The subject line was so intriguing that the stranger’s e-mail begged to be opened.

“Alligator Clip Special.”

Oh, Monsieur Spammer. You will never woo us with bawdy innuendo, but with the tease of hair accessories, sir, you are one step closer toward wiping out the Bliss bank account. (Unless “alligator clip special” is some new euphemism we haven’t heard. Then, well, no thank you.)

In her youth, Bag Lady rocked several strands of pink feathers hanging off alligator clips won at the local fair. C’mon. Those clips were hot.

Shopping Siren, on the other hand, sported colorful day-of-the-week barrettes, then traded up for the more sophisticated headband. Because there’s nothing more sophisticated than a headband.

Yes, we know — it really is too bad that all our photos of that time were completely destroyed in a freak Doberman-related incident. (Good dogs.)

But take heart! You don’t have to be relegated to pink feathers, rainbow barrettes and alleged alligator clips purchased over the Internet and delivered to your home in a plain brown wrapper. Unless you want to. Then by all means, go ahead. Just send us the picture. Please.

• Conair wide leather headband, Kmart, $3.14
Just a few beads, stamped with a floral pattern.
BL: I think my head’s too big. There, I’ve said it. I couldn’t pull this headband off, but I’d want to try.
SS: I think everyone’s head is too big for leather.

• Revlon fabric, elastic headband, Kmart, $4.19
Your choice: Black or brown zebra print.
BL: There’s no contest. It’s black zebra or nothing. And elastic! So my head would fit.
SS: I don’t know; the brown zebra has a certain unique allure. Hmm. Emphasis on unique. Less on allure.

• Long yellow floral scarf, Ragamuffins, $4.25
Tie it up. Tie it back. Leave it loose. It’s the all-purpose hair accessory!
SS: I’ve never quite mastered that chic scarf tie. I always end up looking like a crazed 1940s New York yenta.
BL: You’re not? (Ducks quickly to avoid purse flung at head.)

• Revlon blue-beaded swirl barrette, Kmart, $4.19
SS: Pretty, stylish, practical. The grown-up version of the day-of-the-week barrette.
BL: Minus the days of the week. And the rainbow colors. Fortunately.

• Single, short peacock feather clip, Claire’s, $4.50
BL: Daring. Flarish. It’s the alligator clip done right for 2009.
SS: Yes, if 2009 were the year of the peacock. Then again, maybe if the lighting were just right … (pitch black.)

• Clip-on cat ears, Claire’s, $4
White or brown leopard or straight black, plush little triangles.
BL: Can’t go wrong with leopard ears.
SS: Um.

• Ponytail holders, 10 pack, Claire’s, $2.25
Colorful assortment of fabric-covered rubber bands.
SS: For your inner Punky Brewster.
BL: When did ponytails on grown women come back in style? Not taking a stance; just curious.

Best find/think twice: Pink or blue leopard-trimmed feather clip, Claire’s, $2.25
Looks sort of like a fly tie.
BL: Best find! I’m oddly drawn to it. Perhaps my inner salmon coming out.
SS: Think twice. This is the reincarnation of your old pink feather clip.

Best find/think twice: Conair French boutique combs, Kmart, $4.89
SS: Best find! So lovely and sophisticated, they make me long for an elegant evening of fine dining and dancing under the stars. Even if I have never been able to get such combs to stay in place for more than three minutes.
BL: Exactly why to think twice. French combs are a lark, a tease, a hairy unicorn — they sound lovely, but they’ll always disappoint.
SS: Completely unlike an Alligator Clip Special.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who growl at the very thought of clip-on cat ears) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected]


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