 'updo' using a Spanish Mantilla Comb.

Mantilla Combs Also Have a Place in Today's Popular Culture.

In popular culture, the late Amy Winehouse frequently used mantilla combs to secure her signature half up beehive for which she became renowned.

Lady Gaga also famously wore a peineta and mantilla during her performance of Alejandro.

Nevertheless, a mantilla comb is an extremely versatile adornment which can used to hold one's hair in a number of styles, retro or otherwise. 

Amy Winehouse sporting a half up beehive secured by Spanish Mantilla Combs.

Amy Winehouse sporting her signature 'half up' beehive.
Amy Winehouse sporting her signature ...

Vintage Hair Combs.

Unlike the traditional mantilla combs, vintage hair combs are often beautifully decorated with rhinestones, pearls, crystals and even diamonds. 

Although it's true that these classic items have gained much popularity with brides of the modern era, they are also frequently used to hold a bun, chignon or French plait in position.

Many vintage hair accessories, including vintage and antique hair combs, were inspired by the Art Nouveau movement, which began in 1880 and ended just before the Great War, and the Art Deco movement, which gained popularity during the 1920's and ended just before the First World war. 

Whilst the differences between the two styles may not be evident to the untrained eye, Art Nouveau inspired hair accessories combine geometric shapes such as parabolas, arcs, and semicircles, whilst Art Deco inspired hair adornments incorporated the use of more modern materials such as chrome, enamel and stainless steel.

Although geometric shapes still formed the basis of the Art Deco style, the curves tended to be bolder and much more elaborately decorated. 

Vintage Barrettes.

Barrettes are a classic hair accessory which have never gone out of style. Not only are barrettes available in a range of sizes and designs, they can be worn at the front or back of the hair.

Women with shorter hair styles can use smaller barrettes to clip hair off the face. Whilst the larger barrette can be used for half up styles and also, depending on the size and strength of the barrette, to hold the back of the hair completely.

Throughout the decades a range of materials have been used to make barrettes. For example, during the 1950's Mother of Pearl, enamel, yellow rhinestone and crystal, amongst other materials, were used frequently.

Barrettes of the 1940's, on the other hand, tended to feature imitation jewels, such as pearls, however, there were barrettes which featured, or were manufactured, using much more expensive materials such as sterling silver or pewter.

Diamond-shaped Vintage Barrette

Taking inspiration from vintage hair clips, this divine diamond shaped silver tone design is just beautiful. Featuring diagonal grid lines encrusted with sparkling clear crystal...

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Scottish Thistle Barrette - Pewter with Silver Overlay

Pewter Scottish Thistle Barrette Perfect for fine hair. Jewelry for your hair! Our highly polished Pewter Scottish Thistle Barrette features five handsome, detailed thistles aga...

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How To Use Vintage Barrettes with Longer Hair Styles.

L. Erickson Classic Cameo Barrette - Tokyo

The L. Erickson Cameo Barrette is a timeless hair clip that exudes softness and elegance with its feminine silhouette. Grace you locks with this vintage-inspired accessory. Gold...

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Vintage Bun Clips, Pins and Cages.

Buns were first worn by both men and women in Ancient Greece and were often regarded as a show of wealth because of the ornately decorated, and expensive bun pins, which were used to hold the hair in place.

During the Victorian era, bun clips, pins and cages were worn by the more matronly in society. In other words, they were usually only worn by women of a particular age, as buns were considered to be the preferred hairstyle of the more 'mature woman.'


Today, bun clips remain extremely popular, but vintage bun clips are always in great demand. Some of these particular vintage accessories are in the form of a clip type fastening, whilst the older, more traditional version of the bun clip, can either include a pin and a cover, or a pin and a cage. 

Vintage Bobby Pins/Vintage hair pins.

During the 1920's the bobby pin, as it was aptly named, became a functional hair accessory when the 'bob cut' was a popular hair style with women of the time. The bobby pin was used to hold bobbed hair off the face. Some bobby pins were plain whilst others were ornately decorated and sometimes jeweled

Ballerinas have also frequently used bobby pins to hold their hair in place during performances, and the bobby pin has also been used by Jewish women to secure the yarmulke, a traditional head covering.


Vintage Head Bands.

Just as bun pins date back to the Ancient Greeks, so do headbands. In fact, the first documented headbands were that of wreaths worn by the Ancient Greeks. Over time, the Etruscans and Romans began to decorate head wreaths with precious metals such as gold and silver. 

During the early part of the 20th century, headbands became headache bands, and as the name suggests, were used by women who believed that pressure around the temples would relieve headaches. 

By the 1910's, headache bands had become more decorative and were typically lacy, but often embellished with ribbons and rosettes. During the same period, for the more affluent, stunning headbands emblazoned with jewels were also produced. 

The peace and love years of the sixties also revived the headband, when many hippies adorned their ultra trendy accessories with feathers, jewels and psychedelic fabrics.

And who could possibly forget that iconic image of Princess Diana in Melbourne, 1985? Was that stunning jeweled headband, chic,classic, sophisticated or fashionable? Well, it certainly became fashionable, perhaps that's because it was chic, classic and sophisticated, and also worn by Princess Di! 

But in fact, that headband was actually a diamond and emerald choker which the Queen had given as a wedding present to Princess Diana. The stylish Diana clearly thought that the choker also made a very attractive headband.



