Fashion is in its girl era. From the “Barbiecore” craze to more subtle fashion movements like “coastal cowgirl,” the past year has seen an explosion in female-oriented fashion trends. And, just a few weeks into 2024, one staunchly girly style element is already poised to be huge: bows.
Google Trends shows searches for the term “bow” rose steadily in the latter half of 2023, TikTok has popularized terms like “girl dinner” and “girl math,” and 2023 is even being deemed by some as “the year of the girlies." According to stylist Shea Daspin, it’s actually a pretty natural fashion evolution. "Everyone knows #Barbiecore has passed, but [we] still want a sense of unabashed femininity now that it is socially acceptable," Daspin theorizes. "While Barbiecore was more in-your-face girl power, Coquette-core and its bows represent a softer but just as powerful sense of girl-ish femininity."
If you’re worried about pulling off the look, fear not — we think you’re never too old to rock a bow. While you should opt for whatever option you feel your best in, Daspin's biggest suggestion to "age-up" the trend is to go big with your bow. "Children’s items — bows included — are always smaller in size," Daspin says. To combat any childlikeness, "make sure it is oversized when in obvious places like your hair or on a bag."
Ready to give one of 2024’s biggest trends a try? Elle Magazine's Digital Director Claire Stern stopped by TODAY to share how to get the look with her favorite bows, and we've rounded up some editors' picks as well. Keep scrolling to see all of our favorite bow-adorned products.
Bow accessories seen on TODAY
Stern suggests clipping on a hair barrette (or two!) for the office. She likes these by Anthropologie for pinning up face-framing pieces of hair to make any look feel instantly coquettish.
Stern says that a bow scrunchie is a good cheat code for a quick and easy take on the trend — it turns a lazy hair day into a cool updo that earns compliments. To get the look, simply pull your hair from the top of your ears upwards into a ponytail and wrap the scrunchie tightly around your hair to keep it in place.
Going out? Stern says to opt for a sleeker style, like this option from Hill House, which is longer. She suggests wearing it with a ponytail or half-up style for a polished look.
This Susan Alexandra beaded bow barrette is definitely a splurge, but Stern says it’s for a special occasion, and since it’s such a statement piece, you can keep the rest of the look subdued. She recommends wearing your hair half up and clipping it on top for more drama.
Bow hair accessories
When it comes to incorporating the trend, Daspin calls hair bows "an obvious and precious go-to." I snagged this two-pack of hair ties from H&M last month and have worn them at least once a week since. They’re great for tying ponytail and braid hairstyles and instantly make me feel more polished.
Production coordinator Camryn Privette clips these bow barrettes on either side of her head for a quick and easy hairstyle that zhuzhes up any look. They come in red and white.
Senior photo editor Becca Delman turns to these hair ties, which come in a pack of ten different colors, to look more put together on busy mornings.
“These make me feel like I actually got dressed... and like I don’t look like such a mess,” Delman says.
Thick, sheer black ribbon is formed into a perfect, eye-catching bow on this barrette — no tying necessary.
If you’re into a chunky bow and a deal, commerce editor Amanda Fama recommends this set of bow barrette hair clips.
“At just under $17, this set of 10 bows is super affordable,” Fama notes. “Since there are so many color options, there’s basically one for every outfit!”
Associate editor Allie Wise is well known around the office for her prized collection of hair bows. When she wants to look like the belle of the ball, this is the one she dons.
“I personally love this bow in black — it goes with everything,” Wise gushes. “I’ve also gifted it to friends who aren’t yet on the bow train and it instantly turned them into a proud bow lover and owner.”
Continuing down her list of bow-adorned hair accessories, Wise also recommends this headband from Lele Sadoughi.
“If you’re looking to splurge on a quality headband (but also not break the bank), this headband is the way to go,” Wise raves. “It’s stylish, but also comfortable and comes in an adorable black and white bag!”
Got a pair of ballet flats or heels lying around? Commerce writer Jannely Espinal suggests jazzing them up with a pair of removable shoe clips, which allow you to try out the trendy bow look without having to commit to buying a whole new pair of shoes.
“I love shoe clips,” Espinal says. “These removable bows from Vivaia are easy to clip onto the shoe and they don’t bother me at all. These are great if you want to add a feminine vibe to your footwear.”
‘Tis the season to wear your heart — and your bows — on your sleeve. This über-soft shrug sweater comes in white and black and lends a feminine finish to a basic T-shirt, tank or dress.
