We’re all about updo’s during the summer here in Austin, but when it comes to weddings and more formal events, the plain ol’ messy top knot doesn’t feel quite right. So we asked stylist Erica Rae to help us come up with a great “guest-of” solution that will get us through those hot outdoor ceremonies without breaking a sweat. She created this gorgeous upside down braided bun and demonstrated it on yoga instructor Ferny Barcelo, whose various shades of blonde show off all the pretty details of this look. “I love this look for weddings, galas, or anything that calls for cocktail or black tie attire,” says Erica. “It has a sweet youth full look to it, but it’s still an elegant style.” This particular style definitely requires two sets of hands, so grab a friend and follow Erica’s instructions to create this elegant summer look:


  1. Sit in a chair and have a friend stand behind you. Start by parting the hair from ear to ear. Brush the front section over your face and lean forward. Have your friend create a three strand french braid with the back section of hair, starting from the nape of the neck and ending at the part. 
  2. Secure the braid with an elastic tie.
  3. Now, sit up straight and take the remaining front section of hair and meet it with the existing ponytail.
  4. Take another elastic tie and secure all of the hair together into one large ponytail.
  5. Lightly tease the pony tail, then wrap around to create a textured bun.
  6. Pin the bun in place with a bobby pin or two.

Erica’s Pro Tip: Once you’ve finished this style, I’d recommend spraying any stray hairs down with a soft holding hairspray. You can also wear this look with a ponytail instead of as a bun and get a really daring look with a high pony. This look is a definite head turner! 

photographed by jessica attie

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