Sleek, sophisticated and oh so chic.

The chignon is the quintessential bridal hair style.

But what exactly is a ‘chignon'?

Cue Wikipedia definition:

The word “chignon” comes from the French phrase “chignon du cou,” which means nape of the neck. 

Chignons are generally achieved by pinning the hair into a knot at the nape of the neck or at the back of the head, but there are many different variations of the style. 

photo by Dev Photography

Today I'm focusing on chic, sleek and classic chignons.

(Mainly because I've featured a whole bunch of messy, boho, braided hairstyles recently from fishtail braids to 50 of the most romantic hairstyles using flowers.)

It's time to get formal, folks.

Chignon Top Tips

Think of it like a forward roll in gymnastics ~ simply tuck and roll.

Okay so it's not quite as simple as that but the basic principles are all about twisting and rolling the hair in on itself, then tucking the ends in. The styles are low to the head, near the nape of the neck, and they come in all shapes and sizes.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started ~ ready, set Pin!

Chignon Inspiration For DIY Brides (Or Your Hairstylist)

Bouffant Chignon ~ add a retro twist to your chignon by pumping up the volume at the crown and or base. Use a sock, hair donut or extensions to give your chignon a bit of oomph. You can also tease your hair using a comb/teasing brush to create fullness and shape.

Whichever technique or accessory you use, just be sure to smooth the top section of your hair to cover it.

Sarah Gawler via Ruffled

Side Part Chignon ~ go deep and go low with your parting for a dramatic effect. Roll up hair horizontally and / or to one side for a modern take on this classic ‘do.

by Hair and Make Up By Steph

Sleek Chignon ~ this style is smooth and sophisticated, a mix between a French twist and a chignon this style is all about sectioning and overlapping hair. Use shine serum to tame flyaways.

Dev Photography via One Wed

Creative Chignons ~ add a few faux curls by positioning small sections of hair into a round, pin curl, securing with bobby pins from underneath so that you can't see them. Or wrap sections across each other to add a bit of extra interest to a simple style.

Smallpigart Photography via Style Me Pretty

Patricia Lyons Photography via Style Me Pretty

Renee Brock via Junebug Weddings

Heather Cook Elliott Photography via Style Me Pretty |  Alissa Ferullo Photography via Style Me Pretty

Top 5 Chic & Classic Chignon Tutorials

Just as there are a huge variety of chignon styles, there are tonnes of tutorials out there. After lots of research and attempting many a chignon, here are my Top 5 Classic Chignon Tutorials.

I've chosen them because they are relatively simple and explained in easy to follow steps.

No bride wants to be stressing out following lots of steps to DIY their hair on their wedding day!

#1 The girls at The Beauty Department show us how to create a simple chignon with lots of body. Finish with a blinging hair clip for extra drama.

Full Tutorial via The Beauty Department

#2 This tutorial is very similar to the look above but instead of bringing the remaining hair up and over to cover the sections that are rolled in on themselves, Kayley of Sidewalk Ready tucks it underneath, creating an up do that looks far more complicated and intricate than it actually is. Genius.

#3 So this tutorial is in French but don't let that put you off ~ you can learn a lot simply by watching. I'm a little bit obsessed with this blog, Secrets Des Coquettes. It's my new hair and beauty crush with beautifully styled, well paced tutorials.

I just wish I'd listened more in French class!

#4 This tutorial is the perfect example of using your own hair to create volume with a whole lot of teasing of the mid lengths and ends.

#5 Another gem from The Beauty Department archives ~ a prim and proper ‘do perfect for the modern bride.

Full Tutorial via The Beauty Department

These up dos would be perfect for city chic soirees or ballroom weddings ~ on brides, their maids or stylish wedding guests.

Which is your favourite style of chignon?

How will you be wearing your hair on your big day?

If you’d like even more hair-spiration and hair tutorials check out these pretty posts or head on over to my Hairstyles board on Pinterest.

ps. I'd recommend having a trial with a professional hairstylist before going it alone as they can help you discover what works best for your face shape and hair type/length as well as choosing styles to compliment your dress, hair accessories, make up and overall bridal look.

If you decide to go the DIY route just make sure you (or one of your bridesmaids/friends) have lots of practice runs doing the style before the big day.

(And be sure to share photos!)

follow the latest musings: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+