9 easy elegant updos that’ll work for any formal occasion

These elegant updos are sure to turn heads at your next formal occasion.

We know that ditching your go-to messy bun for a more formal ‘do can seem a little daunting: but fear not, as we have compiled a list of elegant updos to get you your next work function, wedding or birthday party.

And there’s no need to find out if you can book an appointment with your hairdresser because we’ve added hairstyles for all skill sets (including easy elegant updos such as the sleek pony to classic chignon). The only question you’ll need to ask yourself is: does your chosen hairstyle match your outfit?

So, flick through our gallery above to see our top hair picks, and read on for all our expert tips and tricks on creating the styles, ASAP!

Elegant updos: side view of woman with light brown medium length straight hair styled into a '60s-inspired Bardot ponytail with long bardot bangs
Pump up your pony for an instant update. Credit: Instagram.com/stephen.jaime

1. Pumped up pony

Brigitte Bardot-inspired tresses might be one of the hottest trends to try this year, but ’60s-inspired updos like this voluminous ponytail are always a go-to look for a formal occasion. Simply reach for your backcomb and texturising spray and make this your pièce de résistance for your next special occasion. Credit: @stephen.jaime

Editor’s tip: Want to tame flyaways and add shine to your finished look? We suggest reaching for VO5 Tame & Shine Spray. Simply spray on your finished style for a gorgeously glossy sheen.

Elegant updos: side view of model with straight medum brown hair styled in a high smooth and sleek bun wearing drop earrings and a floral top
Dazzle the crowd with a high bun. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

2. Twisted bun

Looking for an elegant updo that suits both the boardroom and the bar? Then meet this pretty twisted bun. Not only will this easy elegant updo stay in place all day and night, but you can simply update it for the evening by adding dazzling statement earrings.

Read nextSwanky hairstyles to help you make the most of the statement earring trend!

Elegant updos: back view of long wavy blonde hair styled into a half-up, half-down updo with flower jewel accessories
Make your hair look its best with elegant hair accessories. Credit: Instagram.com/jenniferbehr

3. Half-up, half-down waves

In need of simple elegant updos, but can’t decide if you want to wear your hair up or down? Then we suggest this floral, half-up number. Simply pin the front section of your hair at the back using bobby pins, and then add your fave hair accessories for a romantic finish. Credit: @jenniferbehr

Find out what hair accessories are taking over the catwalks and our social feeds.

Elegant updos: model with long blonde hair style din milkmaid braids for elegant updo
Cute and easy to create, we love about this style!

4. Milkmaid braids

You might think that this milkmaid braid is tricky to execute, it’s actually one of the easiest braided updos to create (even if you’re a total braid rookie!). Which means you’ll still have lots of time to capture your perfect Instagram snap. Nice.

Elegant updos: back view of woman with metallic straight hair styled into a low chignon tuck updo
Make a statement with this elegant updo. Credit: Instagram.com/hairbypeta

5. Croissant bun

When it comes to elegant updos, this croissant bun has to be one of our faves. Perfectly smooth and sleek, the chic croissant bun is perfect for weddings or black tie events. Credit: @hairbypeta

Elegant updos: model with long box braids styled into a pompadour
Retro vibes even Janelle Monáe would appreciate.

6. Box braid pompadour

An elegant yet stylish hairstyle that works great on afro-hair types and girls with box braids, this retro-inspired braided pompadour will see you from day to night in utmost style. Rest assured it’s super easy but requires some pinning, so keep a stash of bobby pins on hand.

Next readBox braids styles you need to try!

model with blonde hair styled in a sleek high ponytail elegant updo
Be a smooth operator with this ponytail.

7. Sleek, high ponytail.

Thought ponytails were boring? Think again: this sleek, high version with hair wrapped around the hair band is super chic and utterly modern. If you have a beach wedding to attend this summer, opt for this updo to help you beat the heat while looking effortlessly stylish.

Want to find out how to create the perfect ponytail? Read our back-to-basics guide, here!

Editor’s tip: Lock your style in place with a spritz of  TONI&GUY Flawless Sleek Creation Hairspray for a sleek and defined look with medium hold.

Elegant updos: side view of model with brown hair styled into a low side sweeping chignon elegant updo
Classic chignon updos will always be a hit. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

8. Chignon

No elegant updos round-up would be complete without the classic chignon. The timeless updo instantly transforms tresses into a sophisticated style perfect for any formal outing. Great for both straight and wavy hair, as well as fine and thick manes, this versatile look can be tailored to your personal style. Try pulling out a few loose hairs around your face for a soft, romantic finish.

Check out the chignon hairstyles we are crushing over right now.

back view of woman with dark blonde hair styled into a high bun with a big pink stain bow underneath wearing a low back top
Bridesmaid’s hair and beyond. Credit: Instagram.com/kristin-ess

9. Undone bun and bow combo

We don’t know about you, but this messy bun and bow combo is practically screaming ‘bridesmaids hair’ to us.

And photo opportunities, aside, in our opinion, we think that anyone would be excited to wear this simple and elegant updo. Credit: @kristin-ess