These touchscreen-friendly gloves have a subtle knit bow on the cuff. They’re currently discounted in the J.Crew Factory sale and come in black and grey colors.
No list of bow-adorned products to snag in 2024 would be complete without a piece from designer Sandy Liang, who is largely credited for popularizing the bow trend in recent years. The designer is known for her nostalgic designs and playful pieces, and these versatile socks will look great peeking out of boots, flats and heels all season long.
This vegan leather bag ties at the strap for an adjustable bow detail that still feels polished. The style comes in green, ivory, navy and raspberry colors, and you can even personalize it with your initials.
These Mary Jane flats incorporate multiple trends into one stylish, timeless shoe. Not only is there a bow atop the toe, but each shoe also has a band of cherry red rosette detailing along the straps. The shoe was designed in collaboration with For Love & Lemons, and select sizes are already selling out.
I’ll admit it. I was once a sworn ballet flat hater — until I tried on a pair of Rothy’s. They’re made with a super flexible knit and have a signature insole that makes them so much more comfortable than the torturous flats I remember from the early aughts. Available in eight different color and pattern options, these bow-topped ballet flats are effortlessly chic.
Oversized balloon sleeves, mohair-like yarn and an adorable bow make this splurge-worthy sweater extra special. The generous fit lends some versatility to the piece, as it pairs well with jeans and layers nicely on top of dresses. The style also comes in pink, if that’s more your speed.
These lightweight stud earrings are made with faux pearl beads and will add a dash of femininity to your look.
In search of a necklace to tie your look together? This set of gold-toned necklaces adds a subtle and sweet finishing touch to any outfit.
Unabashedly feminine details like bows are a signature component of Shanghai-based designer SHUSHU/TONG’s pieces. But these velvet stud earrings also have a modern edge that balances the prim and proper stuffiness of a classic pink bow. The result is a very cool, everyday pair of earrings that’s sure to attract plenty of compliments.
Dainty and handmade, these earrings from small, women-owned label Notte come in red, pink and white variations. According to the brand, these gold-plated enameled hoops are also hypoallergenic.
This unique, high-quality band will stand out from the rest of your rings — without looking too gaudy. With a sterling silver construction and diamond accents, we think this piece looks so much more expensive than its under-$100 price tag.
Right in line with the "balletcore" trend, this dainty piece will add a touch of grace to your look, make any outfit “en pointe.” This bracelet is made by hand to order in New York, where buzzy designer Susan Alexandra’s jewelry studio is based.
Mornings are tough, but this pretty ribbon-patterned mug makes them just a tiny bit better. It’s got a 15 ounce capacity and is dishwasher- and microwave-safe.
For the hostess, this set of six differently colored wine charms is a smart buy — you’ll never mix up whose glass is whose again. These bow charms look a little bit like a bowtie on your wine glass, lending a cheeky and fun appearance to every glass.
If you’re looking to incorporate the bow trend into your home in a more subtle way, these side-tie linen pillow shams will do the trick. The pillowcases come in a number of colors and size options, and they have a nearly 5-star average rating from Etsy customers.
These special dessert plates are ringed with a delicate, hand-painted ribbon that wraps around the edge of the dish and finishes in a loop-de-loop. For the finishing touch to your table setting, there’s also a matching bowl, which is currently on sale.
There’s a way to incorporate the bow trend into every room in your house. This sweet brass tieback has a smart design that’ll keep your curtains perfectly parted — no tying necessary.
If the bow movement is more of a lifestyle than a trend for you, this eye-catching placemat deserves a spot in your home. Whether you lay it down as a centerpiece or pick one up for each table setting, this piece makes a very big, very pink statement.
Picture-perfect dessert displays are in your future, thanks to this floral plate with a stoneware bow at the base. The dishwasher-, microwave- and oven-safe cake stand will make displaying every baked confection that much sweeter.
Looking for that perfect finishing touch for your bathroom? This cushy, 100% cotton bathmat is adorned with tufted bows in each corner and is machine washable.
Take your love of bows everywhere you go with this MagSafe phone case, which Privette picked out.
“I’ve had Casetify cases for years — they’re basically shatterproof and are totally worth the investment, in my opinion,” Privette says.
Lele Sadoughi Velvet Bow Napkin Rings (Set of 4)
Another pick from a brand that Wise recommends, this set of napkin rings will instantly dress up your table. This style comes in a few different colors, including some faux pearl and beaded options.
How we chose
These bow recommendations are based on expert insights, market research and Shop TODAY editor picks. We selected the best bow hair accessories, fashion pieces and home décor based on their quality, style and materials.