The whimsical trend has been embraced by political figures and runway models alike, and has now become a staple for many Honors College women!
When Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state, her friend and world-renowned designer, Oscar de la Renta, advised her to cut her hair. Because the job involved so much frequent travel, however, she knew it would be hard to maintain a coiffed style. As a result, Clinton turned to an easy-to-maintain ponytail style, most often adorned by a scrunchie.
From Hillary Clinton to ‘90s teeny-boppers, scrunchies have fallen in and out of fashion countless times over the last several decades. Recently, however, high-end designers like Balenciaga and popular brands like Urban Outfitters have produced and repopularized the accessory. Six scrunchie-wearing Honors College women shared their perspective on the trend.
Favorite Involvement: Active Minds, the mental health advocacy group I help run here on campus.
Favorite Honors Class/Involvement: I’m currently an Honors Mentor for the UH 100 Class – we mentor freshmen in the Honors College and do a lot of different activities with them – so that’s been pretty fun!
Where do you get your scrunchies: Target and Lululemon
Why do you wear scrunchies: They separate your ponytail from your head and that ends up making it a lot more comfortable when you have to have your hair up for a long time.
How do scrunchies make you feel: Honestly, they make me feel pretty unique, because not that many people wear them, so it’s kind of a different mood.
How would you describe your personal sense of style, and why is having style/an aesthetic important to you: My sense of style isn’t necessarily trendy, but I would say “on trend” – I try and wear some pieces that are popular at the moment. Dressing differently is a little important to me too, though, because I grew up going to private school, and you would wear uniforms all the time, so you had to do things like wear scrunchies or fun socks or little bracelets because we weren’t allowed to choose our clothes or wear bright nail polish or makeup.
Major: Social Work
Favorite Involvement: I’m about to get involved with Spark & Dream!
Favorite Honors Class/Involvement: Probably the University Fellows Experience/57 Miles
Where do you get your scrunchies: Wherever my mom gets them, so usually Walmart or Sally’s Beauty Supply.
Why do you wear scrunchies: Because they’re good for my hair. My hair breaks easily, and the thin little bands don’t really hold poofy black hair.
How do scrunchies make you feel: They can be a fashion statement, and I wear a lot of black ones, so it just adds some contrast to my outfit.
How would you describe your personal sense of style, and why is having style/an aesthetic important to you: My style is very simple and inexpensive, because that’s kind of how my personality is, and my mom just taught me to not need the name brands or the most expensive thing in the store and it’s carried with me and displayed in my daily appearance.
Major: International Studies
Favorite Involvement: I’m with Riley – Fellows and 57 Miles are my favorite overall and Honors College involvements.
Where do you get your scrunchies: Target
Why do you wear scrunchies: I have thick hair, so they don’t give me a headache when I wear my hair in a ponytail.
How do scrunchies make you feel: When I was in sixth grade I wore scrunchies and there was this really nerdy choir teacher at my school and she would dress really weird and wear scrunchies, and everyone made fun of me and said I was like her and I went home crying, and I didn’t wear scrunchies for like four years. And then I started wearing them again and I felt really confident.
How would you describe your personal sense of style, and why is having style/an aesthetic important to you: I dress pretty lazily or athletically on a day to day basis, but scrunchies make it a little more interesting, and give it some pep.
Major: I’m in New College and I’m calling my depth study “Global Crisis Management and Prevention”
Favorite Involvement: I work as an ESL tutor with the Tuscaloosa County School System. I work about 17 hours a week helping elementary-age students with their schoolwork and language abilities; it’s by far my favorite thing I have done in college, and is the primary drive behind why I want to eventually work in education.
Favorite Honors Class/Involvement: I have loved my involvement through 57 Miles. I go down to Sowing Seeds of Hope in Marion, Alabama every Friday to help out Ms. Ford with office tasks and grant writing. I’m from a small town myself, so getting to spend time in Marion reminds me of the close-knit community and laid-back lifestyle of my hometown.
Where do you get your scrunchies: I feel like I pick up my scrunchies wherever I see them. I do particularly like the scrunchies from Claire’s in the mall- I’m really into velvet and jewel tones right now, and they have a variety of scrunchies in different colors that match my style.
