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.