Edwardian Fashion: Bandeaux

Once again, while reading Jane Austen’s World, I was struck by the uncanny similarities between fashions of the Regency and the Edwardian eras. Vic has already taken a look at the popularity of the bandeau in the Regency era, so I shall take a look at its presence one hundred years later.

As with the turn of the nineteenth century, late Edwardian fashions were heavily influenced by idealized Greek imagery. The soft drape of fabric, the clinging silhouette, and the high waistline mirrored the gracefulness of Greek tunics; however, unlike the Regency fashions, the Edwardians retained the Victorian love of embellishments, and both clothing and hair accessories were weighted with beading, ribbons, lace, passmenterie, jet, and gemstones. Bandeaux were no different, though they grew simpler soon after their adoption, and later sometimes replaced hats.

hair bandeau
Gertie Millar (Actress)
hair bandeau
Lily Elsie (Actress)
hair bandeau
Unidentified woman on postcard
hair bandeau
Lady Diana Manners (John Singer Sargent)
hair bandeau
As seen in Victorian and Edwardian fashions from "La Mode Illustrée by JoAnne Olian
haie bandeau
As seen in Victorian and Edwardian fashions from "La Mode Illustrée by JoAnne Olian
The Wings of the Dove
Helena Bonham Carter and Alison Elliot in The Wings of the Dove (1997)
sybil harem pants
Lady Sybil Crawley in Downton Abbey.


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8 replies on “Edwardian Fashion: Bandeaux”
  1. says: Michele R.

    Lily Elise is stunning. I love her name as well. Now onto the subject at hand, amazing how a bandeau used to be something worn on the head & now it’s a swimsuit top. I prefer it as a headpiece.

  2. says: Hels

    Ah you said it rightly ! – the soft drape of fabric, the clinging silhouette and the high waistline mirrored the gracefulness of Greek tunics! Very beautiful and very suited to all sorts of ages and shapes.

    I love (and own) Edwardian hats, but the hair accessories were lighter and freer than hats.

    1. I guess that’s why the Regency era is so popular with today’s women. 😉

      I love Edwardian hats–particularly those of the 1910-1912 variety–but I do agree with you about the hair accessories. Plus, they can be worn today without garnering any strange looks.

  3. says: Katherine

    I am researching the history of bandeaux-style headwear. Do you have any primary sources you could point me to for more information? Thanks! I love your blog!!

    1. A History of Women’s Hair Styles, 1500-1965 by Jean Keyes
      Women’s Hats, Headdresses and Hairstyles by Georgine de Courtais
      Hairstyles and Fashion: A Hairdresser’s History of Paris, 1910-1920

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