When it comes to simple and elegant hairstyles, buns are hard to beat. Whether you’re throwing your hair up in a topknot to tame a messy ‘do, or donning a bouffant for a fancier event, it’s a hairstyle guaranteed to keep longer locks out of your face and somehow make it look like you’ve put in more effort than you actually have. As is so often the case, our favorite Disney characters have been privy to this fashionable trend for quite some time, inspiring us to round up the best of the best.
Though Tiana wears this bun as part of a costume, there’s nothing make-believe about how great it looks. Accessorizing her otherwise simple hairdo with a tiara, she adds a romantic touch to her overall ensemble. We also love that she lets some curly strands loose—an easy fix for making a tight bun look less dramatic.
As the popular man bun trend has taught us, buns aren’t just for women. When disguising herself as one of the guys, Mulan wears a tight bun adorned with a simple, knotted green ribbon. It’s a close call, but Sheng’s bun might just edge hers out. Wearing his more loosely upon the back of his head, he wraps his bun with a maroon ribbon for a look that’s as fashionable as it is functional.
Leia’s buns may be one of the most iconic styles in the galaxy. Rolled to cover her ears on either side of her head, they don’t let a single hair free, making them a fittingly meticulous style for a princess that refuses to let anything get past her.
Elsa’s unique blend of braid, bun, and up-do make for a tidy, inventive style we’d love to replicate. Like plenty of princesses that sport this look, she folds a tiara into her hair for an extra elegant touch.
Cinderella’s up-do is a small bun at the top of her head, holding the rest of her look in place. Rather than a tiara, she accessorizes hers with a simple headband and pearl earrings, accentuating her blue eyes and adding a touch of royal humility to her voluminous ensemble. The way she sweeps her short bangs to the side and lifts the rest into a bun also proves you don’t have to have mile long hair to pull off an up-do.
We’re going to be honest—we struggled with this one, specifically because it’s technically half a bun, rather than a full one. Embracing the versatility of this hairstyle, however, we’ve decided to include it. Sweeping her bangs behind her ears, Belle pulls the back quarter of her hair into a simple bun and inventively ties it with a gold fastener for a glamorous effect.
If we had to crown the queen of topknots, we’d choose Tinker Bell—and have the archive to prove it. Her messy pom of a bun gives her one of the most recognizable silhouettes in the world of Disney. We’re especially big fans of the way she leaves some of her hair lose, giving it an intentionally tousled look, suiting her sassy personality perfectly.