Up until a year ago, I had always worn my hair short. I’m not talking about a run-of-the-mill shoulder-length crop: I would regularly switch between a pixie cut, some type of undercut, or an intense ear-length bob. When last summer came around, I decided I was finally ready to change things up, and now, my hair is finally at a length that allows me to be more playful. Sometimes I’ll put it in a ponytail or a little crown of milkmaid braids. But my go-to? An oversize French barrette. My mother, who has beautiful, long auburn hair, has been a barrette fiend my whole life, so when I started to grow my hair out, she gave me a few from her collection. They’re a little austere-looking initially, with most of them featuring either a marbled or floral motif. But when I wear one, I instantly feel like I’ve stepped fresh out of a Bront? novel or am walking through the backdrop of a Bardot flick.
A barrette might be a timeless accessory, but it just so happens to be everywhere right now. Lately, I’ve been fawning over big ones in the dreamiest textures and colors. I’m obsessed with the clips by Australian brand Valet Studio, which do a particularly darling version that looks plucked from the Milky Way. Rachel Comey has one that looks like a long piece of lime-green taffy, and Each sells a clip in the shape of a daisy. For more of a throwback look, there’s a classic marbled barrette from Alexandre de Paris: I have a similar one (from Mom, of course) that I wear all the time and with everything. Another classically French brand, MC Davidian, makes a barrette with a classic rectangular cut in pale pink and adorned with little gems while Simone Rocha crafts one with 3-D flowers in a soft peridot hue.
Looking for some suggestions as the summer starts to heat up? Here, 14 big barrettes to help you stay cool for the summer.