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Seen on countless celebrities and influencers, the ’90s hair clip style is making a comeback and honestly, we are here for it! Although the different varieties of hair clip that we’ve seen around were really only invented in the 20th century, retro hairpins hark back to the time in the 1920s to the 1940s with pearls, rhinestones and sequins in the designs.

They may be called vintage hair clips but you don’t have to be dressed in puffed sleeves and high-waisted A-line skirt to rock these trendy accessories. Retro barrettes are known for its versatility – you can jazz up your basic white-tee-and-denim combo by clipping up your hair, or use it as a final touch to embellish your dinner date look. Here are six ways you can style vintage hairpins the cool girl way in less than three minutes!

1. A single clip on a low ponytail


If you are new to hair clips or subscribe to a minimalist look, the single hairpin style is the one for you. Make a statement with the popular logo hair clips but don’t just simply wear them on the head (that would look plain weird). The best combination is to pair it with the usual low ponytail or half-up style, and clip it on the part where you tie up your hair with an elastic hair tie. You can also clip it directly above your ponytail to for a more eye-catching, fashion-forward look. Either way, this style is so easy, you can rock it while going to the convenience store to get a pack of chips.

Brand logos are too OTT for you? Wear your favourite day of the week or phrases like ‘Wish’ and ‘Dream’ on your hair instead. You can get such whimsical hair clips on Lazada.

2. Mix and match different styles


Mix and match sounds simple enough but take it one step further by setting a common theme with your accessories. Choose barrettes with similar colours, shapes or elements such as pearl hairpins in varying sizes and shapes, so that your look still has a certain degree of coordination. Got yourself a pack of embellished hairpins? Just stack them all in a row on one side, and you’re ready to go!

Patterned Vintage Hair Clip

These hair clips feature animal and emoji motifs for a touch of fun, and retail for S$10.20 at Shopee.

Pearl Hair Clips

Or go for all pearls with this set, retailing for S$1.50 at Shopee.

3. Clip only on one side


If mixing different hair clips is too much for you, then start small with just one or two! Pick a bolder and thicker hair clip, do a deep side parting and pin the barrette just behind the earlobe or above the ear, never directly behind. That way, your hairstyle can still be seen from the front angle.

DV tip: If your hair is especially straight, try misting the area with a hairspray before clipping your barrette in to give it more grip.

Pearl Hair Clip Set

Get these vintage pearl hair clips for S$3.80 at Shopee.

4. Wear it all on the back


So, you’re comfortable with mixing and matching hair clips, and you’re ready to mix it up a little bit more. For some serious hair stack, try wearing a handful of pins all on the back of your hair. A fishtail braids works best as you can easily clip the barrettes on and the attention will be focused on the hair clips. Worry that the style will look chaotic?

Take a leaf out of fashion influencer Leonie Hanne’s book and find a commonality in your hairpins – for hers, it was logo and rhinestones, and she carefully arranged them from the largest size to the smallest. Essentially, it’s order in chaos and we love it! Perfect for all the maximalists out there, wouldn’t you agree?

If stacking it all up at the back sounds like an overwhelming idea to you, try with a simpler style like an alphabet hair clip. It leaves just as good an impression.

Alphabet Hair Clips

Get these alphabet hair clips retailing from S$5.70 at Shopee.

5. Don’t be afraid of colours


When it comes to wearing hair clips, you don’t always have to stick to silver, rose gold or champagne colours. Make a splash with bright, eye-catching colours à la Irene Kim with hair pins in any of your favourite hues. This trick also works if you’re already sporting a colourful ensemble – just pick one or two colours from your outfit and match your hairpins to those colours so that you won’t look like a walking rainbow.

Vintage Green Hair Clips

These gorgeous rhinestone with pearl hairpins are retailing from S$3.30 at Shopee.

6. Go for symmetrical sides

Lange Hair Clip

Remember how we used to have our hair clipped on both sides as a child? Well, you can pull it off as an adult too! To add a touch of playfulness to your style without looking like a pre-schooler, wear the barrettes with your hair down and parted in the centre instead of putting it up into pigtails.

Get the glitter aqua clips featured here for approx. S$11.20 (US$8) at L’ange Hair.

Coloured Hair Clips

Classic hair clips in leopard print works too. Get these for S$4.65 at Shopee.


Featured image credits to Chanel and @markandscribe/ Instagram.