Ribbons and bows are très chic on the runways, but what about IRL? Actress Judy Greer takes the trend out on the town...

By Judy Greer, As Told To Angelique Serrano
Updated May 13, 2019 @ 9:00 am
Judy Greer
Credit: Courtesy

One of the reasons I said yes to trying out these ribbons and bows is that I’ve worn stuff in my hair before. For the Golden Globes, my hairstylist Gregory Russell, stylist Karla Welch, and I referenced for inspiration a picture of Sylvette David, who was Picasso’s muse for a hot second. She had this messy ponytail with a bow in it. That’s what we did. But wearing this stuff in real life is 100 percent different from on the red carpet.

In my real life I don’t wear a lot of makeup. My style is a little normcore with a cool blazer. So when I started playing with these bows, I was like, “Fuck, I don’t think I can pull them off.”

Initially I was excited about trying a big black bow. My boss, Dave Holstein, the creator of the TV show Kidding, was having a party on a Monday night, and I was like, “Perfect!” So I hairsprayed the shit out of my hair and made a messy, low knot with that bow. Then I put on a frilly, girlie dress, but I looked like I should be in The Thorn Birds or something. It felt like a costume. So I changed into a denim jumpsuit and chunky black suede heels.

At the party I got tons of compliments. Everyone was like, “Oh my god, you look so cool.” Another day I tried a yellow printed scrunchie that had two pieces that hung down like a scarf. I really liked that one. I put my hair up in a super-messy ponytail with the scrunchie on and let the sides hang down. But by the time I got to lunch, I felt like an asshole — it was too young-looking for me. I kind of looked like Sandy from Grease, even though I wore a vintage black T-shirt and tapered high-waist pants. So I ended up tucking the loose ends around the scrunchie. That was better.

Judy Greer
Credit: Getty Images

Glitter bows? No, no glitter for me. I’m in my 40s. I’m good. But a little black clip-in? That I loved. I parted my hair way far to the side and used that bow to clip it back. I think it’s really cute with a T-shirt, old Levi’s, and an oversize blazer with loafers. But I couldn’t get out of the house in the pink tweed bow. It was definitely giving me Cher-from-Clueless vibes.

When I do red-carpet stuff, I have a stylist, plus hair and makeup people. On my own, my first thought would be, “Oh, I have a bow, so I guess I should wear a dress.” But it’s the opposite. You have to kind of wink at it, and that’s what I ultimately did. I could’ve looked up images online and tried to re-create those [runway] looks, but I didn’t. I just tried to ingest these accessories into my life and my wardrobe organically.

Judy Greer
Credit: Courtesy

With this stuff, if you think you’re trying too hard, you probably are. And another thing: If you’re going to rock ribbons and bows, they have to look pristine. The look has to be elevated. If you buy a velvet bow, you’re going to want to steam it; if you wear it in your hair with any wrinkling or folding, you’ll look like, yes, an asshole. Store it in a place where it’s not going to get messed up. And all the satin stuff needs to be steamed or ironed. I wonder if you could even give it a once-over with your flatiron — on a low setting, of course — before you put it it in your hair. How’s that for a life hack?