Zelda Fitzgerald’s Bob
The classic bob has been modernized by many generations of women, most recently by Vogue ice queen Anna Wintour, but it dates back to the Roaring ‘20s and one of the original American flappers, Zelda Fitzgerald. The wife of author F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda didn’t let her tempestuous marriage stop her from becoming an in-demand socialite and an icon of the jazz age. Wearing her soft curls in a short, chin-length style, she epitomized a life of glamour and rebellion. And the bob, which had been a practical style during World War I, became a hallmark of women’s independence in the flapper era.
Veronica Lake’s Finger Waves
Blond actress Veronica Lake was the ultimate pinup of the ‘40s. The sultry beauty became known for her shoulder-length finger waves, which she styled over her right eye in a bit of peekaboo coyness. But Lake was not a slave to her image: during World War II she changed her hairstyle to encourage women, many of whom were then working in factories, to adopt safer, more practical ‘dos.
Elvis Presley’s Pompadour
As its name implies, the pompadour should be worn with confidence and panache, as the hair is swept high over the head with pronounced volume. The style dates to an 18th century mistress of Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour, and came back in vogue among men in the 1950s, including the king of rock ‘n’ roll himself. Elvis’ rockabilly hairdo, along with his gyrating hips, captivated a nation and inspired countless imitations by young men hoping for that bad-boy look. The pompadour has since been revived by both men and women looking to add a bit of swagger to their style.
The Beatles’ Mop Tops
The Beatles had enough cultural capital to extend their influence past music and into sartorial matters. In the early ‘60s, the Fab Four were wearing mop-top haircuts, a longish style with bangs that resembles a certain household tool. Rock legend has it that the revolutionary Brits were inspired by two young German photographers sporting mop tops who befriended them in Hamburg in 1960. The look was a dramatic departure from the very short, conservative cuts of the 1950s, and it was soon mimicked on both sides of the Atlantic. By the late ‘60s, the band had abandoned the style in favor of locks that were even longer.
The tousled, sexy bed head that continually dominates at fashion shoots and runway shows? We have ‘60s screen siren Brigitte Bardot to thank for that. The French model and actress’s soft, artfully ruffled locks suggested that she’d just returned from a romp in the hay. Popular ever since, this style is almost universally recognized as seductive, giving it a timeless appeal.
Mia Farrow’s Pixie Cut
Famed hairdresser Vidal Sassoon worked his magic on American actress Mia Farrow’s hair before she starred in Rosemary’s Baby. Sassoon was a fan of low-maintenance styles, and what could be easier than chopping it all off? The pixie was a marked departure from looks that tethered a woman to hot rollers and piles of bobby pins, and the cut’s emphasis on the face helped usher in a new kind of sexiness.