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Bridal Hairstyles & Headpieces Past & Present


Kate Middleton w/Tiara & Long Veil w/Half Up/Half Down Bridal Hairstyle

Kate Middleton With Tiara & Long Veil With Half Up/Half Down Bridal Hairstyle

I have to admit I first started to write an article about current bridal hairstyles and the appropriate headpieces to guarantee a spectacular look.

Along the way I discovered an interesting fact. The more bridal hairstyles, headpieces and hair accessories change, the more they stay pretty much the same.

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to dig into the history of bridal hairstyles and headpieces in order to see how they've evolved over the years.

During my journey researching this article I discovered some fascinating information regarding bridal hairstyles and headpiece history which I share below.

Bridal Magazines From The Past

I save everything and have a terminal case of pack-rat-itis. This need to save everything was very helpful when I decided to dig around for old bridal magazines I'd stashed in the back of my closets.

After minimal searching I pulled out an old July-August 1994 issue of Bridal Guide which provided detailed advice for solving any bridal headpiece dilemma. Bingo. The right bridal hair topic from days of the past.

Classic Tiara From Marketplace

Classic Tiara From Marketplace

Tiara Bridal Hair Solutions

Luck was on my side. I was thrilled to discover the 1994 bridal hairstyle-headpiece article discussed the tiara headpiece as the "one headpiece that fits all bridal hair" solutions.

The 1994 bridal magazine recommended the tiara as the most versatile bridal headpiece because it works for any length, texture, color or style of hairstyle.

Shortly after viewing the 1994 bridal magazine I discovered a December 1998-January 1999 Bride's magazine.

It was interesting to discover the 1998-1999 Bride's magazine also had an article on bridal hair and accessory options. The tiara again was a big winner.

Bridal Headpieces Five Years Apart

Ironically, the 1998-1999 Bride's Magazine recommended the exact same headpiece for brides as did the 1994 magazine. Both issues, even though five years apart, recommended tiara bridal headpieces regardless of the hair length, texture, type or style.

Crystal Hairclip Which Can Worn With Bridal Hairstyle

Even though five years had passed between the two different bridal magazines, the fashions, hairstyles, accessories and headpieces were very similar.

This clearly showcases the fact that bridal fashions as well as hairstyles constantly cycle back into popularity.

Why was the tiara recommended in 1994 as well as 1998-1999? Probably because the tiara bridal headpiece is so versatile.

It's true a tiara can work equally well with just about any style of bridal gown, any hairstyle (up or down) and any hair color.

Timeless Bridal Fashions

In the 1994 Bridal magazine I identified the four major bridal headpiece recommendations along with the matching bridal hairstyles.

As a historical comparison I found photos of brides close to five years later with almost identical headpieces and hairstyles from the 1998-1999 Bride's issue.

The four photos of the time honored hairstyles and matching headpieces from the 1994 issue of Bridal Guide as well as the four photos from the Brides issue from 1998-1999 are included below for reference.

The Tiara Headpiece

WedTiara1.JPG (7498 bytes)

Bride Wearing Lace Tiara From Circa 1994 With Beautiful Long Red Ringlets

When Kate Middleton married her Prince in 2011 she wore a bridal hairstyle and headpiece complete with a tiara and long veil.

Her bridal tiara headpiece was traditional, but perfectly in keeping with current bridal fashions and hairstyles.

Indeed, the tiara never goes out of style as a bridal headpiece.

The beautiful redhead shown to the side is wearing a classic lace tiara from the 1994 era. The bride has long, thick curly hair.

Her lace embellished tiara works beautifully with her face shape, hairstyle and her gorgeous curls.

The attached lace edged long bridal veil works in perfect harmony with the tiara headpiece and hairstyle. The long cascading veil falls discreetly behind the bride's beautiful red locks.

Tiara Headpiece For Short Pixie Hair Style

Fast forward to 1998 below and you'll see a lovely brunette bride with a very short pixie cut sporting a more modern version of a tiara.

The short haired bride has the veil tucked neatly at the back of her hair. The pixie is beautifully sculpted to highlight her delicate face. A picture is definitely worth a thousand words.

The tiara headpiece photos from 1994 and 1998-1999 speak volumes about the versatility and beauty of the tiara headpiece for any length, style and color of hair.

The tiara looks stunning with the 1994 lace version and just as stunning with the 1998-1999 jeweled version.

The key point to the tiara is the fact it doesn't detract from any bridal hairstyle or bridal gown. It works in harmony with the hairstyle of the time.

The tiara really is a "one headpiece fits all" classic. There's not doubt that when I am thumbing through bridal magazines in the future to check out bridal hairstyles I will still see updated versions which incorporate the "old faithful" tiara.

Big Hair/Simple Veil

The ironic thing about the two photos from the different eras is that the two brides look like they are wearing almost identical "big hair" bridal updo hairstyles.

Big hair comes and big hair goes. The shape it takes is always a little different, but it always seems to come full circle.

Both brides from the two different time periods have the focus of their style centered around a high crown of hair. The styles are simply adorned in the back with a plain veil adding a very simple frame around the hair.

This headpiece which is basically just a simple veil made of tulle or netting works with very elaborate hairstyles. With this type of headpiece the veil is a minor accessory and the hair is the focus.

Bride Wearing A Veil

Brides with very short hair can pull off the simple veil look as easily as those with long hair.

Generally the veil looks best placed higher up on the head, near the crown when the hairstyle is shorter.

The simple veil headpiece works great with elaborate bridal gowns since the veil doesn't detract from the overall look.

Circular Headpiece/Open Headband

The difference between the 1994 headpiece and the 1998-1999 version is the large bow which is at the back of the 1994 version and the extensive lace used on the hatband.

This headpiece works great with hair which is designed to be piled up on the head in big curls or ornate loops.

The 1998-1999 version featured an almost identical hairstyle.

The hair was piled high with circular barrel style curls with the headpiece centered around the entire updo.

The curls in the 1998-1998 version look a little smaller and softer, but basically the look is the same.

Romantic hair for brides was very popular for the 1998-1999 period.

Curls and updo hairstyles, which look romantic, are perfect for a formal bridal gown.

Juliet Cap

The 1994 version was shown on a version of a short swingy bob.

The Juliet Cap had lots of ornate lace and beads. It was positioned near the crown with a thick spray of netting for the veil.

The cap looked great with the hairstyle. It was worn plain, shiny and with lots of movement. The cap was the focal point of this look.

bridal4.JPG (3494 bytes)

The Juliet Cap headpiece looks very similar in the 1998-1999 version. The difference is how it's placed on the head.

In the newer version the cap is worn further up on the head near the hairline.

This headpiece is also coupled with a short hairstyle which is pulled softly back off the face.

The cap was more of the focal point of the look then it was in the 1994 photo.

More Modern Bridal Headpiece Options

One trend which was gaining popularity for 1998-1999 was to skip any type of bridal headpiece. In many cases the bride would wear only a veil tucked at the back of her hairstyle. When a bride skips a bridal headpiece, the hair takes center stage.

In some cases brides added polish with tiny jeweled headbands, well placed crystal encrusted hair pins, clips, barrettes or even beautiful flowers.

Chase & Cameron Get Married On House Episode - May 2009

Dr. Chase & Dr. Cameron Wedding On Fox/TV's House Season 5 Finale May 2009

Back in the 1994 era it was rare to find a bride who didn't wear some type of veil or bridal headpiece.

In the late 70s the long Spanish mantilla was popular but was rarely seen in 1998-1999 times.

When Dr. Robert Chase played by Jesse Spencer married Dr. Allison Cameron played by Jennifer Morrison on House, the lovely bride went with a bridal veil tucked underneath her beautiful low chignon.

Dr. Cameron's bridal hairstyle and simple veil were appropriate for 2009 when the TV wedding took place.

Timeless Bridal Hairstyles

The French twist hairstyle, or more elaborate versions, known as the French seam, remain popular year after year even in current times.

The 1994 and the 1998-1999 bride's magazines had many photos of French twist versions.

Updos are also a popular bridal hairstyle which is timeless. High, medium and low chignons, twists or buns are always a desired look, especially for more formal weddings. A trend for 1998-1999 was to wear hair down with an emphasis on luscious shine. That trend continues into current day.

Kate Middleton With Tiara & Long Veil With Half Up/Half Down Bridal Hairstyle

Throughout history, a majority of brides opted for some type of stunning updo, loose waves or polished curls.

In 1998-1999, many brides selected softly curled bridal hairstyles inspired by the highly romantic hairstyles introduced by the popular movie Titanic.


The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Four bridal headpieces and bridal hairstyles are shown from the 1994 perspective as well as the 1998-1999 viewpoint.

This look back in bridal hair history has highlighted the hairstyles and headpieces which are classics.

These are the bridal hairstyles, accessories and headpieces which can be selected throughout time and still look spectacular.

Is there a morale to this story? With bridal fashions hairstyles and headpieces what's old is always new again.

- Revised Publication Date: 10/05/12

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