Topknot Tails

In Hair on January 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm



Did you know it is now illegal for a woman under the age of 28 to be seen in public without her hair in some kind of up do?  It’s a trend I absolutely love, although I was sad when I first saw so many girls starting to wear the top of the head topknot, as it was a hairstyle I felt belonged to my niece, Katy.

She started wearing her hair like that about six years ago and it looked so cute, quite a small bun, right on the top of her head, with a long straight fringe. It was her signature look and so suited her.

So when I started to see the trickle down reaching the kind of teenage girls who hang around the shopping centre where I live, I was furious on Katy’s behalf, but I’m over it now. It’s the style of the moment; she was just ahead of the game.

Katy has a new signature style now. It started as Heidi style over the head plaits and has segued into rolls in the same formation. It’s a really good look and I’m glad she’s found it, as the hairdo she used to call her own is now even de rigeur for my 10 year old (below), who goes off to school every morning with her hair twisted up into some kind of bun.


I love all the different versions of it and so enjoy seeing young women walking around with their own interpretations. I’d love to wear it myself, but think it would be a bit trag at my age. Sob. The closest I get is wearing a little knot of hair at the base of my nape, rather than a ponytail.



The only times I’m not so keen on the modern bun is when an over extravagant use of the bun ring makes the bun the same size as the head, as here.


Or when it’s too severe, as illustrated here by Mrs Beckham.


  1. ahh none of them look as good as your daughter, but I agree, it needs to look nonchalent and like you have not tried “too” hard. Victoria got it totally wrong, if you want slick, just have a ponytail – a bun needs to be fun! Dont be put off by age though! I wear one and as long as it is a little messy, I think I get away with it ! 🙂

  2. Being the mother of two teenage girls (15 & 16) I totally get where you are coming from. I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw them with their hair down! It’s either up in a top-knot/bun, or tied up in a bit of a ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ cascading (ie messy) ‘top of the head’ pony tail. I l liked it at first, but now I am over it and long to see their hair down again and those ears covered! They even sleep with it that way. The tangling is shocking!
    I agree the trend looks trag on me (I even gave one of my daughter’s donut things a whirl), but I have got away with the bun (small donut included) at the nape of the neck. This seems to somehow look more “age appropriate” (sad, but true).
    Your daughter looks beautiful though! Love it with a fringe. Tres chic and very cute (and gorgeous smile!)
    I also LOVE that outfit in the first image. THAT jacket. THAT bag. The combination….
    Keep these posts coming. Love hearing from you! x

  3. So happy you are blogging again!

    • So am I¬! I really missed it, but it was such a hassle, I couldn’t bear to go near it, but after Christmas I had some time to sit and get the better of it. My next step is to upgrade my whole computer set up, which I think will make it even easier to do. I love getting on here and having a chat, so fingers crossed the technology doesn’t get the better of me again xxx

  4. Maggie,

    lovely to receive your emails again, not being very savy with the computer l found finding you was difficult, when things changed, so put it in the to hard basket. l wonder if you are visiting Australia for Christmas?

    l still remember the articles you wrote on the smart 80 year olds, l wonder how they are faring and what are they wearing now, being closer to the 80 year old it is of particular interest. l however love seeing what the smart young women are wearing around the world. We recently spent a few days in Paris and the shop windows in one of the beautiful large stores was amazing all spots, a Japanese woman designer. Your young niece looks just lovely, our grand daughter of 14 is an individual with her hair and dress as well, good to see. Greetings for the New Year, keep observing and sharing. many thanks, Judy

  5. Welcome back! Love your style and fashion outlook and amusing articles. Well those severe topknots look good on nobody except ballerinas..

  6. I love all these messy updos too but am sad they have become de rigeur. Same with the died red hair…looked funky on a few but now everywhere. Variety is so much more interesting and dare I say it helps each of us to make the best of ourselves. Sound such a nanna don’t I !

  7. While I love a high bun, those top of the head things are driving me spare! They flatter only the lucky few and have you found yourself stuck behind one at the theatre or movies???? Nightmare!

  8. Mrs Beckham is the secret Love Child of Loraine Chase and Cliff Richard.

  9. Dear Maggie, Oh how I love the up do! Being a surfer with longish coloured hair (there is not enough hair conditioner in the world!), the up do is often a vital element of being able to look slightly glamorous and like one has made an effort after the sea and during the heat of a Summer’s day/night (much cooler than long hair worn loose wet or dry). The look lends itself beautifully to pretty earrings – large or small and for most faces is generally flattering. Personally I think the up do can be suitable for women of our age as long as the wearer has enough hair to achieve a feminine look vs male tennis pro with hair just long enough to be irritating or little girl toddler alf alfa sprout standing straight up on end (that would be tragic)!
    Of course “Mummy you pulled my ponytail too tight” is never a good look on anyone. BX

  10. PS Peggy looks ADORABLE with her fringe and knot. BX

  11. Not sure if this has hit Australa yet. I’ve shown this to my 17 year old who wore her hair to school like this last year. Her delightful “friends” told her she looked like one of the teletubbies. (can’t remember which one!) She was devastated. Here’s to doing your own thing!

    Good to hear from you again!

  12. Here I sit next to my adorable 15 year old who has the whole tousled bun thing happening. We are just back from a couple of weeks in Sydney – her hair is now peanut butter streaked from the Bondi sun and saltwater, and to her great satisfaction, is also a touch dreadlockish. Dammit, the girl even looks gorgeous wearing a manky Tshirt and tracky dacks. Meanwhile, I languish here with my now sunbleached hair, looking like one of Macbeth’s crones. Oh, to be young (er).

  13. What a treat Maggie, three posts in the space of one week!

    Re the top knots: This is a great look, young women all over Melbourne are wearing their hair like this, looks especially good a bit messy. Alas, like you I can’t carry it off (jaw line not sharp enough!), so for me it’s pony tails or chignons!

  14. Please keep it up Maggie. ’twas lovely to meet you at Matilda’s last year. And I agree with the other comments on that first photo, too, too chic!

  15. Oh the optional fringe – that’s versatility plus for you! What a clever girl. I did wonder which hairdresser you chose for her to achieve that particular (freestyle zig zag) fringe line. Mind you little (and big) girls have been known to trim their own fringes haven’t they? 1966/7 – my mother found me at six years of age under my bed one day after school with her enormous dress making shears. Naturally, she was very concerned “what are you doing under there with my scissors”, “nothing” was of course the reply. After she had hauled me out we were both in tears – I had grabbed my top eyelashes on both eyes and hacked them off! “why on earth did you do that?” “the girls at school were teasing me, they said my eyelashes are so long, they must be false, so I cut them off”. “Oh darling, they are just jealous and please never do that again!” Thankfully I didn’t remove either of my eyes, no blood was spilled and the lashes did grow back.
    Back to the present – have you seen the new mens Burberry shots from Milan? There is a (2 sizes) animal print knee length swing coat – TO DIE FOR! BX

  16. I had not noticed the topknot invasion until your post. Sure enough, all the young uns are sporting one, and looking gorgeous, as they do!

  17. I just spent a week on Victoria’s west coast with a near-15 year old with strawberry blonde hair in a giant top bun (with dark black eye makeup). She looked lovely but it was very nice to see her beautiful hair down one morning.

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