Fashion and Hair (2)

Casual look with long hair, head band and scarf
Photo: Dreamstime
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Casual situations are usually the easiest and most flexible when it comes to hairstyles. These are the times when you are simply out to enjoy yourself without worrying too much about impressions and other’s perceptions. That is not to say that you do not want to look nice; rather, you want a style that is easy to do and maintain, and is in keeping with your activity.
The key is to remember the same rule you follow when dressing for a casual function. There is such a wide range of activities that fall into the "casual" category that there is only one real rule for styling hair for a casual situation. Here is the rule for a good casual situation hairstyle:
• Keep It Activity Appropriate
Nothing looks more out of place than a too-fancy hairstyle on someone at a very casual event. Wearing an updo that consists of more than a few hairpins and a twist looks odd when you're on a picnic or at the bowling alley. Good casual hairstyles include ponytails, simple braids, and using headbands and barrettes.
Of course, as we mentioned, "casual" situations vary in their scope. Sometimes you do need more than just pulling the hair back from the face. But typically speaking, you never want your hair to be more elaborate than your clothing. For instance, if you're wearing jeans and a t-shirt or sweater, you would look a little strange if your hair looks as though you've spent two hours curling and primping it. Conversely, you may be going to a casual dinner party and decide to wear slacks and a blouse, and it would look odd if you just tucked a ponytail through the back of a ball cap.
Formal situations are the times when you really want to put your best effort into your appearance. These are the fancy-dress parties and special occasions that come only a few times a year, at best. You are going to take out your finest garments from your closet and want to use all your best styling tricks from your kit as well.
Formal situations are special in that they allow you to go all out. There are several tips for styling your hair for a formal situation, and they all relate to the type of clothing you are planning to wear. However, there is a tip that can help you as you plan your look for the evening:
• Pick a focus.
You want to pick the aspect of your look that will be the focal point: your dress, your hair, your jewelry, or you.
Some women make the mistake of buying a very ornate and heavily detailed dress with lots of embellishments, and then choosing an intricate hairstyle and lots of jewelry with heavy, dramatic makeup effects. The end result is that they look too made up. It is overdone, and the viewer is left unable to find a focal point for the look.
Formal hair look with a ponytail
Photo: Hanna Auramenka via Pexels
For the best results, choose a primary and secondary focus for your look. If your dress is heavily embellished with lots of glitter and sparkle, and you want everyone to appreciate it, then choose complimentary jewelry, makeup, or hairstyle as your secondary focus, and let the other two aspects take the background.
Then again, maybe you want to show off your brand new hairstyle. So, pick a nice, simple gown and have your makeup done professionally, then accessorize the look with some simple jewelry pieces.
The bottom line is that you want to make sure that you give the aspect you want to put on display the center stage. And when in doubt, remember that "less is often more".
Extra Tips:
There are a few extra tips that can help you when dealing with formal situations. They are as follows:
• Balance is important. If your dress has a lot of volume in the upper parts of the bodice, such as from puffy sleeves, broad shoulders, or a collar, you should keep your hair up in a simple style. You can use adornments in your hair, but you want to avoid creating the "ice cream cone" effect, which makes you look too top-heavy.
• Low-cut dresses, backless dresses, and strapless dresses are all suitable for wearing with longer hair or loosely coiffed up-styles. In fact, a loosely gathered twist up-style with wispy tendrils brushing along the neck can make for a very alluring look.
• If you opt for a classic or vintage garment for an event, make sure to stay true to the spirit of the style period you are wearing. For instance, if you choose a vintage gown from the 1960s, wearing a hairstyle that matches the mood of the period will be terrific and complete the effect. Otherwise, you risk creating an anachronistic look that will make you appear somehow "off".
See also:
Hairstyles for a first date
What to wear to a first date
What hairstyle goes well with a halter dress?
What kind of hairstyle should I do for a school dance?