Before you even think about updating your wardrobe for the season, consider a new hairdo. Here are the can't-miss hair styles for spring, and a few trends that you won't want to make the mistake of embracing.
Carolyn Brundage, Times correspondent
From runway to the red carpet, the off -center knot is gaining popularity as an easy, breezy and oh-so-stylish look for spring. Plus, it's versatile; models at the Lanvin Spring 2009 runway show sported voluminous yet sleek buns, just slightly off-center. Isla Fisher sported a side bun plus side-swept bangs to complement her asymmetrical gown at this year's Golden Globes. Singer Fergie recently rocked a retro chic side chignon that paired romantic waves with a sparkling head piece (more on that trend below).
Whether you choose an upswept, off-center chignon or a bed-head inspired side bun, get the look yourself in just a few easy steps. Start with dirty hair – clean hair won't hold as well —and begin by parting hair as usual. Pick a side to place your knot and secure a side ponytail. Then, twist the ponytail, either loosely or tightly depending on your preferred look, and wrap it around the ponytail holder. Secure with bobby pins if desired. Voilà!
The accessories vary, but the mantra remains the same; style setters are taking control of their hair with embellishments. Dolce & Gabanna showed sparkling headpieces alongside up-dos adorned with ornate ribbons, and Louis Vuitton models sported leather ponytail bands.
At jenniferbehr.com, high-priced headbands are all the rage, ranging from a rope of Swarovski crystals tied into a knot in emerald green ($325) to the silk chiffon headbands encrusted with crystals ($595) made famous by Nicole Richie. Or, opt for Bebe's more affordable feather headband: black, white and priced right at $39 (bebe.com).
the blunt bang
Katy Perry cut her bangs and she liked it. So did Kate Hudson, Kim Kardashian and Tyra Banks. Kudos to these celebs for taking the easy way out of a style rut; after all, sporting fringe, as the Brits call it, is one of the easiest ways to update your look and get real bang for your fashion buck.
Do-it-yourselfers beware: It takes a real hair expert to construct a style that features flattering bangs. This season's look features the severely straight, blunt bang, most suited to those with straight, thick hair. Curly haired girls should skip this look, opting instead for long, side-swept bangs.
Fashion is often meant to be larger than life. Sometimes, that translates to just plain tacky. Case in point; some of the "trends" being touted for spring 2009 are best left on the pages of your favorite fashion magazines. Because in real life, these looks are sure losers.
• Peroxide blond: It's touted as the color for spring, but over-processed hair simply doesn't flatter. Leave the look for Jay Manuel from America's Next Top Model. Better him than you.
• Twists: Unless you're purposely emulating reality star Whitney Port, the twist is just plain tired. Skip this look for spring; in the real world, it's over.
Carolyn Brundage is the founder of TampaBayBeauty.com, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty.