Ellen deRosset doesn't mind wearing the black dress she wore to last year's holiday parties.
"I'm going to sparkle," says the 27-year-old advertising copywriter who lives in New York.Frugal and fashion-conscious, deRosset found a $16 solution for a new look: A bow-shaped rhinestone barrette for her hair.
Shiny hair ornaments and a curling iron or hot rollers can easily mimic the look that was all over fashion's runways during the fall collections. David, Deborah Rhodes, Gerard Yosca, Riviera and Surell are among labels now in the stores offering hair accessories that shimmer, glitter and glisten.
Festive clips, combs, wraps, bands and scrunchies add a little or a lot of flare and fun to a look, appropriate for today's glamour.
"The last two or so years the natural and plain look dominated; people are now celebrating glamour's return by accessorizing," says Moty Alvow, owner of a hair salon in New York City.
Alvow carries a wide range of ornaments for holiday clients. He says his prices - $50 for a shampoo and set plus $8 to $50 for an accessory - are relative bargains because many women have no idea how to wear what's in the stores.
"We apply whatever suits the hair and head proportions," he says.
A note of caution: heavy ornaments won't stay in fine hair; big bows can overwhelm small faces.
But for women who have a head - and an eye - for the proper piece, there's plenty in the stores to choose from. For example, Riviera's rhinestone bobby pins - a hit with the fashion cognoscenti - are $12 a pair. A charming bow-shaped rhinestone barrette by Cejon is $16, and a red mohair scrunchie by Saks Fifth Avenue is $14.
"An outfit can look completely different and expensive without being expensive," says Jill Craft, director of product development at Riviera hair products in New York.
Craft says you shouldn't let your hairstyle limit your accessories. Nor should you feel that cutting or perming are needed for a change. Rather, she says, create a dramatic look with jewel-tipped hairpins, a playful look with plaid or mohair hairbands. Or be the sophisticate in gold-braided barrettes or pearl-studded combs.
Often, the outfit dictates the accessory.
Tiffanie Chou, a sales associate at Saks in New York, says several customers have approached the accessories counter with their holiday wear in hand to try with an array of fluffy scrunchies, satin ribbons, hairpins and barrettes.
Alvow says there's no reason to pack away the hairware once the holidays are over.
"Rhinestones look great with jeans and a T-shirt," he says.