Princess Diana Wearing a Diamond and Emerald Choker as a Headband.

Princess Di in 1985.
Princess Di in 1985.
(Pack of 2) Women Colored Gathered Knot Pleated Rib Wide Turban Headband Hair Bands, Leopard + Vi...

(Pack of 2) Women Colored Gathered Knot Pleated Rib Wide Turban Headband Hair Bands, Leopard + Vintage Punk Metallic Mirrored Sliver Clip Hair Tie Tapered Secure

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L. Erickson USA Narrow Ribbon Headband - Vintage Rose Navy

The L. Erickson USA Narrow Ribbon Headband is handmade in the USA. Exquisite 3/4" wide vintage French ribbon will attract collectors and women who love old French sensibility. M...

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Antique Silver Crystal Bow Headband

Pretty vintage bow headband with rhinestones. Silvertone metal with oxidized finish. One size.

View on Amazon

Vintage Fascinators.

A fascinator is a small headpiece which is often worn instead of a hat, typically at more formal occasions such as weddings and events such as the Royal Ascot.

Sometimes a fascinator may also be worn at evening parties when they might be referred to as a cocktail hat. 

The fascinator is usually attached to the one's head with a pin, clip, comb or headband and may be decorated with feathers, beads, jewels, flowers or ribbons. Indeed, a range of fabrics may be used to produce a fascinator.

During the Victorian era, women would wear a fascinator when attending cultural events such as a trip to the theatre, or a high society garden party.

This classic hair accessory is also frequently associated with the roaring twenties, when they gained much popularity with young women of the period. In fact, the much loved fascinator remained popular until the latter half of the 1950's, when sadly, the fascination for the fascinator waned!

But alas, fashion icons such as Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the renowned clothes horse that is Victoria Beckham, helped to revive the once loved fascinator, which has become a hot vintage inspired hair accessory in recent times.

The Duchess of Cornwall Wearing a Red Fascinator.

The Duchess of Cornwall wearing a red fascinator
The Duchess of Cornwall wearing a red fascinator

Vintage Tiaras.

A tiara is often associated with British Royalty for obvious reasons, yet, as far as historians can ascertain, the Egyptians are to be credited for introducing the much loved tiara to the world.

And Napoleon Bonaparte, famous for his declarations of nobility and wealth, insisted during his reign that the tiara was to be worn at all social occasions, without exception. 

Today, not only is the tiara a favourite with would be brides, but is also worn by young women attending their prom, or with a veil for a girl's First Communion. In fact, a tiara can be worn at any high occasion.

Vintage tiaras are available in a range of designs, which include diamond encrusted, a forehead necklace, or more simple designs featuring non precious gemstones and decorations.

The cost of a tiara will largely depend on the gemstones and other materials which have been used to create this stunning jewelry for hair. 

Audrey Hepburn Wearing the Iconic Diamond Tiara in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's
Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's
Updated: 03/21/2013, HollieT
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HollieT on 12/05/2012

Thanks katie. :)

katiem2 on 12/05/2012

It's a lot of fun. These hair accessories are a great gift for anyone with medium to long hair. Gotta tweet this. :)K

HollieT on 11/25/2012

Ah, your daughter clearly has a great sense of style then, not just interested in what's in fashion at the present time but what looks good per se. The hat party sounds fantastic!

katiem2 on 11/25/2012

My daughter has loved the hats/fascinators before the royal exposure. I remember she just had to have one several years ago when we were out shopping. She cherished the small black hat with veil. Since she had a hat party inviting her friends. They all wore tiny hats, it was a blast. She's thrilled they are in style full forced.

HollieT on 11/24/2012

What was not so trendy just a few short years ago, Kate seems to have made highly trendy. To be honest though, I've always loved those netted type hats/fascinators, I think they're really glam. They always remind me of the women in films in the 30'3 and 40's.

katiem2 on 11/24/2012

lol, my oldest daughters loves the hats, she's found a new love... :)

HollieT on 11/24/2012

Hi Katie,

Thank you.

The only way I manage to keep my hair up, is if I use a large comb and a few clips (bobby pins) I agree that updo's are lovely- I like the french pleat the most. Now if only I looked like Audrey Hepburn, too. I'd be a very happy woman! :)

katiem2 on 11/23/2012

What a great collection of hair accessories. I love wearing my hair up. Up do's are amazing, look good any time and are so functional. I adore the combs you have included here today. I have really thick hair and need a good sturdy comb to make it's way through my thick hair and hold it in place. I think the Vintage ART DECO Antique BLACK CELLULOID Red RHINESTONE Mantil... is perfect and so pretty. I'll be back to this delightful page many times. It's a great tribute to long hair, up do's and accessories. I love it! :)K

HollieT on 11/23/2012

Hi Arlene,

We seem to have the same problem, but slides and things fall out of my hair because it's too thick. In your photograph, Arlene, your hair always looks glossy and sleek, mine on the other hand is like a mop end. :)

HollieT on 11/23/2012

Hi Lana,

A nice silk bandana, perhaps? :) Seriously though, clips and pins hold better in finer hair- mines naturally curly (a bit frizzy too) as much as I like pretty things in the hair, they just fall out of mine within minutes because it's too heavy.

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