I get a lot of flack for my pigtail-wearing ways. Like rompers (which I also am strongly in favor of), pigtails are oft-decried as ridiculous, infantilizing, et cetera. But also like rompers, you know what pigtails are? Awesome, and awesome some more. Why? They’re way funner than ponytails, they make your cheekbones look quite fantastic, and they give you some instant street cred: if you’re willing to walk down the street with your hair styled like a five-year-old’s, you’re probably tougher than you look.

Miss Adriana Lima over there is doing pigtails just about perfectly. Let’s talk about why:

1. They’re messy. The whole point of the look is ease, so step away from the hairbrush, and let a few pieces fall out around your face to soften things up.

2. They’re low. I’d advise placing them no higher than your earlobes, unless this is the look you’re going for (stunningly adorable, but methinks only on that lovely little lady).

3. They’re paired with some decidedly grown-up extras (gorgeous jewelry, neatly-applied makeup, and…well, some pretty enviable cleavage).

The best thing about pigtails is that if you stick to these three basic rules, you can wear them in about a zillion fun ways. Try securing them with a little twine, some (preferably neutral-colored) ribbons, or various other kitchen drawer-sourced accoutrements. I also like dressing them up a bit by braiding back the top section of my hair to one side, securing the braid with a bobby pin, and then pigtailing what’s left over.

And if someone should dip your piggies in ink?  Calmly examine the offender over the tops of your glasses, pocket your edition of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and tell him to go back to the sandbox – you’re late for a grownup meeting. And now he’s not getting any of your lollipop.