How To Wear Pom-Poms Without Looking Like A Craft Store

Pom-poms — basically, a hyphenated derivative of the idiomatic french word for “ball of flair” — have apparently (according to the many meisters of Wikipedia) been popping up all over ornamental clothing for hundreds of years, from European military caps to South American serapes. But for me, pom-poms first made history in 2011, when a Pink Friday-era Nicki Minaj sat in the front row of a Carolina Herrera show next to Anna Wintour, looking as though she’d just dipped her body in craft glue and dove into a pit of multi-colored pom-poms. The effect was funtastic.

But Minaj’s technicolor, craft-store style get-up just goes to show there’s no denying that pom-poms are inherently fun(ny). They can make something as simple as a white top feel like resort wear, and they can deftly brighten up an LBD that takes itself too seriously. Like most fun things in life, though, there’s a dark side to pom-poms: They’re a bit — shall we say — easy to overdo. Adding one too many of these fuzzy little baubles risks making you look like you’ve just walked out of your neighboring pre-school’s seasonal arts fair. And that's really not fun at all. That’s why we’ve gone ahead and put together five unexpected looks that show just how to accessorize with these furry friends without going overboard.
1 of 5
The Socks
Pom-pom socks are probably the perfect foot in the door to this trend. Yes, you can go ahead and dress like you’re attending the first day of kindergarten — adding some statement-making oxfords and metallic accessories will really level up that baby-doll romper.

Zara Poplin Jumpsuit Dress, $49.90 $19.99, available at Zara; Welcome Companions Square One Silver, $640, available at Welcome Companions; Maison Margiela Oxfords, $795 $397.50, available at La Garçonne; Meghan Farrell Titania Earrings, $245, available at Meghan Farrell; Topshop Pom-pom Trim Ankle Socks, $6 $2, available at Topshop.
Advertisement
2 of 5
The Bag
Colorful poms on a bag that isn’t made of straw is a win in its own right. Pair with sleek basics, like a slip dress, and structured shoes for a look that’s simple and fresh.

Raey Deep-V Silk Slip Dress, $190, available at MatchesFashion; Zara Pompom Crossbody Bag, $69.90 $35.99, available at Zara; Loéil Mcclure Sandals, $89, available at Loéil; Gucci Sunglasses, $450, available at Sunglass Hut; Urban Outfitters Cotton Patterned Square Neck Scarf, $12, available at Urban Outfitters.
3 of 5
The Shoes
We like a chunky, low heel instead of stilettos when it comes to pom-pom sandals, to keep things playful (and not painful). Play up the colorful accessories by keeping your foundation (a.k.a. tunic top and slightly wide-legged bottoms) crisp and clean.

Acne Studios Rosamund Pique, $510 $357, available at Garmentory; Aquazzura Pom-pom Sandal, $624.43 $437.10, available at Farfetch; Loewe Vega Bag Orange $890, available at Loewe; Venessa Arizaga Over the Rainbow Bracelet, $55, available at Venessa Arizaga.
4 of 5
The Pants
Tassel-trimmed trousers are how I imagine Jackie O. would partake in the trend. Pair with statement earrings and a gilded bag for a serious dose of the summer chics. Kennedy Compound not included.

Monogram Nudes Classic Fit, $65, available at Monogram;, Pixie Market Chambray Tassel Pants, $112, available at Pixie Market; Mansur Gavriel Suede 40mm Single Strap Sandal, $425, available at Mansur Gavriel.

Marie Turnor
bag.
5 of 5
The Jumpsuit
When pom-poms get the dressed-up treatment, like on this jumpsuit, they're hard to wear and not feel like a BALLER. Pair with subtle accessories, go forth, and be the belle of the ball.

Natasha Zinko Jacquard Jumpsuit, $2,180 $1,308, available at Stylebop; Soeur Valise Tote, $165, available at Barneys New York; Charles & Keith Flare Heel Platform Sandals, $79, available at Charles & Keith; Retrosuperfuture Ines Sunglasses, $169.98, available at Farfetch; Foundrae Strength Thin Band, $1,295, available at Foundrae.
Advertisement