The Rise of the Scrunchie

This accessory, a staple for many little girls, is one that we all part from at some point in our lives. A good rule of thumb might be that it is pretty unfashionable to be seen dead wearing one after one’s teenage years, at least in public.

Grown women presumably shun them for a good reason – they smack of prepubescence.

Wasn’t it settled when Carrie Bradshaw told us that scrunchies were just not cool after then boyfriend Jack Berger had the female character in his novel go traipsing about town wearing one? We did meet a scrunchie in that episode, though it was not adorning the locks of a New Yorker but rather a visitor from out of town.

It being a long time since I had last worn one (not since the age of 12, or perhaps 14, if I remember correctly) I had seen them so little that I was convinced they had gone the way of the dodo. Imagine my astonishment to find that they are ubiquitous in a country that boasts some of the most beautiful, fashion conscious, brand bag toting women in the world – Japan.

Even trendy Tokyoites are not immune to this, and this baffles me no end. It would be a case worthy of Sherlock Holmes. I can see it now – Sherlock Holmes returns in “The Case of the Enduring Scrunchie.” (Actually, if it starred Benedict and Martin that might not be a bad idea!)

Grown women dash to work in the morning in two-piece suits and prim and proper blouses, with their hair in a bun or ponytail complete with giant scrunchie.

A scrunchie and a work suit. I don’t know what to say. (Don’t tell me Hillary Clinton does it. Just because she wears them does not make it right.)

I’m not sure which is worse, that or open toed shoes and tights –  another combination to make your toes curl – a common sight here in Japan. I don’t know how any woman can even stand to wear tights in the summer here without melting away.

Walk into most accessory shops here and you will find scrunchies in an array of colours, shapes, and sizes, and women will be ooh-ing and aah-ing before taking their haul to the till, not for a daughter or younger sister, but for themselves. I invariably shudder.

While fashion has seen attempts to revive the much-maligned scrunchie every few years since the 90s, here it would seem they have never been out of fashion.

Can so many women be wrong?

Is it time to embrace the scrunchie once again?

Who knows? Maybe I will!

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2 thoughts on “The Rise of the Scrunchie

  1. Nice post! I was also surprised by the scrunchie’s popularity here. I’m coming around to the idea of it now, and think that it works to some extent with tightly tied back dark hair… but I don’t think it’s something I’ll get into~ unless I’m in the mood for a hark back to the 90’s some day 😉

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