• Fri, Jun 18 2010

Can A Normal Girl Really Wear Pigtails And Look Good?

I’m 24. Which means the last time I wore pigtails was about 10 years ago (it was a Seventeen Magazine tip on How to Make Him Like You. It didn’t work). I still spend a lot of time worrying about being too young to be taken seriously by employers, so the idea of dressing up like a 10 year old is a little weird for me. Still, inspired by Jordan’s recommendation I’m willing to try out pigtails. Worn low. Without ribbons. In a manner that’s more Holly Golightly, less Pebbles Flintstone.

And damn, they make getting dressed awkward. Turns out, pigtails look like shit if you try to wear them with daily office attire. In a button down white shirt, purple pencil skirt and belt (an outfit which always looks appropriate with my hair straight or in a ponytail) I don’t look like a snappy dresser. I look like I have fashion schizophrenia.

With a sundress, they work better. Much better. And I’ll admit, they do some pretty flattering things to your face. My cheekbones do look awesome.

Still, though, I can’t get over the connotations of pigtails, and they make me feel uncomfortable. I keep thinking of barely legal porn where women who are CLEARLY in their twenties are awkwardly made to wear pigtails and cheerleading costumes and I always think “jeez, that must make them feel old.” There’s something about pigtails that make me feel almost as though I’m trying to trick people into thinking I’m younger than I am, which is something I wasn’t planning on worrying about until the Botox years.

And I feel silly going out. I sort of feel like I’m trying to show off how cute I am to everyone, in a look-at-me-I’m-girlish! way that’s not my style.  That said, walking to work, I don’t get cat-called more than usual. The guys in the elevator seem more interested in how America is going to place in the World Cup than the extent to which I  may be channeling a kiddie porn star.

Which is when I decide that absolutely no one is taking me less seriously because of my pigtails. Well, except for me. I can’t quite seem to silence the voice in the back in that says “you are not 12. You are a grown up with health benefits. You look ridiculous.” But my cheekbones do look amazing. And I look summery, right? Maybe they are completely fun to wear, and I should just go with them.

I decide to give into my summery, youthful feeling and run down to the bodega to buy something girlish. Something like the same latte I always have, but this time with my hair in pigtails! And I’m in line behind some chatty woman who asks if I live in the neighborhood. “No, but my office is next door” I reply. She stares at me kindly and says “Oh, that’s nice. Where are you interning, dear?” And just like that, the pigtails come out.

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  • Jordan Reid

    i am at this very moment wearing both pigtails AND a romper. fortunately, the only coworkers present at the moment weigh seven pounds each and are covered with fur.

  • porkchop

    Make sure you look at yourself from the back. On me, a part that goes all the way down the back of my head always looks like a mess (tight or loose–either one=crap).

  • Kaite

    I think the part of me that wishes I could pull off pigtails is the same part that isn’t entirely happy that I’m nearly 28 and no longer have an excuse to be the quirky emo kid – I have to start dressing as a grown up now, even though I don’t feel like one.

    Also, long hair doesn’t suit me in the slightest.

  • Kelly

    I’m 24 and I like pigtails now and then, but I sure as hell don’t wear them when I’m trying to be taken seriously professionally. I say try them out at the beach or on a summery Saturday, not at the office.

    • Jennifer Wright

      Good point – they’d actually look adorable at the beach.

  • Kitty

    I’m glad I’m still sixteen and have every right to wear little-kid hair if I feel like it. ^_^

  • Ann

    Huh?? This is weird. I never looked at pigtails this way. i wear pigtails almost daily and im 26 (I do look about 18 though). Its just a style and its easy.

  • Tom

    03/04/2014 Just saw a female today wearing pigtails, thought for a moment that it looked weird but realized that If she’s confident enough to wear them in public then I can appreciate them for their beauty.