The Big Bob Theory


The Great Gatsby opens nation wide today, and while F. Scott Fitzgerald rolls in his grave, all of America will be granted access to see the maybe-not-so-great film in 3-D (it is currently rated at 51% on Rotten Tomatoes… ouch). Admittedly, we had very high hopes, but not every Baz Luhrmann film can be as perfect as Romeo + Juliet, can it? If nothing else, the movie is an excuse to see two childhood buds all grown up, hear the unbelievably amazing soundtrack (spoiler: you don’t really have to see the film to appreciate that one), and more importantly, drown in the Prada-designed costumes. We’d be remiss, when speaking of Roaring Twenties Long-Island Americana, not to mention the still-chic bob, because, like Gatsby, we very much believe your hair can (and should) “repeat the past.”

For starters: what exactly is a bob? In basic terms, it’s a short women's haircut. But how short is short (say short one more time…short)? Is it just below the ears? Is it grazing the chin? Is it anything above your clavicle? Well, theoretically it is all of the above. We would venture to say a bob is anything longer than a pixie and shorter than your shoulders. The look originated around World War I as the then-typical “feminine” long hair was deemed unsuitable for war work and was subsequently popularized by the actress Louise Brooks [61, 62] in the early 1920s. Though the style ebbs and flows in popularity, it has never truly gone out of style. There is the iconic bob belonging to none other than the fashion god, Anna Wintour, and if she deems something suitable for every day style, then clearly, it's a look to pay attention to-- Michelle Obama, Anja Rubik, Kirsten Dunst, and Gwyneth Paltrow all have, in their own special ways. Much like Catherine Zeta Jones rocked our socks off with her bob (and all that jazz) in Chicago, we’re hoping that Carey Mulligan can do the same in Gatsby. Stay tuned…

P.S. Our love of cats is no secret, so maybe this is just us, but the below is an adaptation we'd like to see made.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Charlotte

    All day I've been searching photos of Emily's hair! Now that is pure perfection.

    I've done the shoulder length and shorter bob. And for those with doubts, I don't want to go back to long hair ever again. Yes, some people do look better with long hair. Absolutely. But I suggest to take the plunge once. You will only know once you've tried :)

    Either way, Emily your hair is perfect. And Into The Gloss, you are my favourite.

    Great article!

    (PS. in case you ever needed some inspiration for a new video tutorial: how the founder and creative director styles her short hair, the products, techniques ;))

    • Peet

      I really wish they'd do a post on Emily's hair, with photos of all angles.

      Out of all the features/top shelves/etc, I find that whatever Emily does or uses influences me the most.

      • Shara

        I think they did that (not like from all angles exactly, but they did some posts where there definitely were multiple pictures of her hair), but she's gotten her hair chopped off again a couple of times after that, and maybe they think it's a little.. weird (or somewhat 'narcissistic') to keep doing like super detailed post about her hair whenever she changes it?

        I mean, I'm not Emily but I will somehow feel a little self-conscious. Plus there's that whole.. what if I just suddenly want to change my hair again shortly after the post, will it be weird since we just did a post on it, should I wait, etc2. But I am kind of a chronic overthinker soooo :/

  • Mafalda

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures. The bob brings so much beauty to these women.

  • Restless Blonde

    Anja Rubik actually became so popular thanks to her haircut. In the world of fashion it was quite bold to have short hair. I really like her -both in long and short hair :) She's one of the best Polish export product :)

  • Project Style

    I die for Karlie's bob! Right now I am still too afraid of loosing my long hair, but this can change quickly. :-)
    Frieda for

    • Hildegerd Haugen

      Don't. You will regret it.

  • Salihah M

    I love, love this movie. And I love your description of it, it's amazing!xo

  • thesixthbeatle

    Some great iconic bobs here, but you missed off Natalie Portman's from Leon. I love her in that film.

  • softy

    when anja debuted her amazing short hair, i LITERALLY went to the hair salon the next day and got the cut. needless to say it didn't really work on me as i have really thick hair and it also made me look like a child. it did not look good on me at all and the growing out process was horrific, but i still don't regret it. it was just hair and i'm glad i tried it!

    • IntoTheGloss

      Me too! xE

  • mlle p

    I almost wanted a "rate the bob" quiz there - some are great, some are good and others just ok.
    Love 47 and 38 photos!

  • Peet

    I think that bobs look best on people with long necks and narrow shoulders. The in-between length, I find, shortens the neck and makes you look top/heavy/busy.

    I also think messy bobs are the best. Sharp, angular bobs are too much of a look and clash with everything. But a wavy, tousled bob is so effortless and chic

  • Jennifer Monforton

    Can't beat Audrey's hair in Amelie- so perfectly whimsical! xo

  • daphne

    Emily, you are my style icon. Who makes the top and bottoms in that last pic of you getting your hair styled?

  • Rip

    The Anja is definitely my next cut. Long hair usually doesn't do much for most women. It's better not to hide behind your hair.

  • Sir Peter

    Ohhhhhhh cursing my thick untameable locks that could never embody the beauty bobs featured here - Great post!

  • Abi

    Emily I love your trousers in the photo, where are they from?

  • Terry

    I love sitting in my stylist's chair and saying those magic words, "take it off!" What is it about that bob/shag/short look? It is hip, sexy and feels so good coming out of the salon. True, not everyone can wear the look and after seeing so many pics of my many bobs, I have to say that my hair looks better longer. I know memory will fade and I'll feel the impulse to again say, "take it off!"

  • amanda

    who ever says the movie is crap is crazy! its perfect and i read the book way before the movie was in the works!

  • amtrakbetty

    in the midst of a 12 hour train ride yesterday i looked at my long hair in the mirror and was suddenly 100% over it. appointment is tomorrow. thanks for the further photos to throw @ my stylist.

  • Sir Peter

    ohhhhhh how I'm cursing my thick, untameable locks that will highly unlikely ever be these envy-worthy beauty bobs! Good stuff, loved this Xx

  • Selma

    Juliette Binoche in Mauvais sang and Beatrice Dalle in Betty Blue also have great bobs. And Shannyn Sossamon too...

  • Tiffanie

    Kiko Mizuhara

  • Whimsy

    I've gone the way of the bob too! Side part (not too deep) and slight graduation. I feel so freaking chic and effortless. It's feminine without the burden to managing long locks.

  • Kristien

    Does anyone know where Emily's blouse is from? It's lovely!

  • missbee

    Besides the main point, but I was absolutely blown away by Luhrmann's Gatsby and HIGHLY recommend that you go see it. Best film I've seen in a decade. The critics gave it very mixed reviews, and from looking at a few of them, it seems most only didn't like it because it didn't match with their particular interpretation of the novel. GO SEE IT TONIGHT, you won't regret it!

  • Gabriella

    So many different amazing examples of chic bobs! Thank you for posting all of them!

  • Robbin

    Those girls are looking so cute and gorgeous with these bob hairstyles look.I like this sharing so much.You have done a great effort here by posting this .

    Graduated Bob Hairstyles