Oh fishtails, how we love you so. The deceptively intricate braid has lasted us through practically all of summer and bad hair days alike. So for a braid that has proven itself to be such a trusty companion, why do we always ditch it whenever a formal occasion rolls around? Well, after a glimpse at these 11 fancy fishtails, we think you’ll likely be rethinking things come your next big soirée.


1. Milkmaid Fishtail: Tired of milkbraid braids yet? Neither are we. Put a fresh spin on the ever-trending hairstyle by swapping the classic three-strand braids for this more intricate-looking technique. (via Drifter and the Gypsy)

2. Havana Marley Twist: Braids upon braids upon braids! If you already have a head full of the twisted stuff, amp things up by doing this giant upside-down fishtail that turns into a retro twist up top. (via Donedo)


3. Fishtail Gibson: Looking for a bridal-approved ‘do? Try this easy style that looks nice and clean in front, but has some extra flair in back. (via Brit + Co)


4. Fishtail Chignon: Holy fishtail! If you’re feeling up for a plait of epic proportions, try this crazy fishtail reminiscent of both a chignon and conch shell. (via Hair Romance)


5. Half-Down Fishtail: If you’re looking for something sweet and simple, here it is. Simply braid two fishtails with the front sections of your hair and use a clear elastic to tie them together in the back. Add some extra oomph by decking the rest of your hair out in loose curls. (via Camilla Styles)


6. Fishtail Tuck: Get a mix of both normal and fishtail braids with this busy-but-beautiful low tuck. Rock this at a wedding or simply to a dinner with friends. (via Join the Mood)


7. Fishtail Bun: This one is actually quite simple. Gather your hair up into a high pony and secure it with a scrunchy, leaving one section out in back. Then fishtail that and wrap it around your bun. (via Once Wed)

8. Elegant Fishtail Updo: Here’s a unique option that’s a sort of mix between a bun and a low wrap, which can easily be dressed up or down. (via Naptural85)


9. Half Updo: If you’re rocking shorter locks, don’t feel left out. This sweet half updo is perfect for all you lob lovers out there. Dress up this hairstyle right and you’re ready for a black-tie affair. (via The Beauty Department)


10. Wet Hair Fishtail: And now for a braided bun that you can do straight out of the shower. Pull hair up into a ponytail, then fishtail, wrap and pin to add extra texture to an otherwise simple bun. (via Hair Romance)


11. Fishtail Headband: It’s definitely not summer yet, but it sure will feel like it while you’re rocking this ethereal, boho look. (via Brit + Co)

How do you put a formal spin on a classic hairstyle? Let’s chat about your favorite fancy ‘do in the comments below.