The Bow Must Go On

07/09/2011 14:42 BST | Updated 07/11/2011 10:12 GMT

John Galliano once said, 'the hat is the accent, the exclamation mark, the finishing note that punctuates the whole look.' A snappy phrase maybe, but for many fashionable ladies hats can seem more ' ?!?!" than '!', announcing 'I'm a kook' in flashing lights above your head. Which is why somebody, somewhere a long time ago resorted to the halfway house of the headscarf.

The headscarf, when tied in a charming bow, is the semi-colon of the fashion world; a source of endless confusion and grievous misuse in the hands of many, but when treated right she is the softer, sexier, more intriguing sister.

Most of us, not being blessed with the hair of Duchess Kate, have days (and they are many) when we would prefer to cover our split ends and dodgy regrowth than flaunt it. At times like this, a bow is the kindest of friends, its reference to an innocent girlhood gone by is whimsical and endearing; it can still be directional depending on the style and size you choose.

Mercifully, the bow is not susceptible to the ebbs and flows of the runway and boasts trans-seasonal properties (is there anything more Christmassy than a nice big velvet bow?) It is the perfect accessory for girls who cannot cope with accessories; the type who always lose their jewellery no matter how cheap it is and/or fall down in a boozy haze too often to warrant buying pretty shoes. Unless you are the victim of a particularly fierce seaside squall, a bow will stay put on your head come what may.

A bow in your hair is sexy without requiring a violent hoisting of cleavage or a flash of baby-oiled thigh; the silky fabric gently brushing your face and bobbing to and fro as you talk animatedly to someone handsome and worldly. Like the semicolon, the bow tells passers by that you have something more to say, something more complex, that can't simply be articulated by a nice, neat blow dry. Like its grammatical equivalent, there is a sense of expectation-a fashiony 'where is she going with this?' Unlike hats which form the 'that's that' of dressing, a bow allows a more fluid, intriguing artifice to be created that can work with any outfit in any situation. It is, put simply, the thinking person's accessory of choice. Full stop.