Braided hairstyles have been very hot on the runways in 2009 and 2010, with perhaps the most noted users of this trend being Alexander Wang and Miuccia Prada. While the loose side braid and the fish plait have been most prominent, an evening look that has popped up occasionally is the so-called milkmaid style, with braids tucked up over the crown of the head. The message is clear: fashion accessories definitely include your hairstyle!
We first saw this braided look on celebrities in 2007, when Sienna Miller wore the style with a draped, slightly off-shoulder gown by the fashion designers Marchesa at the Golden Globe Awards, showing that it can be done elegantly. There are several things to keep in mind if you attempt this style.
First, you either need to have long hair, or you need a hair piece that very closely matches your hair color. Second, even with a formal outfit, this hairstyle shouldn’t look too “done.” A few wisps or chunks of hair set free will keep the style from being too severe.
In general, the less oval and more angular your face, the more wispy and “undone” you should aim for with milkmaid braids. We’ve recently seen this look on Zoe Saldana and Busy Phillips, both of whom wisely kept the style from being too uptight and fussy.
The easiest way to acquire this look is with a braided headband (Revlon and many other companies make them) worn with hair in a low, slightly disheveled chignon. Braids look like they’re going to continue to be fashion news for at least a few seasons to come, so give it a try! The great thing is, these days, you don’t even need super-long hair to do it.