How to Wear a Snood

Classic Snood with Bright Beads
Classic Snood with Bright Beads

Whether for a wedding, a night out swing dancing, or a Renaissance fair, you may want to know how to wear a snood. You'll be pleased to hear that it's quite easy and as soon as you've mastered it, you may want to go on to the next step - making a snood yourself!

Brief History of Snoods

A snood is a netlike cap that is worn by women to keep their hair in place. It can also be worn just for adornment, or to add interest to a low bun. Snoods date back to at least the medieval era, although versions might have been worn even prior to then. They were especially popular during the Renaissance, when they might be worn under a cap or hood, covering an intricately braided hairstyle. It was improper for too much hair to be seen, but a snood allowed a woman to conform to the rules of modesty while still showing a hint of her rich tresses.

Snoods were, and are, easy to make. A simple one can be knitted or crocheted in as little as an afternoon, depending on your skill level. Wealthy women in Elizabethan England often adorned snoods with pearls, beads, or other jewels, often to match the outfit with which it was worn.

Most women today are familiar with snoods from their second great heyday in the 1940s. Snoods had been coming back since the 1930s, but when the Second World War began and scarves became more practical than hats, snoods took off.

How to Wear a Snood: Basics

A snood is simple to wear. This hair accessory can be worn for different occasions and varies from simple, unadorned styles to more intricate designs with bows, beads, or other embellishments.

Before the days of elastic, a snood stayed on with ties and a few pins. These days, you don't have ties but you do still need a few bobby pins to be sure your snood stays in place. You can also use decorative clips or barrettes. The elastic helps, but most snoods will slip without a pin or two, particularly when worn over heavy or long hair.

Fully Covered Snood Style

The most common way to wear a snood during the Rosie the Riveter days was pinned at the crown of the head and covering the whole of the hair. The top of the hair might be rolled up and back or worn in curls, but it was still a simple, practical style that kept the hair in place while on the factory floor. In the evenings, a flower could be added, making it a suitable hairstyle for a special occasion.

Nape of the Neck Snood

Another way of wearing a snood is low down at the nape of the neck. This method is very common for prom hairdos and wedding hairstyles as it adds a touch of elegance without overwhelming the hairstyle. Many women choose to have a custom snood made from lace that matches their wedding gown. You can add to the period look by sewing on beads or pearls, and perhaps pinning a small flower or jewel in the base of the bun.

Other Uses for Snoods

Even in the more styled days of the 1940s, women knew that a snood was a great way to deal with a bad hair day. If you have long hair that isn't behaving and you're sick of ponytails, throw on a snood and call it done. A snood is also great if you've styled your hair but have to be in frizz-inducing weather for a while - it can keep your style fresh until you get indoors.

Snoods are also a nice option for a woman with short hair who wants the illusion of slightly longer hair. A snood that matches your hair, worn in the classic style, can make it look like you grew out a bob haircut overnight.

While these are the most common uses for snoods, you can certainly try other looks - wearing it as a beret, for example. Or you might try letting braids or long curls dangle from the front of it. Experiment!

Making Snoods

Once you know how to wear a snood, why bother with buying them? Sure, you can pick them up inexpensively, but if you're interested in learning to crochet, a snood is a fun and easy pattern to start with. You can even add a small something to make your homemade snood more distinctly unique!

How to Wear a Snood