Alice band

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Alice bands made of plastic and stiffened fabric

An Alice band is a type of hair accessory. It can consist of flexible horseshoe-shaped plastic or elastic material forming a loop. The band is designed to fit over the head and hold long hair away from the face, but let it hang freely at the back.

History[edit]

The Alice band is said to have originated in the period around 1871, following the publication of Lewis Carroll's novel Through the Looking Glass; at any rate, the name of the Alice band certainly comes from Carroll's heroine.[1] In John Tenniel's illustrations for this book, Alice is shown wearing a ribbon which keeps her long hair away from her face.[2]

The Alice band has had periods of popularity in adult fashion, most recently in the late 20th century, when velvet versions were popular among Sloane Rangers in the United Kingdom.[2]

The Alice band used to be an almost universally female item of clothing, but it has gained popularity among men in some countries, owing to a fashion for long hair. The use of Alice bands by men was possibly first made popular by David Beckham and Ronnie O'Sullivan.[3]

In the United States an Alice band is known as a hair band, head wrap, or headband.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alice, n.1." OED Online, Oxford University Press, March 2019, https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/4982. Accessed 24 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b Cumming, Valerie; Cunnington, C.W.; Cunnington, P. (2010). The Dictionary of Fashion History. Oxford: Berg. p. 4. ISBN 9781847887382. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  3. ^ "David Beckham with hairband". dailymail.co.uk.