Why do you wear scrunchies: I started wearing scrunchies because I have a lot of hair – like a LOT of hair – and constantly break hair ties. The move to scrunchies was motivated by being tired of constantly having to buy new packs of hair ties and the knowledge that scrunchies cause less breakage and damage to your hair.
How do scrunchies make you feel: I think one of the things I love most about scrunchies is that they can become part of your outfit, whereas hair ties don’t particularly feel like an accessory. When I wear scrunchies, it makes me feel more put-together and intentional with my clothing.
How would you describe your personal sense of style, and why is having style/an aesthetic important to you: Man, my style has really evolved over the years. I went through a pretty significant goth phase in middle school, and I think that’s still kind of apparent in the clothes I wear today. I’ve incorporated sportier, more colorful clothes into my wardrobe, but I love to accent with something a little grungy, edgy, or dark.
Major: Creative Advertising
Favorite Involvement: Designing Alice magazine.
Favorite Honors Class/Involvement: The class “Poverty is America” with Stephen Black
Where do you get your scrunchies: I get my scrunchies from Walmart, and I get my special scrunchies from Free People or Urban Outfitters.
Why do you wear scrunchies: They make me feel confident, they set me apart from others. All my friends can find me from the back of my head if I’m not turned around, I have really big hair, and it sort of offsets that and they’re beautiful!
How do scrunchies make you feel: They make me feel joyful and all of the synonyms for joyful.
How would you describe your personal sense of style, and why is having style/an aesthetic important to you: My sense of style is what I like to call “dirty hippie trash” because it’s a combination of really expensive free people clothes that I get on sale that I ruin by washing too much and things from the thrift store that I also ruin by washing too much. I wear a lot of very colorful socks, very colorful scrunchies, and nothing ever really matches – it’s just kind of whatever’s on my body.
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Favorite Involvement: I really liked getting to join the Blackburn Institute community.
Favorite Honors Class/Involvement: Probably the University Fellows Experience.
Where do you get your scrunchies: I honestly go thrifting for most of mine – they’re not quite in style, so I have to find them randomly on Ebay and then I have to wash, because obviously you don’t want to get hair germs.
Why do you wear scrunchies: I have to keep my hair back for a lot of more purposeful and academic stuff I do like labs and stuff, so it’s a funner way to do that.
How do scrunchies make you feel: I love how they look, so they make me feel happy.
How would you describe your personal sense of style, and why is having style/an aesthetic important to you: I think it’s super important! This will sound really vain, but everyone judges you within ten seconds of knowing you, so everything’s about your appearance and how put together you are. As for my personal style, I just wear what I like. If that happens to fit the 2018 trends, then it is what it is!
Dr. Jacqueline Morgan
Year: Associate Dean of the Honors College and Director of the University Fellows Experience
Major: Well, my first time around I was enrolled in a five-year master’s program, so I got my bachelor’s and master’s at the same time in learning disabilities and emotional disturbances with combined emphasis in English and reading. When I went back to school I got a second master’s and Ph.D, and that’s when I pursued counseling and educational psychology.
Favorite Involvement: Probably First Presbyterian Church – I’m really involved there as an active elder. I’m also really enjoying serving on several boards in the community particularly in the Chamber of Commerce.
Favorite Honors Class/Involvement: I love getting to know you all as students and we’ve got an amazing faculty. Being in a community where people are so involved and intellectually curious and engaged and caring really is inspiring and challenging in a good way.
Where do you get your scrunchies: I have not recently purchased that many … I have been wearing my hair the same way for a long time. Some are from my sister, I’ve bought some of my headbands online, and some in the drugstore … really just a variety of places.
Why do you wear scrunchies: If I have a scrunchie in my hair, it means I am totally relaxed. It typically means I am home for the evening, I’m not going anywhere, I’m in my most comfortable clothes and I have pulled my hair completely back off my face and up. I do that twist that we all do, and it’s just this great feeling to have it all pulled back. I’ll have it like that when I’m doing focused reading or concentrated time on the computer, and tonight, when I come back from yoga, I’ll do the same thing. How do scrunchies make you feel: Relaxed. Totally relaxed. I go to Canyon Ranch, a health resort, almost every summer with my sister and some very close friends, and almost all of us are in scrunchies the entire time.
How would you describe your personal sense of style, and why is having style/an aesthetic important to you: I like classic with a little drama. I like the classic look, but I always feel most like myself with a little bit of pop or drama.